As 2017 draws to a close, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the best food and nutrition research and discoveries covered in this year’s Nutrition Diva podcasts. Here are my picks for the best nutrition tips, strategies, and ideas of the year.
The Best Nutrition Ideas of 2017
- Mindful(ish) Eating
- Protein & Aging
- Brewed Cacao
- Healthy Lunch Club
- It’s Not About Carbs or Fat
Let’s explore each idea a little further.
1. Best Behavior Change Strategy: Mindful(ish) Eating
If I had to choose just one thing that would make the biggest positive difference in people’s eating habits, it would be eating more mindfully. It’s something that we all talk about but few of us practice on a consistent basis. And yet mindful eating has the potential to improve not just our nutrition but also our enjoyment of food.
If you’ve resisted the idea of mindful eating for fear that it would require you to eat all your meals in a state of meditative silence and chew every bit 100 times, let me reassure you that eating mindfully does not have to be that extreme in order to be extremely useful.
Last March, I outlined four strategies for mindful eating that you can easily implement without withdrawing from society—drawing unwelcome attention to yourself. Try any one of them for a week and I guarantee you will notice positive benefits.
2. Best Nutrient to Fight Aging: Protein
Which nutrient has the most potential to hold back the ravages of time? It’s not an antioxidant, hormone, growth factor, or phytonutrient. My vote for the number one anti-aging nutrient goes to protein.
My vote for number one anti-aging nutrient goes to protein.
The loss of strength, vigor, and vitality that so many people start to notice in their sixties is actually set into motion in your thirties and forties, which is when most people begin to gradually lose muscle mass and bone density. High-quality protein helps to prevent the loss of muscle and bone density as we age. (Yes, you read that correctly. Contrary to popular lore, protein actually protects against bone loss.)
Unfortunately, protein intake tends to go down as we age, just when we need it the most. I’m not saying you have to start eating a dozen eggs for breakfast or a pound of steak for dinner every day. In October, I explained how to get the most anti-aging benefit from the minimum amount of protein. Following the guidelines in that episode may be one of the most effective things you can do to make sixty the new thirty.
3. Best New Discovery: Brewed Cacao
A lot of new products cross my desk (and kitchen counter) every year, and most are variations on well-worn themes: protein bars, superfood powders, juice drinks, and probiotics. All have their pros and cons but few seem newsworthy enough to mention. But I did fall in love with one new (to me) product this year: brewed cacao.