8 food debates 2016 settled (hopefully for good)

Confusing nutrition information is bad news for our health.

 |  Hello, Health  |  4-minute read |   02-01-2017
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So 2016 is over. Gone forever! The year was very interesting from the food and nutrition stance. While a lot of new trends surfaced, which will either strengthen and rule, or get decimated as time passes, the year will actually be remembered for the fact that many longstanding nutrition debates finally got settled - to their right conclusion.

And the good news is that these conclusions seem to be taking us back to the "age-old basics" - a way of living I completely believe in. These are my top ten picks of the positive food decisions that got nailed in 2016. Hopefully for ever!

Last year saw the rise and rise of D. Vitamin D suddenly is what omega 3 was a couple of years ago - important for every process in the body, and its deficiency is now being linked to every possible modern day ailment that we suffer from.

Now everyone is scampering to check their D levels and also trying to spend some time under the sun! Good going this!

The idea of low-carb diets being the gold standard in weight loss got buried last year. This vindication for carbs has come by after trying out (and getting burnt) by multiple, innumerable high fat, high fibre, high protein... anything but carbs diets over the last decade or so. But finally the message - that carbs are essential too - is getting loud and clear. Thank God for that!

Too much sugar is a devil, far bigger than any other, and is culpable for everything from heart disease to diabetes to liver failure - also got settled last year. Hopefully, no more flip-flops will happen about this, and we are finally done with shifting the blame from sugar to fat or some other food ingredient… Confusing nutrition information is bad news for our health.

Gut came into its own totally last year and has now become omni-important. The message going round is: respect your gut and it’ll respect you, as it is now increasingly getting clear that if we don’t take care of our gut, all other organs can get affected, including the brain.

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There’s a renewed push for protein, but natural protein. (Photo: India Today)

The brain, now research seems to suggest, has a hotline to the gut, and a healthy gut can keep depression (no less) away too. And thanks to this, there was a strong probiotic push all of last year and fermented food are also getting their due now.

Thankfully cholesterol restrictions are now a thing of the past. The blanket ban on dietary cholesterol is off, and the better message - eat these foods like you’d eat any other food,  with caution, and in small portions - is going out. This definitely makes me happy, as eggs have got exonerated further.

There’s a renewed push for protein, but natural protein (yes, even for you bodybuilders). It became increasingly clear over last year too that the best way to stockpile protein is via natural food sources, where they come in a form easily assimilable by the body - and not as pills and powders.

Plus the talk has moved from just protein quantity to protein quality - the kind of amino acids the food delivers, and this is good news, as quality always scores over quantity.

There is a perceptive shift towards eating a more plant-based diet, which again is a good move, as this helps check the mindless gorging on meat. This way of eating gets in more fibre, a varied amount and type of nutrients, more health friendly enzymes and also helps improve the gut flora which, like I mentioned above, is always a good thing. This rise of part-time vegetarians, who have reduced their meat consumption is a good way to eat and live.

Variety is the buzz word, and that always works, even with grains. Last year saw more and more people looking beyond just wheat and experimenting with alternative flours, and even gluten-free flours made from legumes, ancient grains, teff, amaranth, etc.

The year saw many till now ignored grains finding their place under the sun, and on multiple plates. The palate will take some more time to adjust, but a good beginning has been made.

Also read: Eight good sources of fat for you

Writer

Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico).

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