NutritionFacts.org arises from my annual review of the medical literature. With the help of a team of hundreds of volunteers, we churned through tens of thousands of scientific papers published in the peer-reviewed nutrition literature and are ramping up to break new records in 2022. How do I choose which studies to highlight? In general, I strive to focus on the most groundbreaking, interesting, and useful findings, but which topics resonate the most? The practical ones, offering cooking or shopping tips, or those that dissect the studies behind the headlines? Maybe the geeky science ones that explore the wonderfully weird world of human biology are the most popular. As you can see from the below list, the answer is a bit of all of the above.
I’m sorry this originally came out after pomegranate season ended, but you should be able to find them now! This is one of my favorite ways to eat BROL (barley, rye, oats, and lentils) for breakfast.
My Basic BROL—found in The How Not to Diet Cookbook—can be used in all kinds of savory or sweet ways, packing in a lot of prebiotic nutrition and helping to tick off those grain boxes on your Daily Dozen Checklist. For extra credit, sprinkle some matcha on top.
What are the risks versus benefits of drinking kombucha? I’m glad I was finally able to post an update. *Spoiler Alert* There are better options. Check out What Are the Best Beverages?.
This was the first in a controversial seven-part video series documenting how stents perform compared to placebo (fake) surgery. Here are the next six in the series:
Why Angioplasty Heart Stents Don’t Work Better
The Risks of Heart Stents
Angioplasty Heart Stent Risks vs. Benefits
Do Heart Stent Procedures Work for Angina Chest Pain?
Why Are Stents Still Used If They Don’t Work?
Heart Stents and Upcoding: How Cardiologists Game the System
Tragically, the leading risk factor for death in the United States is the American diet—but that means we have the power to change it! The media likes to inflate the controversies, but the science has been clear for decades about the core tenets of healthy eating and living.
That was a common question during my monthly Q&As so I did a deep dive and created a nine-video series on the topic, including:
The Environmental Impacts of Plant-Based Meat Substitutes
Are Pea and Soy Protein Isolates Harmful?
Plant-Based Meat Substitutes Put to the Test
The Health Effects of Mycoprotein (Quorn) Products vs BCAAs in Meat
What About the Heme in Impossible Burgers?
Does Heme Iron Cause Cancer?
Heme-Induced N-Nitroso Compounds and Fat Oxidation
Is Heme Iron the Reason Meat Is Carcinogenic?
For a healthful, whole-food veggie burger, check out my recipe for Black Bean Burgers from my first cookbook.
What is the dirty little secret of drugs for lifestyle diseases? If patients knew the truth of how little these drugs actually worked, almost no one would agree to take them. This was part of a four-part series on statins, which includes:
The True Benefits vs. Side Effects of Statins
Another popular video of 2021 was How Low Should You Go for Ideal Cholesterol Levels?. I explore how having a so-called normal cholesterol in a society where it’s normal to drop dead of a heart attack isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Thyroid health is another topic I got asked about a lot. In this video, I explore whether the apparent protection of plant-based diets for thyroid health is due to the exclusion of animal foods, the benefits of plant foods, or both. The other three videos in this series are:
Are Vegans at Risk for Iodine Deficiency?
The Healthiest Natural Source of Iodine
Diet for Hypothyroidism: A Natural Treatment for Hashimoto’s Disease
One common cause of an underactive thyroid is autoimmune thyroiditis. Another popular video from this past year explores one tool for dealing with this friendly fire: Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases. See our fasting topic page for even more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver is now a leading cause of liver failure. In this video, I address the three sources of liver fat and how you can get rid of it.
I’m excited people found this video as fascinating as I did. If you aren’t blown away by the eye-opening revelations, you may want to watch it a second time to fully absorb it all.
For more on healthy weight loss, check out my Evidence-Based Weight Loss presentation and my book How Not to Diet. (All proceeds from my books are donated to charity.)
One of the reasons I love my work so much is that I love learning. That’s the first thrill. The second is being able to share the knowledge. In this video, I discussed that palmitic acid, a saturated fat concentrated in meat and dairy, can boost the metastatic potential of cancer cells through the fat receptor CD36.
I had never even heard of CD36 until recently! I followed this video with How to Help Control Cancer Metastasis with Diet and The Food That Can Downregulate the Metastatic Cancer Gene. I can’t wait to find out what I’m going to learn next year!
Speaking of discoveries, check out another popular video from this year, Boosting Anticancer Immunity with Forest Bathing. Visiting a forest can induce a significant increase in both the number and activity of natural killer cells, one of the ways our body fights off cancer. But why? The big reveal is in the follow-up: Why Does Forest Bathing Boost Natural Killer Cell Function?.
Join the New Plant-Based Living Email Series
Our new ten-week email series is a free resource to bring you simple takeaways and actionable tips on healthy eating. Whether you’re new to a whole food, plant-based lifestyle or would benefit from reminders on some of the key aspects of healthy evidence-based nutrition, this series is for you. Based on our popular Evidence-Based Eating Guide, a weekly email with even more tips and information will be delivered straight to your inbox. Click here to see the full list of topics and to sign up.
Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:
2019: Evidence-Based Weight Loss
2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers
2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet
2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food
2013: More Than an Apple a Day