7 Surprising Nutrition Facts Scientists Learned in 2022

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  • Many nutritional studies have been published in 2022, with some surprising findings.
  • Insider picked seven of the year’s most interesting discoveries.
  • Butter may not be as unhealthy as we thought, and red wine drinkers had less fat in one study.

Scientists have published numerous studies on diet and nutrition in 2022, shedding light on surprising connections between what we eat and drink and our health.

Turns out butter may not be as unhealthy as we thought, people who drink red wine have less belly fat than people who drink alcohol, and there are even more reasons to eat bread.

Below are seven things we learned about diet and health in 2022.

1. Eating a wide variety of proteins can reduce your risk of high blood pressure

Eating a wider variety of protein-rich foods, such as beans, seafood, whole grains and lean meat, may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, according to a study published in March in the journal Hypertension.

The researchers compared the eating habits of 12,117 Chinese adults with their blood pressure over an average of six years of follow-up, reported Insider’s Gabby Landsverk.

People who ate four or more sources of protein were 66% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate only one or two.

2. Butter and full-fat dairy may be healthier than previously thought

Foods like butter have long been considered unhealthy due to their high saturated fat content and links to poor heart health, but research published in Scientific Reports in August suggests that certain types of saturated fat may improve health.

Moderate amounts of a saturated fat called C15:0, found in butter and full-fat dairy, may actually reduce disease risk and improve health and well-being, according to research by Stephanie Venn-Watson, a health researcher. public health and veterinary epidemiologist.

Years of research with marine dolphins found a similarity between the animals’ and humans’ age-related disease risk, which led to the C15:0 findings, Landsverk reported.

3. Fiber in whole-wheat bread may be better at reducing heart disease risk than fruits and vegetables

Fiber is an important part of a balanced diet and can be found in a variety of foods.

However, a March study suggests that the fiber in whole grains may be even more heart-healthy than that in fruits and vegetables, Landsverk reported.

Fiber sources like dark bread, bran and cereals (like oats) can help lower inflammation and the risk of heart disease, according to a study of 4,125 adults published in March in the JAMA Network Open.

4. A Mediterranean-style diet may reduce the risk of preeclampsia in pregnancy, particularly for people of color

Pre-eclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy with long-term effects on heart health, characterized by severe high blood pressure and organ damage.

However, a Mediterranean-style diet may reduce risks, particularly in people of color, according to research published in April in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The Mediterranean diet prioritizes fresh fruits, vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish, nuts and beans.

5. Eating 2 servings of fish a week is linked to an increased risk of skin cancer

Fish has long been known to have many health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and balancing blood sugar, but a study published in June in the journal Cancer Causes and Control also found a link between eating two servings a week and increasing skin cancer risk.

Fish like tuna can contain toxic mercury, arsenic and other chemicals linked to cancer, Landsverk reported.

But it can still form part of a healthy diet, and more research is needed, the researchers said.

6. Red wine drinkers have less belly fat than liquor or beer drinkers

Red wine drinkers have less stomach fat than those who drink beer, white wine or liquor, suggests a study published in the journal Obesity Science and Practice in February.

The researchers found that red wine drinkers had less visceral fat, which surrounds the abdominal organs and is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

However, the health risks of drinking alcohol still outweigh any potential benefits, nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert tells Insider.

7. Vegetarian women are more likely to have hip fractures than meat eaters

Vegetarian women are more likely to suffer hip fractures as they age than meat eaters, according to a study published in BMC Medicine in August.

The researchers studied data from more than 26,000 women ages 35 to 69, collected over a 22-year period, and found that vegetarians were one-third more likely to break a hip than those who ate meat regularly.

Possible reasons include women with a lower average BMI or nutritional deficiencies, the researchers said.