The Most Extraordinary Diet and Health Lessons of 2012

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

popular_diet_booksIt is about to be a new year—2013!

I hope you find yourself at the end of the year more educated and empowered when it comes to diet and health.

But, just in case you missed something, I figured it would be fun to have a recap of all the diet myths we have uncovered, best food ideas, and other helpful tips shared this year on Diet Blog.

Top 20 Health and Diet Countdown

20. America may still be polluting the world with obesity. High stress jobs, and demanding lifestyles are the biggest blame for high rates of obesity.

19. Weight Watchers still reins supreme. The new 360 program proves that Weight Watchers is thinking about every aspect of weight loss. Mindful eating, using phone apps for weight loss, and techniques to eat successfully away from home are the focus.


18. We learned to sensibly detox. Avoid all added sugars, avoid “diet” products, and add potent detox foods.

17. Many discover almond butter as their new favorite, and healthier, nut butter!

16. It’s OK to blame your inability to lose weight on the Set Point Theory. Sometimes.

15. People are getting thin at Starbuck’s!

14. Just because it is organic doesn’t mean it is always healthy. There is plenty of organic junk food out there.

13. Green coffee supplements are probably not going to help you lose any weight. Dr. Oz fails again.

apples12. Stress kills diets. Use stress reduction techniques like yoga and meditation to slim down.

11. Apples are the dirtiest (highest pesticide level) food of the year.

10. Eat at home for the best weight loss. This is simple, but the key for success.

9. You can use healthy swaps in recipes to save mega calories. Don’t be afraid to try new healthy recipe tricks!

8. Whole grain and multigrain do not mean the same thing. We uncovered how to figure out if your grain is healthy.

coconut water7. Sleep affects weight loss. Don’t slack on sleep if you want to lose weight.

6. The coconut water fad is on its way out. There is no point in drinking it unless you enjoy the flavor or are using it as a natural sports recovery drink.

5. We reveal the real and quick swimsuit slim-downs that work.

4. I get slammed for disagreeing with an inappropriate vegan children’s book. Children shouldn’t be scared into being vegan.

3. Your diet can be exciting! Don’t eat bland food, add some low calorie pizzazz.

2. Raspberry ketone supplements do not show any significant impact on weight loss. Strike 2 for Dr. Oz.

1. We learn the importance of learning to change habits and behaviors for good. We won’t be successful unless we make a healthy diet our current lifestyle.

Have you learned any diet lessons this year? I know I have! I have a degree in this stuff, and I am still learning new things.


  1. Melissa H.

    I was so happy to come across this post! I am quite health conscious and always looking for new *AND EASY* ways to drop some weight. I have quite often reached a point in which NOTHING seemed to work and I would struggle to lose those few extra pounds. I have quite a few friends who are gluten intolerant and have heard from a number of them that there are some amazing gluten free recipes out there that are delicious and extremely healthy (and assist with weight loss!). They have opened my eyes to the wonderful world of gluten *and even dairy free cooking* this year and I know I will continue to follow this in 2013! I would highly recommend the website I recently purchased her book, Nina Cucina: Your Healthy Gourmet and I have become addicted to gluten free recipes! I am not a great cook but I found this book (and website) so informative and so easy to follow. For every single recipe the author, Nina Pucillo, gives the nutritional value of each dish and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the dish. All of the dishes featured in the book are totally gluten-free and Nina has included many recipes that are dairy-free too! Thanks for sharing! I hope my suggestion helps too 🙂

  2. Vic Cherikoff

    Hi. Interesting website. I look forward to exploring more of it.
    One thing you seem to have missed and this is the importance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in the diet. There is a new condition described in Lifestyle Medicine and this is metaflammation or metabolic inflammation. It is unlike conventional inflammation from an infection source which disrupts the immune system which responds to the antigen with antibodies to re-establish homoestasis or the balanced condition. In our modern lives we now are exposed to inducers which may be environmental chemicals or conditions (heat or cold), ingested chemicals, poor or over-nutrition, a lack or too much exercise, inadequate sleep, stress etc. These cause their disruption but we maintain a condition of allostasis and never fully recover. The net results are the diseases of nutrition or degenerative diseases or cancers and tumors.
    Then we can look to the world’s longest living culture, the Australian Aborigines for some insights into what good health used to be like. Their wild foods are now being shown to be record-holding for their levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Sucrose was absent and replaced with trehalose, a disaccharide of glucose. This is an amazing sugar which is being used in stem cell research as it preserves proteins and lipids during dessication. It is the reason the Australian flora can endure a 50 year drought and then turn green after a single soaking of rain, Aborigines also never suffered from obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer was rare if not absent as were most of the diseases of nutrition so prevalent today. Aborigines also lived relatively long lives of 60 to 80 years at a time when Europeans had a life expectancy of 35.
    An interesting point to note is that these diseases can be improved or avoided if we embrace these wild foods again and Kakadu Complex is one product based on 11 wild foods from my country, It is also available in North America.
    Weight loss is extremely easy using a high antioxidant source. By stopping our cells from becoming insulin resistant we can reduce blood levels of this fattening hormone and maintain our metabolism using sugars for energy rather than storing them as fat.

  3. Michele

    I really enjoyed your recap of diet and health lessons especially the last one about changing your diet habits and behaviors for good. Health doesn’t come from a fad it has to be a lifestyle.

  4. Spectra

    Great synopsis–I am particularly glad that sensible detoxes are coming into vogue as opposed to those maple-cayenne-lemon fasts that used to be the “cool” way to lose a lot of weight.