Our favourite investigators, advice-givers and myth-busters in the world of nutrition
When you’re first dipping a toe into the wide, vast waters of nutrition, it can feel a bit overwhelming. Everyone’s recommending different foods, different routines, different philosophies. In the end, you just feel guilty for not eating absolutely everything you’ve been recommended, even though you physically couldn’t fit all that porridge, quinoa and watercress into your body.
The simple way is to find a nutritionist you trust; the even simpler (and cheaper) way is to find a nutritionist you can trust who’s got their own podcast, and take their advice for free.
Chris and Xand van Tulleken are identical twins. They’re both doctors, they both got Covid, and they both ate the same growing up. But now they’re in their forties, Xand is obese and Chris isn’t. Why? This podcast looks into how obesity and weight gain work, and goes deep on how ultra processed foods can affect your body over time. It’s a smartly edited and produced show, busts a lot of myths about a much-misunderstood condition.
Dr Rupy Aujla is an NHS doctor who’s been running this blog since 2015, and his podcast is about the intersection between food and medicine. After digging into his own route back from an atrial defibrillation in the first episode, the podcast has really gone round the houses: Aujla has spoken to fellow doctors about everything from quantum biology with Jim Al-Khalili to using watercress as medicine.
A proper juggernaut of a health podcast, this one’s helmed by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, resident doctor on BBC Breakfast. Recently, Dr Chatterjee’s chatted to nutritional psychiatrist Dr Drew Ramsay about how what you eat can affect your mental health, as well as other experts about optimising your immune system, living longer, and how your friendships can bolster your health.
Pitched as a bridge between your standard medical advice and the latest news from the front line of nutritional research, Dr Hazel Wallace’s blog started back in 2012 when Wallace was still a student, with the mission of cutting deaths by non-communicable diseases – stroke, type 2 diabetes, that kind of thing. The spin-off pod is in its sixth season and delivers its hard scientific nuggets with a gentle, welcoming vibe.
Strength isn’t just about deadlifts. Personal trainer and The Body Bible author Alice Liveing’s podcast is about the kind of strength which run deeper than having really gigantic shoulders. Each time she speaks to a different woman about her fitness and strength journey, whether that’s former Gladiator Dr Zoe Williams on finding a sport you love, or Dr Amal Hassan on the importance of rest.
Another podcast that’s big on myth-busting, Ella Woodward has long since turned away from the ‘clean eating’ thing which blew up a few years ago and on which her Deliciously Ella books leant. These days she’s more about building healthy relationships with food and setting good habits. The episode on metabolism, calories and your weight is a great primer.
A lot of nutrition podcasts are built by and for bright-eyed 20- and 30-somethings; The Doctor’s Farmacy looks at nutrition from midlife, and insists that feeling run down and worn out isn’t something you’re going to have to deal with from the age of 40 onwards. Instead it says that by understanding big-picture indicators of your overall wellbeing, like gut health and the lymphatic system, you can get back to that vibe you had when you were 28 – only now you own a house and stuff.
Intuitive eating and a rejection of calorie counting are two of the pillars of this one, hosted by nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. Some guests are a little abstract (tenor Alfie Boe on ‘the power of music’ seems a little bit of a stretch, nutritionally speaking) but the central thrust of finding routines which fit with your fitness goals and, most importantly, your overall health and happiness, is sound.
Laurence Annez’s podcast is a little lo-fi, but it’s worth sticking with; the science is solid. She’s a nutritionist whose interests tend toward managing chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and eczema, as well as the polycystic ovary syndrome she lives with herself. It’s been in hibernation for a while, but there’s a decent back catalogue.
If you’re looking for a single hit of nourishing info about nutrition and sport – the podcasting equivalent of Huel, basically – then this deep dive into nutrition Graeme Close, Professor in Human Physiology at Liverpool's John Moores University and former Everton FC nutritionist is the one.
Dietitian and nutritionist Melissa Joy Dobbins’ big thing is dropping the idea of shame and guilt from your motivations for eating (or not eating) different foods. The best place to start here is with the interview with sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, who’s big on not denying yourself food in the name of weight loss; rather, she’s about the physiology of hunger and what food works for your lifestyle goals.
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