The Best And Worst Health News Of 2017 Slideshow

This was a big year for health discovery — more disease risk factors have been found, obesity is still on everybody's brain, and the consensus on fats fluctuated more than ever. Often, health news can contradict itself. First, something causes cancer, then it helps reduce the risk of it. This has happened with coffee, wine, and some of our other favorite foods and drinks time and time again.

It was a big year for food. This year paved the way for new and exciting food inventions that could revolutionize the way we eat. An ice cream brand even made it onto Time's annual list of best inventions worldwide. But at the same time, sugar is being condemned for causing all kinds of health problems. Come on, science. Can we eat dessert or not?!

Conflicting health news is frustrating; it can be hard to keep up with. But for those of you who want to get caught up on everything that happened this year, we combed through our top news stories from January until now to come up with the stories we consider to be the best news, followed by some stories we thought were a bit of a bummer.

Best: Americans’ Pets Eat Healthier Than They Do

We know Americans don't eat well, but would they really be better off just eating dog food? Get the full story here on how one study proved that Americans put more thought into their pets' nutrition than their own. Hopefully this means most dogs are getting fed the healthiest dog foods on the market, instead of some other junk that could make them sick.

Worst: Americans Are Making Their Pets Fat

Even though Americans are putting more thought into their pets' foods, apparently it's not working. Banfield Pet Hospitals released a full report on how more pets than ever are becoming overweight. Get all the details here, and if you have a pet of your own to worry about, learn how to safely put your dog on a diet.

Best: Amazon Bought Whole Foods

Whole Foods used to be notorious for their ridiculously overpriced items. Then, Amazon bought the grocery chain for a crazy amount of money this year. While at first the fans were divided, now it seems that Whole Foods is using the merger to lower their prices on some of the healthiest staple items.

Worst: Google Maps Tried to Calorie Count Our Walks

You'd think companies would get the picture, already, and stop putting such an emphasis on calories. But Google seems to be behind the times, and they messed up really badly with this cupcake calorie-counter fail. Sure, walking is healthy, but we don't want to be reminded of the calories we aren't burning every time we get in the car.

Best: Eating Fish Could Mitigate Arthritis Symptoms

We knew seafood was healthy, but this discovery added a huge new perk to ordering fish at dinner. Learn why these foods could help erase arthritis pain here.

Worst: We’ve All Been Eating Our Unrecycled Plastic in Fish

This study revealed a dismal case of ecological karma. The plastic we're not recycling is being eaten by fish and ironically recycled back into our food — gross. It's time we rethink the pollution we're causing with our fast food and other industries.

Best: Americans Are Eating Less Beef, and It’s Helping the Environment

One thing that got a little less terrible for the ozone this year — we're all eating less meat. Thanks to the plant-based trend and the increasing knowledge about the health risks of red meat, Americans consumed 19 percent less beef per capita this year. Read more about how this could help fight climate change here.

Worst: 5,000 Pounds of Meat Were Recalled for E. Coli

Yet another reason it's best we steer clear of beef — an alarming amount of it was all contaminated with food poisoning bacteria. This was probably one of the biggest food recalls in American history. Get all the details about this crazy recall here.

Best: Nestle Joined the Movement for Cage-Free Eggs

Nestle admits it's going to take a really long time to make the change. Plus, they're not the first to improve their farming practices. Costco, Kellogg's, and even some fast food companies have paved the way for this move by the international food conglomerate. Of course, there is some suspicion as to whether cage-free chickens are really much better off than the others... But we're hoping for the best.

Worst: Most Baby Food Is Contaminated

A few different studies came out this year with some alarming news — baby food isn't as healthy or as safe as we thought. Some brands' food contains arsenic, lead, and other contaminants. In response, other companies have begun to revolutionize the way we think about baby food with personalized, clean-ingredient baby food blends.

Best: Healthy Fats Are Actually Just All of Them

Back in the day, people thought all kinds of fats were bad. Then, people found out that healthy fats were a thing and started taking fish oil pills, eating avocados, and blending chia seeds in their smoothies. Now, more research has been released showing that all fats — not just the 'healthy' labeled ones — are good for you, and people who ate fats of both unsaturated and saturated varieties lived the longest in long-term studies.

Worst: Low-Fat Pigs and Low-Fat Avocados Are a Thing Now

But don't get too excited. Low-fat avocados are basically the biggest nutrition fail since fro-yo and low-fat pigs will never be legal in the U.S.

Best: People Are Drinking Less Soda

It seems like people are finally getting the picture. Soda is really bad for you. In response to the many health dangers of sugary soda, some states introduced taxes on sugary beverages — and they worked. Now, even in states where the sugar tax doesn't exist, people are drinking healthier drinks with their meals.

Worst: Fecal Matter Found on Fast Food Ice

Well, this was disgusting. Fecal matter was found on the ice used at fast food restaurants in one horrifying study. Find out which restaurants were the guiltiest of this upsetting contamination here.

Best: Mindfulness Could Cure Your Chocolate Addiction

Just when you'd lost hope for your sugar addiction — mindfulness saved the day. A study conducted in Australia showed some impressive benefits of meditation this year. Some of these benefits could even wean you off of chocolate for good.

Worst: Eating Alone Could Actually Kill You

Yeah, you might not want to stay in tonight. Studies show that people who eat at least two meals a day by themselves are more likely to have an early death and a messed-up metabolism. Social interactions are important for your health, and this year science confirmed that.

Best: Study Shows Drinking Is OK

Calm down, people — it's not like doctors are recommending it or anything. But according to this recent study, drinking in moderation isn't bad for your health. The people who drank moderately lived the longest. We're adding this to our growing list of reasons to go ahead and pour that glass of wine every night.

Worst: Alcoholism in the US Is Worse Than We Thought

Though moderate drinking is okay, binge drinking is definitely not. But despite millennials swearing off the stuff, alcoholism in the U.S. is so much worse than we thought, according to recent studies.

Best: Coconut Oil Is OK After All

Coconut oil was probably one of the biggest fads of 2016. But then, the American Heart Association shocked us all with their denouncement of the oil, claiming it wasn't as healthy as we'd thought it was. But after further review, people discovered that all they'd really said is that coconut oil has saturated fats — a fact people have known for quite a long time. Coconut oil is perfectly fine to use for cooking or in small doses. Just not the greatest idea to eat by the spoonful.

Worst: Mac and Cheese Might Contain Dangerous Chemicals

We thought our boxed mac and cheese days were over. Luckily, the problem has been resolved and we can eat even the gooiest mac and cheese in peace. But earlier this year, a study discovered some concerning chemicals in the powdered cheese flavoring included in many boxed mac and cheese products.

Best: Fruit Combats Diabetes

Is sugar ever okay to eat? Apparently, yes. A study of a half a million people proved to us that the sugar from fruit can actually combat diabetes instead of making it worse. Maybe an apple a day really can keep the doctor away, after all.

Worst: Less Than 10 Percent of Americans Eat Their Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit might be beneficial for our health (and could even make us happier), but according to recent news, we're not eating it. A dismal report showed that less than 10 percent of all Americans claim to eat their vegetables. And that's not even accounting for people who might be lying. The stats for fruit weren't much better. Read the full report here.

Best: Champagne and Olive Oil Could Prevent Alzheimer’s

So this means New Year's Eve Champagne and oily appetizers are basically good for you, right? Sure, we're good with that. Three glasses of Champagne proved to have the power to prevent Alzheimer's. Olive oil, staple food of the famous Mediterranean diet, could prevent the disease as well, simply by preserving your brain functions.

Worst: American Men’s Sperm Count Has Decreased by Over 50 Percent

Ouch. On July 25, researchers released a terrifying report showing the average sperm count had plummeted in America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Maybe people haven't been careful enough about these bad habits that could lower your sperm count.