What are you listening to? Podcast recommendations for the dietetic professional

18 Jan 2018 12:42 PM | Shane Spritzer

If you have ever had a lengthy conversation with me, chances are you’ve heard me start a story with “I was listening to a podcast…” I would like to blame the fact that I have been commuting via public transit, which gives me ample time, but I just like podcasts the way some people like sportsing. So I figured I would share some reviews of the podcasts that fellow RD/Ns or RD2Bes may enjoy. These are in no particular order, though I tried to group them into categories. Also, I know this is just scratching the surface of great podcasts, so I'd love to hear which ones you'd add to the list!

Food and Food-like substances

The Pod: The Sporkful

Who it’s for: The official tagline is “it’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters.” I think it’s for people who eat food and also enjoy being entertained.

Description: Hosted by Dan Pashman, this podcast explores some of the most important questions like: Is a wrap a sandwich? Should the cheese on a cheeseburger face up or down? What shape constitutes a slice of pizza? Simple questions…sure…but Dan has obviously put a lot of thought into answering to these types of questions and he shares his view on food in the most amusing way possible. He also investigates much more serious issues, and some of my favorite episodes are those surrounding food and culture.

He also interviews a wide variety of people to get their perspective on life and how food fits into it, some notable mentions being: Rachel Maddow on perfecting cocktails, Guy Fieri’s rise to fame and food philosophy (I know…Guy Fieri…but this episode is actually pretty interesting), and Lucy Dahl (Roald Dahl’s daughter) on how whimsical food was growing up.

Get Started: I recommend starting with a 4-part series, called “Your Mom’s Food,” which investigates the way food and culture is passed down from parents to children or clashes when two people from different backgrounds decide to be in a relationship. Part 1: http://www.sporkful.com/your-moms-food-pt-1-what-dumplings-mandu-cant-fix/

The Pod: Gastropod

Who it’s for: Anyone who has 45 minutes to hear about the science and history of food. And snails.

Description: This podcast tells some really interesting tales about some of the lesser-known science and history of our food. Sometimes they take a deep dive into a specific ingredient, like vinegar or marshmallow fluff, and other times they take a look at broader topics like fraudulent foods or the world’s first theme park devoted entirely to Italian food. Either way, I guarantee you will learn something. Like did you know that the reason chicken is so popular today is all thanks to Jewish people in New York City? (Found in the episode “The Birds and The Bugs”).

Get Started: One episode that stands out for me is “Lunch Gets Schooled,” which looks at this history of school lunch in the U.S. with some comparisons to other countries. Part of the conversation turns to why school lunch plays an important role in gender equality, something that I had never considered. https://gastropod.com/lunch-gets-schooled/


Nutrition is a Science, Not an Opinion


The Pod: Nutrition Matters with Paige Smathers, RDN, CD

Who it’s for: Probably everyone, but especially those looking “to explore what really matters in nutrition and health with a sensitive and realistic approach.”


Description: Okay I confess: I haven’t listened to much of this podcast. I was going to feature a different podcast by an RDN (I felt like it was important to represent our people), but I honestly didn’t love that one and I recently discovered this one. One thing that caught my attention was that, early in the first episode I listened to, she called out the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect diet, and focusing on achieving that either leads to the feeling of failure or puts you on the path to disordered eating. This podcast seems to really focus on the counseling side of nutrition, and I am really excited to listen to more episodes. Looking through the list of episodes, there are many topics on intuitive eating, healthy at every size, body image, and finding the appropriate balance with nutrition.

 Get Started: Really anywhere you want, we’re starting this one together!


The Pod: Mastering Nutrition with Chris Masterjohn

Who it’s for: Students. And people studying for certification exams. Or people who really want an in depth explanation of the biochemical and physiological aspects of nutrition science.

Description: This is certainly not my relaxing, light-rail listening podcast (though if it’s yours, more power to you). A large part of the reason why I have subscribed to this podcast is for the notifications when new episodes are available. This podcast really delves into the science of nutrition – as it should, the host has his PhD in Nutritional Science – so if the topic is interesting, or something I know little about, I try to listen when I can. Fortunately, most of the episodes are 8-15 minutes long, so if there is a particular area that you want help with you can take a quick break from your day and try to really understand it.

 Get Started: Browse the episode titles and see which ones catch your eye!

General Medicine


The Pod:  Only Human

Who it’s for: People interested in hearing really cool stories about the human body or health care (both the patient and provider perspectives).

Description: This podcast covers a very broad range of topics, all of which somehow relate back to our health because “every body has a story.” You’ll hear stories about a young woman who finds out that she’s pregnant while she’s planning treatment for newly diagnosed breast cancer, what it’s like to be a Christian physician who chooses to provide safe abortions in the south, how opera singing can help people on the autism spectrum, and how an OKCupid date between a young woman with type 1 diabetes and a programmer lead to the development of an artificial pancreas that started as a DIY project.

Get Started: You almost can’t go wrong with any of these episodes, but a few that stand out are “Doctor Stories: The Patient I’ll Never Forget,” “Who Are You Calling Inspiring?” and of course “The Robot Vacuum Ate My Pancreas.” 





The Pod: Charting Pediatrics

Who it’s for: In the context of this blog post, mostly RDs interested in clinical pediatrics. But I can definitely see how episodes would apply to WIC RDs or (for the nutrition-related episodes) everyone.

Description: This is a relatively new podcast out of Children’s Hospital Colorado, and each episode they interview a specialist about a topic with the general goal of informing primary care physicians what to look for, test for, when to make referrals, and how the condition is managed. While not every episode is nutrition-adjacent, there have been quite a few that are. So far, this has included: constipation management, ingested foreign bodies, breastfeeding management, vaccinations and motivational interviewing, food allergies, neonatal jaundice, and adolescent bariatric surgery. These episodes typically last 20-30 minutes, and while the overall conversation can be formulaic at times, I am always highly engaged in the episodes.

 Get Started: Despite not being nutrition related, two of the episodes that stand out for me are an Update in Teen Reproductive Health and International Adoption Medicine.

That “P” word…Politics


The Pod: NPR’s Up First

 Who it’s for: Everyone!

Description: I am a very firm believer that politics affects us all and thus it is our job to stay informed, especially in today’s political climate. I know not everyone enjoys keeping up with these stories, which is why Up First is great. Every weekday morning this podcast is released to provide a 10-15 minute take on the news of the day. Seriously, you can finish listening to the podcast in the time it takes to make your coffee in the morning (and since we’re in Colorado it’s always posted by the time I wake up for work).

 Get Started: Today! Or if you’re reading this on a weekend go ahead and subscribe and start on Monday. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510318/up-first

The Pod: NPR Politics Podcast

Who it’s for: Again, everyone, but especially those looking for a deeper dive into the political stories of the week.

Description: This podcast typically has episode released twice per week, with each episode generally lasting between 30-45 minutes. On Tuesdays the episodes catch you up to the news that happened over the weekend, and sometimes take deeper dives into specific hot topics in politics. Then on Thursdays the team does a weekly roundup of the week’s news, and always end with talking about what each member can’t let go from the week’s news, politics or otherwise. And during times when the week’s news just can’t be contained in two episodes, or when the breaking news is so big, they sometimes release additional episodes to discuss these topics. The team is always very well researched and entertaining, after a while it sounds like you’re listening to your group of friends.

 Get Started: With the most recent episode. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510310/npr-politics-podcast

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