Superfoods article is a super joke

And the effort to categorise all foods into arbitrary “good” and “evil” groups continues, with this stunning example of a completely useless article, which contains overall less nutritional value than the “superfoods” it recommends (or poo-poos).

The term “superfoods” has come into common usage quickly, and almost silently, and while some foods could certainly be described as pretty good (containing a high nutrient content while also containing little poor nutritional content) the amount of foods now carrying the “super” moniker has gone beyond a joke.

Superfoods is a term that continues to inspire debate among nutrition professionals (e.g. dieticians) as it has become little more than a marketing tool, used to promote foods as having health benefits which are in some case questionable, and in others, entirely fictitious.

Lets take the article linked above as an example of current “superfood” buzz. I particularly enjoyed reading this one, because it ticked not one, but two boxes on the “rubbish” checklist – not only did it contain a list of superfoods, but it actually contained a list of “bad” foods, reasons why they are actually “good”, and the vice-versa for “good” foods.

The article takes a number of “bad” foods, such as cheese, jam, chocolate, coffee, and lists health benefits which make it ok to eat them. Jam will cure cancer, bacon will prevent the artery clogging normally associated with fats, and ice cream and chocolate will cure your depression and solve all your problems from the first nibble.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a superfoods spectacular if they didn’t also include some “good” foods. What I particularly enjoyed here, though, is that they include these “good” foods simply so that they can rubbish them! Yes, that’s right – Tofu will make you sterile, orange juice will give you diabetes, and heaven forbid you should eat wholemeal bread…

I do hope that this is another article that no one will take any notice of, but I feel sure that that’s not likely to happen. Instead, it will be trotted out during discussions as a reason to avoid “good” foods, and indulge in “bad” foods instead.

This article, like others in the same vein, quietly promises that by eating foods you really like, you can be healthy (and that by avoiding foods you maybe don’t like, you’re really doing yourself a favour). I think this is because if anyone actually wrote a useful article about nutrition, it would never be published, because it’s not news.

The simple fact of the matter is that we have known for years how to have a healthy relationship with food, and the key isn’t loading your diet with “superfoods”, eating millions of berries or tomatoes, or kilos of chocolate to prevent cancers and render you superhuman. The key is, as it has always been, balance and moderation.

So, here’s my proposal for a new article, that I’m sure will blow people away with its new and exciting information. The key to living long and prospering is right here – Eat a balanced diet that doesn’t include too much sugar or fat. Eat a diet that includes a variety of foods. Eat when you’re hungry, and learn to stop when you are full. And hey, every now and again, indulge in a bit of vigorous activity.

Now then, where’s my phone – I’m sure it’s about to start ringing off the hook…

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