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A Case Against Superfoods

January 2, 2013 by Joanna Drake, Registered Dietitian

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The holidays are behind us and the hope of new beginnings surrounds us. Could there be a better way to eat more healthfully than to focus on a small number of “superfoods” that are both expensive and difficult to find? I think so.

Lists of superfoods are everywhere: magazines, newspapers and on line (by the thousands). The purpose of these lists is to highlight foods that have high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and other factors our bodies need for optimal health. Interestingly, almost none of the lists are the same.

Last year, a local newspaper included kangaroo in their list of “accessible superfoods.” I don’t know about you, but I cannot buy kangaroo where I shop for groceries. 

While I never discourage being adventurous with food, there’s nothing in these foods that isn’t provided in a variety of familiar fruits and vegetables (like apples and squash), whole grains, dairy products, beans and lentils, fish, nuts and seeds, lean meats, etc.

Food doesn’t need to be expensive, exotic or hard to pronounce to be ‘super.’ In my mind, there’s plenty of food that has the healthful properties we’re looking for, is grown or raised close by, that people know how to prepare, and that meets the family budget. Furthermore, no single food can do it all. It’s the variety and balance of healthy foods that counts.


Related Posts:
The Art of Healthy Eating
Thank You, Sandwich. You Are Delicious.
Don’t Worry, Eat Happy…

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