- There’s a lot of buzz around superfoods but are they really all that super?
- Dr. Nina Shapiro, author of “Hype: A Doctor’s Guide to Medical Myths, Exaggerated Claims, and Bad Advice” weighs in on the superfoods debate.
- Shapiro reveals the superfoods of years past, the superfoods of today, and how to get the most out of your food.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Nina Shapiro: There is no such thing as a superfood. There are a lot of foods that are super good for you, and that’s fine, but this title of superfood is completely made up.
The notion of a superfood is that is so good for you, it will prevent cancer and even treat cancer or stave off evil illnesses, but food alone cannot do that. When we talk about superfoods, primarily we think of berries, foods with high antioxidants. And it’s really a misnomer. There is no such thing. There are foods that are good for you and foods that are not so good for you, but the idea of a superfood treating or preventing an illness is false.
Superfoods have evolved, and they may not have been called superfoods, but even back in the 1970s there were the quote-unquote health foods which were really the superfoods of their day, which included pasta.
New Catelli pasta. It’s made with a nutritious blend of unbleached flour. Catelli adds vitamins too.
Which is now considered this horrible gluten-filled, carb-filled evil with sugar in it. Bran muffins, which are really just like small cakes, were considered superfoods. Other things, such as frozen yogurt, was considered a superfood in the ’80s and ’90s because it was healthier than ice cream.
Delicious TCBY nonfat frozen yogurt. What a great tasting way to help you lose weight.
Although it does have pretty much as many calories, as much fat, and as much sugar. So superfoods of one day are gonna be different from superfoods down the line, but they’re not necessarily much healthier.
I think a lot of the superfoods of today are the things that are hard to pronounce. So the harder it is to pronounce, the better it is. so something like turmeric or quinoa, a lot of the berries, goji berries are a new one. We talked about blueberries and raspberries a few years ago being superfoods. Now we have acai as another superfood. Again, these are harder to pronounce. Those are sorta the newer superfoods.
I think as far as should we be eating a certain superfood, are we missing out? Not necessarily. I think, again, if you wanna eat healthy, eat berries, eat healthy grains, eat a balanced diet, and that will give you enough nutrition, antioxidants, vitamins as any superfood would give you.
People have the false notion that if they’re eating a lot of superfoods in high quantities that that will keep them healthy and they don’t need to do other things to take care of their health. So if you’re eating a lot of superfoods but you don’t get a flu vaccine, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to get the flu. If you’re eating a lot of superfoods and you don’t get basic cancer screening based on your age, that will not prevent cancer. So I think there’s some danger in eating superfoods in that you think that that’s going to be the be-all, end-all of your healthcare.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in June 2018.