In this article we are discussing what Super Foods are and are not.
To begin, Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a superfood as food that is rich in compounds, that are considered beneficial a person’s health.
Webster’s examples of the types of foods is salmon, broccoli, or blueberries and the beneficial compounds is the antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids.
Wikipedia points out that the term “Superfood” is a marketing term; not used by healthcare professionals such as dietitians and nutrition scientists. But by the advertising companies!
Interestingly, the advertising points that are used for the campaigns, is the definition that made it into the dictionary.
The editors of the dictionary are trying the capture the context of how the word is being used in society.
This is how the advertisers shape the minds of people over time and affect the way people view things. We must remain mindful of this when we are listening to the information being presented from the big corporations.
Power Super Foods
With advertisements that started in the early 20th century, around the time of the first world war. Companies started to try and sell bananas to the American public to increase the imports of bananas.
The United Fruit Company started a very aggressive marketing strategy to convince people that bananas were good for eating every day.
They even went so far as to print informational pamphlets and promote bananas as being a cheap, nutritious, easily digestible, available everywhere, and sealed in its own germ proof package!
Copy of the United Fruit Company
Shortly after the American Medical Association announced that bananas, added to a child’s diet, would provide relief for celiac disease (this was before gluten was discovered the be the true cause).
The banana became accepted by mothers (in the 1950s) as very good food for children whether they had celiac disease or not.
There still are many programs, diets, and people that promote the bananas, as a superfood and some swear that everyone should eat one every day!
The dietitians place the banana, in the category of a fruit that contains fructose (sugar) and it does contain fiber which slows it down in the digestive system and provides energy over a longer time span.
This can be used in a person’s diet plan; the key is to consider what you are trying to do, ask the question what is the purpose of the banana in my diet plan?
The point here is that we must be careful with the information, that comes to us from the company advertisements. They are trying the sell their products and sometimes get a little carried away with the claims.
Just like the Banana, there are many other foods that are being advertised as superfoods and if we are not careful, we can become misinformed.
What is Perfect Food?
There is this idea floating on the internet, that there are such things as “Perfect Foods” meaning, that you could survive for long periods of time by only consuming just that one food.
Recently this information came in the form of present the potato as being one of these “Perfect Foods”; because people have lived on them for long periods of time.
Historically speaking, the potato has helped many people because of how easy it is to grow and there is good nutritional valve in them.
But potatoes do not have the protein, calcium, or essential fatty acids that are needed, nor other vitamins that people need to maintain all their body functions.
Potatoes need additional proteins, and veggies to make them part of the food that people could live on for long periods of time.
The perfect food will need to have all the ingredients that are in the healthy plate of food. The break down is like this:
- 35% from vegetables
- 25% from whole grains
- 25% from healthy proteins
- 15% from fruits
There is plenty of incentive for the food industry to pursue this avenue of marketing and advertising; preparing the minds of people to accept new products with these types of claims.
There is money to be earned to the firms that get this done… how is that going to affect the products they sell the public?
Just like all the foods listed on this image, what is the science or information based on that makes them good for you?
Following the fads can very easily destroy your health! Part of all this misinformation can lead the people to throw up their hands in the air and just going with the flow of things.
That is not good either and when you have a clear mind about your dietary needs it is much easier to make the right choice.
The increase in this type of advertisement; is for good reason, the companies know that if people believe something to be healthier, they will pay more for the product!
That is why it is a good idea to set some baseline conditions for yourself and to know how your diet is going, before trying something new.
Otherwise, how are you going the know if it is working or not? Feelings can be misleading… we are affected by the opinions of others.
Think about it, when someone really likes something… they will naturally promote it to the people around them.
Just remember the take the time to see if what they are saying is going to work for you.
When to Take Supplements
With all the various information on the different foods; which ones are considered good, and which are considered bad. How do we know we are getting the right amount of nutrition?
It is important to approach this topic systematically, otherwise it can be very confusing.
Many people have been taking supplements for years; mostly with the intention to prevent health issues, that may be caused by not getting enough nutrition in their diets.
Getting a vitamin that has all the essential ingredients a person needs, and that can be easily absorbed by the body, is the key it being effective.
Super foods may have some special benefits, but it is going the be difficult to confirm these benefits, without taking a blood test on a regular basis.
Another check you can do; is ask yourself, if you are having enough energy to get through your day? That is something that comes up so many times in conversations. It is also something that fuels a 4-billion-dollar energy drink business!
If you find yourself in need of more energy, then it is possible that you are lacking something in your diet. Supplements may be an answer for you.
Purpose Diet Why to Most People Diet?
With the topic of Super Foods, how can we combine this with the purpose of our diet? Most people think of going on a diet to lose weight.
Most of the experts agree that it is much better to approach diet change, from the lifestyle perspective, versus going on a short-term diet plan just to lose weight.
As we get older, it becomes easier to accept the fact that we must change our views on food and how it affects our eating habits.
In my case, it took being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes before I made a big enough change to affect my condition.
This is a major reason for looking into all the health-related issues and searching for the answers to the issues we are facing.
Once you make the change in your diet; after a few months, it becomes the new normal.
Then you must wait for the results of the next set of tests, to see how you are doing. It is exciting when you are doing the right things because the test will show you what you are doing is working.
Maintaining a good attitude makes life get better as you go through the process!
Here lately there has been so much focus on the emotion of everything. People are always saying to follow your feelings!
This is a bad idea for many reasons, but mainly because the advertising that we are exposed to, is trying to manipulate your feelings and emotions!
Every training platform on marketing; promotes the same things, because that is how they get people the buy their products.
There is a better way the approach this; that is to keep your mind clear and be focused on the results, not the feeling!
Keeping the emotions out of it as much as possible, we are still going the be human and the emotional aspect is always going to be there.
With the knowledge of how the big companies are trying the control the mindset of people, to increase their profits by selling more products.
People can become equipped to resist the advertisements and ignore false claims. All it takes is some practice.
Thanks for reading this article and I sure would like the hear your thoughts and suggestion about this subject in the comment section at the end of the post.