Marika Wamback, BSc. R.D.
Registered Dietitian |
Superfoods—Health or Hype?
What is a Superfood?
What are ‘superfoods?’ What does ‘superfood’ mean? The term ‘superfood’ is a marketing claim given to a nutritious food, usually a plant food, like gogi berries, to promote its sales. It is not a claim given by health experts. Many plant foods are nutritious; they contain antioxidants, healthy fats, and fibre. A ‘superfood’ is no better than any other nutrient dense food.
Do I Need to Eat Them?
Your overall health and well-being will not be compromised if you don’t like or eat foods labeled ‘superfoods’. What’s important to ask is: does my diet include a balance of all of the food groups (like Canada’s Food Guide or Guidelines for Healthy Eating for Americans) on a daily basis? Do you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily? Do you include lean sources of protein daily? Do you consume at least 2 servings of fat free or low fat dairy daily? Do you use a minimal amount of heart healthy fats per day? Are half of your carbohydrate servings from whole grain sources?
Nutrition and CKD Management
Consequently, it is more important to focus on eating a variety of foods that will provide you with multiple nutrients in your diet. If the basis of your diet is not nutrient dense, eating one or two ‘superfoods’ are not going to significantly improve your diet, health, and CKD management.
Therefore, avoid the hype and achieve optimal health by including nutritious foods from each food group on a daily basis. If you have questions about your specific health needs, consult your registered dietitian.
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