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Research report
24 July 2018

Superfood myths

While there’s no shortage of pricey “superfoods” touting their nutritional benefits, you can often find alternatives for a fraction of the price.

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Diana
19 Aug 2018
Di

Surprised you are supporting Canola oil unless you are talking about cold pressed rapeseed. Canola is cheap but very unhealthy when heated.

Christoph H.
19 Aug 2018
Cocoa powder

Just wonder why you don't comment on using cocoa powder (without any suger), rather than discussing this on the basis of chocholate bars with a lot of sugar!? This is an easy and cheap option to get the goodies, e.g. when prepared as smoothies.

Likewise one can simply mix Tumeric (e.g. to food), rather than buying capsules. Why not discuss that option? It's easy to consume one g of it that way for example.

Neil B.
01 Dec 2018
I agree!

I use raw cacao nibs and I love the crunchy texture with the unsweetened flavour. Some people use the nibs in smoothies.

I do take curcumin tablets as a turmeric supplement and they are less messy than dealing with the powder plus mine contain BioPerine. I do also add turmeric to various foods as well as drink turmeric infusions.

Sheridan
18 Aug 2018
Terrible article

Recommending Canola oil, given how it is made kills all credibility

Gregg S.
18 Aug 2018
Butter Better

In spite of dogma to the contrary that we've believed for the last 40 years (that saturated fat and salt is bad for you), there is zero evidence for these claims. The PURE Study consists of over 150,000 participants from 17 countries of low, middle and high income. It found no evidence that saturated fat was implicated in heart disease and even that saturated fat was somewhat protective against heart disease. " When saturated fat intake was compared to heart disease (instead of the surrogate endpoint of LDL), the PURE study found an inverse relationship. The more saturated fat eaten, the lower the rate of heart disease."

The study also shows we are eating too little sodium - an essential nutrient in our metabolism. More people are dying from too little salt than too much.

Conclusions from Salim Yusuf (Cardiologist and former President of World Heart Federation)
* Saturated fats are not harmful in the usual ranges consumed by most people. MUFA is
protective (consistent with the PREDIMED trial). PUFA appear neutral. CHO (carbohydrate) over
50% of calories is harmful.
* Na intake in the moderate range (3-5gm/day)is optimal.
* Fruits and legumes are neutral and vegetables are likely neutral.

If you are really in search of a 'super food' just eat fatty meat. It is what we evolved our large brains and small intestines on. Its replacement by plant based food over the last 20,000 years of agrarian living is what is contributing to our shrinking brains and declining health over that same period.

Peter
20 Aug 2018
RE: Gregg S

Gregg, have a look at Michael Greger's How Not to Die. "Just eating fatty meat" is terrible for you. I wouldn't be worried about shrinking brains if I were you...

Previous member
23 Aug 2018
Fatty meat

Peter,I'm afraid you have mis-quoted Gregg out of context. He didn't say "Just eating fatty meat" as in "eat just (ie only) fatty meat". The true context was 'consider fatty meat' as a 'super food'. As a type 2 diabetic, by following a ketogenic diet (viz low carbs (ie starch + amylase in saliva = glucose), less than 20-40gms per day, moderate protein, and high saturated fats 80%, and where ever possible, yes, whole-plant based non-starchy foods and also avoiding those high in sugars), I have shed 13kgs down to 78kg, and reduced my HbA1c (blood sugar readings) down to around 50mmol/L (still a way to go before I;m happy), so I from personal experience, agree with Gregg's endorsement of saturated fats. And its worth noting that Dr Greger in his introduction to his book, is not promoting a vegetarian diet or a vegan diet. “I advocate for an evidence-based diet, and the best available balance of science suggests that the more whole plant foods we eat, the better” – he says.

The so called dangers of saturated fats are now being debunked by more modern studies.

As for cooking with poly-unsaturated oils as promoted in the Consumer article, these are hugely unstable and will oxidise (ie go rancid) very easily. For those wanting a better understanding of 'saturated fats' Nina Teicholz https://youtu.be/Q2UnOryQiIY is well worth watching.

Sue T.
19 Sep 2020
Read Widely

When making food choices it pays to read widely and look for scientific evidence of opinions as well as who is paying for the research. Even well respected sources may have a limited view.