Health Magazine

The Whole Superfood Thing is Way Overblown!

By Drlutz @lutzkraushaar

This whole „superfood“ thing is way overblown.
The Whole Superfood Thing is Way Overblown!
It is not just overblown, it is an outright confession of failure.A confession of failure on the part of preventive medicine. Or of public health. Or of all of us. When we celebrate avocados, apples or anchovies as superfoods what does that make us – us, mankind, the most intelligent animal on this planet? It makes us stupid. Seriously!Why? Because we have come to a point where something that grows on trees, germinates in soil, or swims in the sea is proclaimed a superfood.
“Super” compared to what? Quite obviously to what we are eating most of the time. Next to pizza and potato chips almost anything edible that you pluck from a tree, dig out of the soil or catch in the sea is a superfood.
Medicine and public health don’t talk about superfoods. Don’t even acknowledge it as a valid term. If they did, it would be the Trumpism of public health: Dressing up a failure as a victory. AND THEN BELIEVING IT, TOO.No matter how much lipstick you put on a pig. It still is a pig.
How did we get here? If you ask the left leaning folk, it’s of course the food industry. The evil purveyors of cereals, snacks and sodas. Villains going by the names of McDonalds, Nestle, Pepsi.
No doubt these companies’ marketing messages contain a high dose of “alternative facts”. But it’s not that we buy their dreck because they lie to us.
We create the demand, and they service that demand. So what solution do the left leaning folk offer?
Forgive them. It’s their thing. Their only thing.
They claim the numbers are on their side. And, to some extent, they are.
Increase tobacco tax, and fewer people smoke cigarettes. Increase sugar tax, and people start to go easy on their sweet tooth.
Across a population it translates into some measurable health gains: fewer cases of heart attacks, diabetes, cancer.
Now, I don’t know about you, but with me, this tax thing doesn’t sit well. For two reasons. First, taxes punish all those of us who manage to have a healthy relation with enjoyable junk. We indulge occasionally, but we don’t drown ourselves in chips, cheeseburgers and chocolate pies on a daily basis.
If YOU can handle these things AND stay healthy and fit, why should YOU be punished for other people’s sins?
Second, such an “amusement” tax is pure hypocrisy. Just think about the withdrawal symptoms a government would suffer if, all of a sudden, nobody consumed those taxed sugars and junk foods anymore. Well, we all know, this is not going to happen.
That leaves the government, and the lefties, in the role of cops who tell the junkies on their beat to NOT DO DRUGS - and then happily collect a percentage from the dealers’ trades. Taxation is all stick, no carrot.
Do the right-leaning folk have a better solution? Ask them and they will talk about freedom of choice. Everybody should have the freedom to choose what they put into their mouth.
If you choose the things that make you fat, sick, and ultimately a nursing case, then you are obviously not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. The numbers are on their side, too.
The diseases of over-indulgent lifestyles follow an educational gradient. In plain English: the lower the education, the lower the rank on the social ladder, and the fatter and sicker the people are and the shorter their lives because of that. So much about the no-stick, no-carrot approach.
Where left- and right-leaning folk agree is education. Educate the people. Tell them about their risks, about the consequences of living on the sofa with junk food in one hand and the remote control in the other.
Not a bad idea. If it wasn’t for the naïve expectation that education is enough. That people who are made to know about their risk will suddenly and willingly jump into line. If that was the case, we wouldn’t have the epidemics of obesity, of avoidable heart disease and cancer.But we do. And the last 30 years of education haven’t changed that.
Neither has public health. They do what Einstein had once described as the definition of insanity (or was it stupidity?): Doing the same thing again and again and hoping for a different outcome.
It’s doomed to fail. That’s where I started this article: the confession of failure. So, what all these articles about superfood really are telling you – in this modern way of blowing everything out of proportion because otherwise we wouldn’t listen – is that the least processed food may actually be far better for you than anything the food industry has to offer.
That’s where the discussion about superfoods becomes meaningful. By alerting you to the fact that what nature provides can hardly be improved upon. It’s “super” in itself. So, just be aware of what makes natural food exponentially less super, and you should be alright. No need for gurus’ advice on superfoods.

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