HEALTHY YOU: Trends don’t make food healthier

Any food can be super.

Eileen Benewah, a community nutritionist with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, said food producers like to market trendy, expensive foods, such as gogi and acai berries, under the term superfoods, but simple apples and strawberries can be just as nutritious.

“These foods have high prices and have huge marketing campaigns behind them,” she said in a press release.

Another item being hailed as a superfood lately is probiotics. Benewah said the right types of probiotics have beneficial health effects.

However, researchers are still trying to determine which probiotics are best for certain conditions and how much is needed to achieve “the best health benefits.”

A common myth is that eating super foods will keep you super healthy, said Benewah.

“The truth is that there are no foods that have super powers,” she said.

“The only way to get the nutrients you need to be healthy is to eat a variety of healthy foods because every type of food offers something different.”

The old adage ‘buyers beware’ applies to superfood advertising as well.

Benewah recommends people eat a variety of foods from the four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide and look for food in the least processed state.

Also, eggs, milks, legumes and fruit and vegetables fresh from the garden or local farms have the potential to be superfoods when eaten in a balanced diet, said the nutritionist.

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