• Fact, Fiction, or Opinion: Superfoods are Super

    FICTION

    • "Superfood" is an unregulated term used to market foods and supplements.
    • Any food or supplement can be called a "superfood."
    • Most claims made by superfood marketers are inadequately substantiated.
    • Foods can be good for you, but no food has abnormal "powers" that make it better for you than another good food.
    superfoods "Superfoods" are just a clever way to market foods thought to be nutrient-rich. For the most part, if a food is good for you, marketers like to call it a superfood - berries, greens, fish, nuts, seeds. This isn't so bad, right? THE DANGERS OF SUPERFOODS
    1. Nobody approves the use of the word - making it easy for anyone to use the term.
    2. Many claims made by these superfoods are false.
    3. The abundant use of the word has made it a believable term in our society. With celebrities getting paid to endorse several products using this name, many have been taken advantage of.
    ORIGIN The first person who talked about superfoods as we understand them today was Aaron Moss in the journal, Nature Nutrition (August, 1998). Moss said: "Humans have many options when it comes to fueling our bodies, but the benefits of some options are so nutritious that they might be labeled as superfoods." Fittingly, Moss' credentials are unclear and the journal Nature Nutrition is defunct. WHAT'S BEING DONE As of 2007 the marketing of products as "superfoods" is prohibited in the European Union unless accompanied by a specific medical claim supported by credible scientific research. Although the FDA does not regulate the term, they do regulate the claims made by superfood producers.
    "The FDA will not tolerate unsubstantiated health claims that may mislead consumers," said Margaret O’K. Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "The FDA will pursue necessary legal action to make sure companies and their executives manufacture and distribute safe, truthfully labeled products to consumers."
    Mostly recently, the FDA has been filing injunctions and fining companies for making or distributing any products (fruit products, juice concentrates, supplements or powders, glucosamine and fish oil capsules) claiming “to cure, treat, mitigate or prevent diseases.”
    Other words that are not regulated by the FDA but appearing in grocery stores: Grade A, Natural, Sushi-Grade, Premium
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