Then there are the trendy health foods, labelled as “super foods”, a term given to foods which have been found to have rich health benefits as a result of some sort of scientific analysis.
Foods cannot be marketed in this way without some truth behind the label however there are other things to consider before filling up your fridge with these ingredients.
It is no illusion that certain foods are more nutritious than others, some contain more benefits than others and when you’re in need of a boost in say, Vitamin C for example, there are the obvious foods we reach out to for that fix.
The two Q’s
The quality and quantity of these ingredients are essential. How much of these ingredients do you have to eat to actually reap the benefits? Also how fresh, untainted and organic do they have to be in order to contain enough “super” in them to be beneficial?
Take blueberries for example, packed full of antioxidants, vitamin C, phytoflavinoids and high in potassium, they’ve been labelled the ultimate super food and the number one berry according to doctors and nutritionists. Some even claiming they can lower your risk of heart disease and even cancer – big statement.
But how many blueberries do you have to eat in order to actually benefit from them entirely? Also are they most nutritious straight from the plant itself?
Fat Burning Foods
With super foods becoming a bit of a fad despite there being truth behind the title, are “fat burning” foods to be tarnished with the same brush?
In my opinion, yes, I think much of this talk is a marketing ploy to encourage sales and create headlines. It is impossible for a single food to burn fat, there may be some foods that help to kick start your metabolism but eating lots of a certain food certainly won’t burn fat.
How do you burn fat?
We’re all individual so many factors have to be considered when looking to burn fat or lose weight, however, for the majority, burning fat or losing weight happens when the body uses more calories (energy) than it consumes over a period of time.
Oily fish like mackerel or salmon have been classed as great “fat burning foods”, but they still contain calories, so eating them in a large enough quantity that it exceeds your calorie intake will over time make you gain weight/fat. This applies to all food.
It doesn’t matter how healthy or super a food is, calories are calories. As much as we should focus on consuming nutritious foods like blueberries and fish majority of the time, we still need to consider varying our diet and being mindful of our portion sizes.
Before you jump on the next super food or fat burning food band wagon, remember it’s a marketing tactic to boost sales and create a buzz in the media.
There are so many healthy foods out there from avocados, nuts, fish, fruits, vegetables, and oils the best thing to do is to try it all, vary your meals, and enjoy the abundance of ingredients that are on offer.
If anything, focus on choosing the freshest best quality ingredients and cooking from scratch. The less processed the produce the more nutritious it’s likely to be. When it comes to burning fat look to portion size and exercise for a far more realistic and sustainable result.