While We’re on the Subject…Super Duper Wonder Foods vs. the Total Diet
Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2008
We’re not really fond of articles like this: The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating.
Because they always somehow manage to leave you with the impression that if you just eat these “superfoods,” you can directly cause a desired health outcome. Just as our parents and guardians tried to persuade us to eat our veggies when we were young – “Eat your spinach so you can be strong like Popeye! Eat your carrots so you’ll be able to see in the dark!” – now we’re told to eat beets and cabbage because they “prevent cancer” or drink pomegranate juice because it lowers blood pressure.
It’s the “because” that rankles.
Michael Pollan, amongst others, has said it over and again, but it bears repeating: we eat food, not nutrients.
Of course there’s a benefit in eating a nutrient-rich and varied diet. It’s just that the benefit comes from the diet as a whole, which is greater than the sum of its parts.
There is one thing we do like about articles like this one, though: they can remind you of foods you may have overlooked out of custom or unfamiliarity, and maybe even inspire you to incorporate some of them into your diet.
And if you do incorporate some new or forgotten “superfoods,” let it be, above all, because you like them.