Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not…

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Hello Lovelies:

We love to love superfoods! These healthy food options are seriously everywhere. Google the word superfoods and you will find tons of lists boasting nutritionally dense foodie superstars and ways to add them to your diet. But are superfoods really that super?

What if some of them aren’t as awesome as they seem? What if a few of the most popular superfoods out there come with some downsides that aren’t as well known? Sometimes if it sounds too good to be true… well, you know how that saying goes.

So, at the risk of bursting your bubble (sorry)…

Let’s answer the question “are superfoods really that super?” and shed some light on 3 popular superfoods with troubling potential side effects:

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not... | You may want to load up on superfoods when creating a healthy diet plan. But it's so important to understand that some superfoods benefits might not be as awesome as they seem. And may have some serious side effects (especially for my fellow Graves Disease Warriors). Let's talk about why some superfoods aren't so super... Including spirulina, soy and Greek yogurt.

Are Superfoods Really That Super?

Fruits and vegetables are all super in their own right. Nature makes some pretty wonderful goodness, don’t you think? But what makes one stand out from the crowd? How does a food rise through the ranks to be classified as a superfood?

The answer, my friend, is nothing.

Because there is no universal criteria that defines a food’s superness. The word “superfood” itself is often used more as a marketing term than an actual truthful indication of a foods awesomeness.

But don’t take my word for it…

When asked to weigh in on the “are superfoods really that super” debate, Despina Hyde, a registered dietician with the weight management program at New York University’s Langone Medical Center has this to say:

“Superfoods don’t have their own food group. As a dietician, I think ‘superfood’ is more of a marketing term for foods that have health benefits” (source)

And hey, I’m all for health benefits! But that’s something most foods bring to the table. Which means that a foods superhero status is really in the eye of the beholder (or marketer).

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not... | You may want to load up on superfoods when creating a healthy diet plan. But it's so important to understand that some superfoods benefits might not be as awesome as they seem. And may have some serious side effects (especially for my fellow Graves Disease Warriors). Let's talk about why some superfoods aren't so super... Including spirulina, soy and Greek yogurt.

While that may seem a little harmless, when you really consider it, there are a few problems to consider.

According to Ms. Hyde, the issue with this label is that it makes us feel like we can eat an unlimited amount of the food in question without consequence.

“When we label these foods as ‘super’ and ‘healthy,’ people think they can eat them in unlimited quantities. But you do have to be cautious of the amount you eat […]” (source)

And Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital in London, would definitely answer the question “are superfoods really that super?” with a huge NO.

She has some pretty negative feels on superfoods to share:

“The term “superfoods” is at best meaningless and at worst harmful” (source)

And even still, Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (and so many other good books) isn’t a fan of this term either…

“If you’re concerned about your health, then you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because the whole ideology of superfoods is misleading, for consumers and scientists alike.” (source)

Which again brings us back to our question… are superfoods really that super?

And the answer really depends on the situation. So called “superfoods” like kale, blueberries and squash obviously have a lot of goodness to offer. I mean, I’ll shut the kale up before I say anything mean about that beautiful curly leaf.

But when an unregulated marketing term starts to become a trusted way to identify something’s nutritional value we can run into some big issues.

I think it’s so important to remember to be skeptical, ask questions and do your research. And if something seems too good to be true… well, it probably is.

Which is why I wanted to shine the light on 3 popular superfoods that really aren’t as super as they seem. 

But before we take a peek. There’s a ton to digest so I made you a little ‘Are Superfoods Really That Super?’ printable fact sheet. It puts everything in point form so that you can easily refer to it and make informed healthy diet decisions. You can get it right here:

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not Spirulina:

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not... | You may want to load up on superfoods when creating a healthy diet plan. But it's so important to understand that some superfoods benefits might not be as awesome as they seem. And may have some serious side effects (especially for my fellow Graves Disease Warriors). Let's talk about why some superfoods aren't so super... Including spirulina, soy and Greek yogurt.

Spirulina is a beautiful Blue Green Algae that’s pretty freaking popular in the health food market. And who can blame anyone for wanting to crown it as a superfoods? It’s gorgeous colours alone are a total win. I’ll admit to staring longingly at several spirulina laden creations, adoring the amazing, natural blue or green hues.

But it isn’t just about the colour. Spirulina also boasts high levels of protein, iron, magnesium and potassium (with minimal calories). And there’s a fair amount of calcium, vitamins A, C, B6 and fiber in there too.

Which might have you asking why I would want to shed some light on it while we ask the important question: are superfoods really that super?

Spirulina can be ridiculously high in iodine.

While levels may vary, spirulina can potentially have more than 4,500 micrograms of iodine per serving (with some reports stating a possibility of over 15,000 micrograms [source]). Considering the fact that the daily recommended intake of iodine is 150 micrograms, it’s safe that say that that is one serious bucket load of iodine.

Why is extra iodine a problem?

Iodine’s kind of a big deal. It plays a role in thyroid function. Thyroid hormones can’t really happen without it. And since those bad boys have a say in the speed of every cell in your body, it’s safe to say that iodine is an important part of your diet.

But it’s all about balance. You really don’t need much. 150 micrograms a day is the perfect amount for the average adult. And the tolerable upper intake is 1,100 micrograms a day (source).

What happens if you push it?

We all know that too much of a good thing isn’t always a good idea. And when it comes to iodine, that saying can hold pretty true.

Overdoing it in the iodine department on the regular increases your risk of thyroid dysfunction, especially in those that are vulnerable (children, the elderly, those with thyroid diseases, etc.). It may also up your risk of thyroid cancer and autoimmune thyroiditis (source). Can I get a hell no?

Trust me, you really don’t want to develop an autoimmune thyroid disease. It’s not fun…

If you already have an autoimmune thyroid disease (Graves Disease or Hashimotos) or hyperthyroidism, excess iodine is not a good idea.

Autoimmune thyroid disease warriors (myself included) actually don’t respond well to iodine levels the average adult can handle (source). Get too friendly with iodine and we’re talking potential relapse (if you’re in remission), a reduction in the effectiveness of your medication and/or worsening symptoms. That’s one big pile of suckage. (source 1, source 2) 

This is something I have an unfortunate personal experience with…

After my first Graves Disease remission a friend introduced me to roasted seaweed snacks. And man were they ever delicious. I was hopelessly in love with that incredible flavour. And drooling over the memory as we speak.

I thought I was doing something awesome for myself, because I kept hearing over and over again how “superfoods” like seaweed and spirulina were good for your thyroid. I thought I was being kind to my body.

Eventually a relapse hit me like a Mack Truck.

While I, of course, know that eating too much iodine wasn’t the only factor in this relapse, it definitely played a roll.

My endocrinologist thankfully asked if anything has changed in my diet and I shared my love of all things seaweed. She was horrified and advised me to stay as far away from those crunchy delights as possible. It was a sad day for my taste buds, but a happy day for my health. Which is totally a fair trade.

I was back in remission three months later! Booyah! But I also started to wonder: if I was so easily swayed by popular health claims and a “super” status I definitely couldn’t be alone… are superfoods really that super?

You really can have too much of a good thing.

It turns out that my experience with iodine overload isn’t overly strange! It’s actually one of the unregulated superfood issues I brought up earlier. Thinking we can go H.A.M. on something just because it’s seen as super can be problematic.

Our friend Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital in London agrees:

“Just because certain foods are bursting with a particular vitamin or nutrient does not mean they will be especially good for you. It might seem that eating foods rich in nutrients is just common sense, but the truth is that our bodies have a requirement for sufficient nutrients. If our bodies have an excess of nutrients and cannot store them, they will essentially go to waste. Or, more worryingly, if certain nutrients can’t be excreted in sufficient levels, they could cause serious cellular damage. Overloading our bodies is not a healthy or natural thing to do.” (source)

So where do we go from here?

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not... | You may want to load up on superfoods when creating a healthy diet plan. But it's so important to understand that some superfoods benefits might not be as awesome as they seem. And may have some serious side effects (especially for my fellow Graves Disease Warriors). Let's talk about why some superfoods aren't so super... Including spirulina, soy and Greek yogurt.

It can be hard to know how much iodine you’re actually downing when you eat foods like spirulina. Unless the food has been fortified with iodine, it doesn’t legally need to be listed on a food label. So finding a spirulina source that’s lower on the iodine scale is near impossible.

Unfortunately, if you’re like me and have an autoimmune thyroid disease or hyperthyroidism, spirulina (or anything high in iodine) is not your friend. Pretty blue smoothies are not worth the risk of a relapse or worsening symptoms. Sorry <3.

But if you’re in completely good health, small amounts on occasion are unlikely to harm. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you have any health concerns or need guidance. And know that spirulina’s superfood status doesn’t mean that we should eat it with fervor.

It’s always really important to practice balance. Less is more! Trust me friends, your thyroid health is worth it.

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not Soy:

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not... | You may want to load up on superfoods when creating a healthy diet plan. But it's so important to understand that some superfoods benefits might not be as awesome as they seem. And may have some serious side effects (especially for my fellow Graves Disease Warriors). Let's talk about why some superfoods aren't so super... Including spirulina, soy and Greek yogurt.

Soy is one popular superfood! And it has a really special place in the hearts of vegans (it’s a great plant source of protein after all). Plus, in the nutrient department, it truly delivers.

We’ve got folate, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, iron and fiber. And fair amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, and omega-3 fatty acids too. Some studies have even shown moderate cardiovascular protection and cancer prevention properties.

Which again might be making you wonder why it’s even a part of this post asking “are superfoods really that super?”

When it comes to Soy there’s one big problem. Tons and tons of mixed evidence. And here’s why:

Not all soy is created equal.

When studies take a peek at the goodness of soy in the east, they tend to come up with fantastic results. But when they look at soy consumption in the west they don’t always see the magic… in fact, they often start to see problems (including the potential increase of certain cancers, like breast cancer).

The mixed results have made soy a bit controversial. When asking “are superfoods really that super?” it’s so hard to decide where soy stands. (source)

So why the mixed results?

One big factor is a matter of processing. In Asia they tend to enjoy soy in it’s whole, nutrient dense form. And they often take it a step further and ferment it (which only makes the nutritional goodness more awesome). Fermentation makes soy even more digestible and increases nutrient absorption.

But here in the West we tend to enjoy soy very differently.

Soy products sold in North America are rarely fermented. And it’s often genetically modified and highly processed. Kind of a big bummer if you ask me.

I mean, if we want an answer to “are superfoods really that super?” I think it’s easy to say no when the food in question is overly processed. What do you think?

Soy beans are cracked, dehulled and crushed. If that didn’t already seem like enough, certain nutrients are then extracted and isolated. What’s left behind isn’t comparable to the whole food we started out with (source).

There’s also the potential issue of soy’s effect on thyroid function.

Of course I had to bring up the lovely thyroid again. Let’s just say that Graves Disease has me loving my thyroid big time. And I want you to do the same. That gorgeous little gland is a big deal!

The isoflavones in soy affect thyroid function in two different ways. Firstly, they interfere with TPO (thyroid peroxidase), an enzyme that helps iodine in it’s quest to assist with thyroid hormone production. And secondly, soy isoflavones also pull a double whammy and affect iodine uptake (source).

This combined with an iodine deficiency, digestive issues, liver problems or autoimmune thyroid diseases like Graves Disease or Hashimotos can spell trouble. If you do have any of these issues, it’s best to be cautious around soy.

If avoiding soy completely isn’t appealing (I get it), work with your doctor or health care provider to see if it’s a healthy option for you. And try and stick to occasional, small amounts of whole, fermented soy.

A REALLY important note on soy baby formula.

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not... | You may want to load up on superfoods when creating a healthy diet plan. But it's so important to understand that some superfoods benefits might not be as awesome as they seem. And may have some serious side effects (especially for my fellow Graves Disease Warriors). Let's talk about why some superfoods aren't so super... Including spirulina, soy and Greek yogurt.

Unfortunately, babies fed exclusively soy baby formula are far more likely to develop an autoimmune thyroid diseases later in life. There are healthier (less risky) options out there; please, please, please avoid soy based baby formulas. (source)

Where do we go from here?

If you aren’t a baby and don’t have an allergy or any of the health issues listed above, soy can potentially play a healthy role in your diet. Balance, as always, is key!

And if you really want to experience all of the goodness that has soy hailed as a superfood, stick to whole, unprocessed soy beans, preferably in a fermented form. Tempeh, miso and fermented tofu are all healthy, nutritionally dense options that will love you back.

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not Greek Yogurt:

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not... | You may want to load up on superfoods when creating a healthy diet plan. But it's so important to understand that some superfoods benefits might not be as awesome as they seem. And may have some serious side effects (especially for my fellow Graves Disease Warriors). Let's talk about why some superfoods aren't so super... Including spirulina, soy and Greek yogurt.

This thick creamy yogurt is so popular all the other “superfoods” out there are probably jealous. With less lactose and twice the protein of other yogurts, it’s not hard to talk up Greek yogurt. And hey, we’ve also got calcium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. It sounds like it’s all win.

But since we’re still diving in deep into the “are superfoods really that super” question, there’s a few Greek yogurt problems to consider.

You might not be getting the goodness you’re paying for.

That thick creamy texture every loves? That’s created by straining out the acid whey (we’ll talk more on that in a second). But some companies skip that process entirely. Dealing with acid whey isn’t that easy after all. So shortcuts can be really desirable.

So how do they fake it?

Thickening agents like modified corn starch, carrageenan, or guar gum can easily do the trick. And added milk protein or whey concentrates can also help get that Greek yogurt texture.

And yes, they are legally still allowed to call it ‘Greek yogurt’. There’s currently no rules preventing someone from using that name, even if the end result technically isn’t traditional Greek yogurt at all. Total bummer, right? (source)

What does this mean for you?

The biggest downside is you’re not getting what you signed up for. When Greek yogurt isn’t so Greek, you’re going to end up with a lot less protein. And when you throw flavourings, thickening agents and sugar into the mix, you’re healthy breakfast is suddenly not so healthy (and a bit more like dessert).

If you want the real thing, look for a product with milk (preferably plant based) and live active cultures as the main ingredients. And try and avoid added sugars, flavourings and thickening agents (you can easily add fruit and a little maple syrup at home).

But what about acid whey?

Greek yogurt might be popular because it’s thick and creamy, but achieving that texture isn’t as simple as you might think. Remember how I mentioned that you need to strain out the acid whey in order to create a true Greek yogurt? Well, it takes a lot of milk to make it happen. You need 3 to 4 ounces of milk to create just 1 ounce of traditional Greek yogurt.

What’s left behind? A pesky by-product know as acid whey. Unfortunately, this stuff is a toxic waste and we are scrambling to find ways to deal with it.

Thankfully the laws around acid whey dumping are pretty strict.

You can’t dump that stuff anywhere near a waterway or in a typical landfill. Why? Because if acid whey seeps into the water it depletes the oxygen levels, ultimately killing the aquatic life. 

But don’t release that sigh of relief just yet. This has actually happened! In 2008, acid whey was accidentally released into a creek in Ohio, killing 5,400 fish over 1.5 miles (source). The need for strict regulations and careful precautions when dealing with acid whey is very clear.

Who knew Greek yogurt could be so problematic?

There are no industry wide statistics on where all of the acid whey is going.

Chobani, a New York Greek yogurt company, claims that they sell up to 70% of their acid whey waste to farmers to be used mostly in fertilizer and feed. But that isn’t as simple a solution as you might like. (source)

Acid whey use on the farm is pretty limited. Too much acid whey in the feed waters it down. And there’s also the issue of potentially irritating the cows’ digestive system and health. Oh, and run-off from the fertilizer is a possible issue too. Not sounding so hot, eh?

Are super foods really that super when their environmental impact kind of sucks?

What can we do with all of this toxic waste?

Scientists are working hard to find ways to extract nutrients from acid whey for commercial use. The hope is that they can properly isolate nutrients like protein and lactose and use them in products like baby formula, protein powders, medications and processed foods.

While this may sound a little cringe worthy (especially when we consider what happened to the nutritional value of soy products after nutrients were heavily processed and isolated), something’s got to give.

The demand for Greek yogurt isn’t going anywhere… which means, we really need options, and fast!

There’s a couple of other issues to consider.

Are Superfoods Really That Super? Maybe Not... | You may want to load up on superfoods when creating a healthy diet plan. But it's so important to understand that some superfoods benefits might not be as awesome as they seem. And may have some serious side effects (especially for my fellow Graves Disease Warriors). Let's talk about why some superfoods aren't so super... Including spirulina, soy and Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt creates another ethical quandary. It’s popularity has increased the demand for milk. And remember, 3 to 4 ounces of milk are needed to create just 1 ounce of Greek yogurt.

And since supply needs to meet demand, Greek yogurt has actually changed some of the laws that regulate dairy farming! Who thought your go-to breakfast yogurt could be so political?

New York state actually created a new law in 2013, increasing small dairy farm herd caps from 199 to 299! This cut costs and made it easier for farmers to meet increasing dairy demands created by yogurt. (source)

Unfortunately, it also increases the environmental impact of dairy farming.

Dairy farming produces greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to climate change. If manure and fertilizer aren’t handled properly, local water resources can be damaged. And unsustainable dairy farming can destroy our beautiful prairies, wetlands, and forests (source).

And hey, the cows don’t have it easy either.

Sadly, we shouldn’t forget about the cruelty found in many large scale (and even small scale) dairy productions (source). Increasing the dairy demand increases the amount of dairy cows needed. This in turn ups our environmental impact and ethical concerns that are unavoidable in industrial farming practices.

And remember, most of that dairy will go to waste. Is it really worth it?

If the end result means hurting the environment and reducing animal wellfare, then my answer to the question”are superfoods really that super?” would be a total no. But thankfully there’s a way to prevent that!

If you want Greek yogurt to be a part of your diet, you can still do something to make a difference. Try and buy from small scale, local farmers.

This gives you the opportunity to support your local economy and ask important questions. Find out how they deal with their acid whey. Learn more about the conditions and treatment of the animals producing your milk. You have the power to support ethical farming practices and make an awesome difference.

Buying alternative yogurts (even if only on occasion) can play a small role in reducing the waste too.

Enjoy Greek yogurt in moderation. There are tons of other options out there that don’t cause quite the environmental impact. And hey, don’t knock dairy free alternatives until you’ve tried them. Coconut milk yogurt is delish!

Thanks for hangin’ in there with me. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t you worry! I put all of these points together in a free ‘Are Superfoods Really That Super?’ fact sheet that you can print out and refer to while you create and/or maintain your wonderful healthy lifestyle. Download your goodness by entering your deets below. Yass!

So are superfoods really that super? What do you think? Are there any not so super superfoods that you’d add to the list? Did anything in this article surprise you? Share your awesome thoughts with us in the comments.

Health and love,

sara-signature

Thought of the day: Asking questions and remaining curious are 2 awesome forms of self-care.

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.

48 Comments

  1. Reply

    Em

    June 4, 2017

    Awesome Sara!

    • Reply

      Sara

      June 4, 2017

      Thank you Em! So glad you like it ♡.

  2. Reply

    Katherine

    June 5, 2017

    Excellent information Sara!

    • Reply

      Sara

      June 5, 2017

      Thank you so much gorgeous! I’m really glad you liked it ^^. I hope you had a beautiful weekend and that today is gorgeous and full of adventure 😘

  3. Reply

    Anavi

    June 5, 2017

    Interesting topic! I had never heard about the levels of iodine in spirulina 😲 Thanks for sharing! 💕

    • Reply

      Sara

      June 5, 2017

      I’m so glad you think so Anavi! And goodness, I was so disappointed in spirulina haha. I stare at those pretty blue and green smoothie bowls and dream! But I definitely can’t afford to overload myself with iodine 😣. Thankfully there’s a naturally blue matcha out there! I seriously need to look into that, because it would make all my dreams come true haha. I hope today is beautiful and you have tons of snuggles with your little one 💖

  4. Reply

    Dee

    June 5, 2017

    We try to avoid everything soy, unless it’s fermented of course! Did not know about iodine in spirulina. We’ve never used spirulina, but was seriously thinking about getting it to make pretty smoothie bowls 🙈. Going to stick to moringa. Thanks so much for this awesome post! 💙

    • Reply

      Sara

      June 5, 2017

      Me too hun! I will ocassionaly have a little miso or tempeh. But if I want lots, I tend to stick with Chickpea miso when possible. Thank goodness for lots of delicious, fermented options! And I feel you on the spirulina front. With Graves, high iodine is a no. And I was so disappointed that spirulina has so much. Because it’s so pretty and does have lots of vitamins and minerals. But goodness that is way too much iodine 😣. Oh well! Like you said, so many options out there! Glad you liked the post 😘

  5. Reply

    Gauravi

    June 5, 2017

    Hi Sara, what a great read and busting so many myths about the so called superfoods, I don’t like the taste of spirulina in my food but I do pop the spirulina pills. Now I have reasons to consider avoiding it.

    • Reply

      Sara

      June 5, 2017

      Thank you so much Gauravi! I’m so glad you liked it 💖. And goodness, I was surprised (and sad) too when I looked into spirulina (high iodine is a definite no for me because of Graves). I’m glad that info helped you too 😊. I hope today is beautiful and the weather is kind!

  6. Reply

    notquitesupermommn

    August 29, 2018

    This was a very educational read, thank you for giving me some food for thought. I wish it was easier to unmask which foods are truly super and which are just a marketing ploy.

    • Reply

      Sara

      August 31, 2018

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed this one Nicole! There’s definitely so much to take in. And I agree, it’s a shame that things aren’t truly simple.

      I really liked Michael Pollan’s take on it:

      “If you’re concerned about your health, then you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because the whole ideology of superfoods is misleading, for consumers and scientists alike.”

      I think that it helps to simplify things. Personally I don’t trust the front of any packaging. That’s all marketing. I prefer to take a look at the ingredients so that I can make a more informed decision. And of course I think it’s so important to stay curious, ask questions and do research when you feel skeptical.

      I hope that helps you feel more empowered! There is truly no such thing as the perfect healthy diet. All thing in moderation, right? Even “super” foods. 🙂

  7. Reply

    Davi Hadara

    August 29, 2018

    I love this post on busting myths! I ofter wondered how good superfoods actually are.

    • Reply

      Sara

      August 31, 2018

      It’s amazing how marketing terms can become so commonplace and really and really take on a life of their own! I think it’s so important that we try to continue to stay curious and ask questions to avoid falling prey to marketing tropes. I’m so happy you enjoyed it Davi! Thank you <3.

  8. Reply

    Ginette Cormier

    August 30, 2018

    Very informative and interesting Sara! Another one for me is green tea. If you’re going to drink a lot of it though, make sure it’s caffeine-free..or you get the jitters like I did 🙃

    • Reply

      Sara

      August 31, 2018

      Oh yes! I know you love your green tea. That stuff is pretty wonderful. But it’s definitely a great idea to avoid the jitters haha! All things in moderation <3. I'm happy you have a wonderful go-to healthy food that makes you feel awesome Ginette. Love you 🙂

  9. Reply

    Sheila Price

    August 30, 2018

    Interesting read! I’ve always believed in balance with what I eat, so the idea of adding tons more “super foods” never made sense. I learned something about greek yogurt today!

    • Reply

      Sara

      August 31, 2018

      You’re right on the money Sheila! Balance is everything and we can absolutely have too much of a good thing. I’m really glad you practice moderation too ^^. And isn’t it bonkers? I learned a lot when I looked into it too. Blew my mind!

  10. Reply

    The Mindful MD Mom

    August 30, 2018

    Great info! Labels can definitely be misleading. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is so important. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply

      Sara

      August 31, 2018

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it Dr. Nadia! Thank you! I couldn’t agree more – a healthy balanced diet is truly important. And it’s essential that we remember the balance part. Nothing is good for us in excess.

  11. Reply

    Jamie

    August 30, 2018

    Oh wow- I had never thought of the environmental impact of yogurt and who knew seaweed could make you sick???? When I think of superfood, the first one that comes to mind is Acai- anything on that one? I think it’s the first time I remember hearing that catch phrase. Soy scares me so I stay away from that one all together. Thanks so much for the share. By the way off topic but totally relevant to you. We have started practicing mindful eating with the kids. I really enjoy it. We go around and each say one thing we like about our dinner and I’m also trying to incorporate tastes, texture, and thankfulness (we already pray over our food but we’re working on instilling a more real understanding of being thankful for having enough to eat and yummy meals and where they come from etc). <3 Jamie

    • Reply

      Sara

      August 31, 2018

      Isn’t it bonkers Jamie? I had never given things like this much thought until my first relapse. I really thought that I was doing good for myself when I started eating seaweed and my endocrinologist blew my mind. It made me question whether or not other superfoods were really so super. And here we are today!

      The Greek yogurt started out as research for my big sister who loves it. It blew my mind! I do think that if you don’t have any health issues to worry about things can be enjoyed in moderation. And that supporting local, ethical farming practices can help to reduce our environmental impact. But it’s so incredibly important that we don’t take a label like “superfood” as an invitation to go bonkers. You really can have too much of a good thing.

      And I am SO GLAD to hear that! Thank you for sharing with me. What a wonderful gift to give to your children. That makes my entire day. I’m really happy to hear that you’re all enjoying it. And I think so many of us really forget how lucky we are to simply have a roof on our head and food in our belly. It’s an amazing gift. Knowing that really changes your perspective. Your kids are so blessed. And you are such a marvelous mama.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences Jamie! It’s always so wonderful to hear from you. Sending tons and tons of love your way 🙂

      • Reply

        Jamie

        September 1, 2018

        Aww you too Sara! I really enjoy your point of view.

        I love shopping local- it really changes the way you look at food when it’s homegrown too. I love taking the kids apple picking and explaining about farmers. I agree- all things in moderation. I struggle with food sensitivities too so I definitely relate.

        I was just thinking I would loooooove if you tackled the supplement topic (I mean that’s broad but really). I never know what’s the most important to take and what’s not (I’ve heard mixed things about multivitamins so we take them occasionally instead of daily). It’s so hard to know- the whole probiotic thing confuses me too because some people say they’re useless and then others swear by them and I’m over here like my body doesn’t like anything so 🤷‍♀️😂

        Can’t wait to see what topic you tackle next. And, really the food gratitude mindset has really helped shape our dinner conversation. Loving it! <3

        • Reply

          Sara

          September 12, 2018

          That is so awesome Jamie! Teaching your kids about the importance of farmers and how we need to support them. I adore that <3. You're such a marvelous mama!

          That's a really awesome suggestion! I'll absolutely look into it. (As I'm sure you can tell) I do a ton of research before I ever post anything. Because I think it's so important we do our best to provide accurate information. And I also want to encourage people to not just take my word for it. So Imma put on my research hat and dive in.

          Personally I take a few supplements my endocrinologist prescribed. And then I do my best to get things from food. But that isn't always possible, I know. I take coconut milk kefir before it's a more viable way to get probiotics. And I make sure to eat fermented foods like Miso or kimchi. It's a great way to support your microbiome! Google the Human Microbiome project if you want to blow your mind on how important that amazing part of our system is. So cool!

          And I like to make sure I have some form of omega 3. You can pick one that works for you - hemp seed oil, fish oil, etc.

          Thank you for sharing your ideas! I'm so grateful! And I'm extra grateful for your feedback on Mindful Eating too. Makes my entire day.

          Sending so much love your way!

          <3 Sara

  12. Reply

    Raihana

    August 31, 2018

    Everything must be in moderation..❤️

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 12, 2018

      Absolutely Raihana! Too much of anything isn’t a good idea :).

  13. Reply

    Unveiled Tales

    August 31, 2018

    This is so informative on so many levels! It does prove a point although that ‘superfoods’ are more times than not really healthy, they should still be eaten in portion controlled quantities. The facts about the greek yogurt surprised me. I don’t get yogurt often, but when I do I get Chobani and here I thought I was getting something that was higher protein, lower sugar and all around better for me. Thank you for all of the insight on ‘healthy’ foods that are misleading.

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 12, 2018

      Heck yea! I’m so glad this resonated with you. It’s really important that we always remember that it’s better to do all things in moderation. Even if it’s a health food superstar!

      Greek yogurt really surprised me too. It actually started as research for my sister. And then I dove into the rabbit hole. That happens a lot haha. But knowledge is power. And I’m always excited to share the things that I learn :).

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feels! I’m so happy you enjoyed it 🙂

  14. Reply

    inspirwing

    August 31, 2018

    Wow! This is incredible information! I am definitely going to have to be more careful about Greek yogurt, as I eat it almost every day! Thank you for the enlightenment!

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      I’m so happy you learned something new too! Researching for this post really reminded me about how important it is to always exercise moderation, even when something is praised for being super healthy. Wishing you well! I hope you have fun trying different yogurts to sub in sometimes ;).

  15. Reply

    lindsayjoseph

    September 1, 2018

    While I never considered this, I totally agree and appreciate you putting out there what others won’t. There’s clearly a lot of money behind diet trends, a label like “superfoods” would obviously stand to put money in someone’s pockets. Thanks for sharing an unpopular opinion which, in this case, is a fact.

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the read Lindsay! I think it’s so important that we keep a healthy skepticism and stay curious. There are so many labels and tricks companies use to gain our trust and our dollars. Which is really too bad. But thankfully you can usually find out what’s real and what isn’t when you look a little deeper. <3

  16. Reply

    VeeatCookBake

    September 1, 2018

    Sara, thank you for your big research. It is super intresting. Especially the part of soy. We do not eat much soy but really interesting. I think balance is the key and it is still better than eating meat.

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      I’m always excited to learn something new! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it too! I personally avoid unfermented soy (it’s just not a good idea from a Graves Disease warrior like myself). But I will occasionally eat fermented options like miso and tempeh. Thankfully there’s almost always a better way :D. And there are also a lot of other high protein plant options for anyone who needs them :).

      Sending you tons of love hun! Thank you so much for your support and friendship <3

  17. Reply

    GretchCannon

    September 2, 2018

    This is such good info, especially with all the food fads out there!

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      Oh goodness yes! There always seems to be a new fad every time I turn around haha. Gotta keep a healthy skepticism ;). Thanks for sharing your thoughts Gretch! Hope today has been awesome 🙂

  18. Reply

    Silk

    September 3, 2018

    Glad you talked about this. I’ve been having a hard time believing in these superfoods myself

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      There are so many different fabs, terms and labels out there. It can be really hard to keep track! I think it’s so important we keep a healthy skepticism and stay curious <3. I'm so happy you enjoyed it and learned something new too! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

  19. Reply

    GiGi Eats Celebrities

    September 4, 2018

    There are certainly healthier foods out there than others- however I don’t feel like they should be called SUPERFOODS because a food that may be super for one person, may not necessarily be super for another!

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      YES! Totally agree Gigi! I love how you put it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us <3

  20. Reply

    Tabitha

    September 4, 2018

    There is a ton of information here, and much of which I never knew. Thank you for your research!

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Tabitha! Thank you so much for your kind words <3. Hope you learned something new 🙂

  21. Reply

    Theresa | Bridesmaids Confession

    September 4, 2018

    I think everyone’s body is different. I am thriving on a paleo based diet that eliminates dairy, soy, gluten, and grain. Everything in moderation regardless.

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      There is absolutely no such things as the perfect healthy diet. We are all different and our lifestyle (including how we eat) needs to be as beautiful and unique as we are. I couldn’t agree more! Moderation is absolutely important for all of us. And I think having a healthy skepticism and curiosity is a good idea too, since there are so many fads, labels and marketing ploys out there. It’s a crazy world!

      Glad you’ve found a way to thrive Theresa! That’s what truly matters <3

  22. Reply

    Renu Agrawal Dongre

    September 5, 2018

    Agree to you, somehow I feel the same, all foods are marked nowadays as superfoods..The key is to eat everything in moderation..

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      You’re right on the money Renu! Even the best things are no longer good in excess. Moderation is absolutely key! I’m glad you think so too <3

  23. Reply

    Ravi

    September 5, 2018

    Really nice info. Thanks for sharing this. I did not know anything about it.

    • Reply

      Sara

      September 13, 2018

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it Ravi! Thank you ^^

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