Thoughts on "superfoods" from a Dietitian - interview with Eliza Altvater-Conn

Thoughts on Superfoods - interview with Eliza Altvater-Conn

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco from Unsplash , and Dietitian & Food Scientist Eliza Altvater-Conn

 

This month we've been speaking to Eliza Altvater-Conn, Food Scientist and Dietitian about the impact of our food system on nutrition, whether organic produce is worth the higher price, as well as finding out what Unconventional Food Plants are.

As Eliza is Brazilian where many exotic 'superfoods' such as acai berries, camu camu and even Brazil nuts have come from, we ask her:

Many exotic foods that have come out of Brazil have been given 'superfood' status such as acai berries, camu camu and even Brazil nuts. What are your thoughts about the term ‘superfoods’.

These are all great examples of unconventional food plants that were successfully introduced to the world. Most of these plants are grown in Brazil by family farmers and co-ops that apply sustainable practices to their farming system. In that sense, consuming these products is an amazing way of supporting our health, social justice, and sustainability. 

However, although very appealing, the term superfood is nothing more than a lucrative marketing term used by companies to attract consumers by spreading the idea that their products will lead to exceptional health benefits. But this claim is not backed up by science nor is it regulated by the FDA. 

If you eat mostly junk food all day long, adding some chia seeds to your yogurt in the morning is not gonna make you “superhealthy”. And eating an overload of the so-called superfoods also won’t make you achieve optimal health. The only way of obtaining real health benefits from food is by consuming a diverse, balanced and wholesome diet. If you don’t do your part, there is no way a superfood will do the job for you.