July 10, 2015

Is a Superfoods List to Be Trusted?

Please be careful of articles that are claiming superfoods. This article in WebMD is a prime example and it is aimed at people with people with type 2 diabetes. The list includes, Berries, Eggs, Extra virgin olive oil, Kale, Low-fat milk, Nuts, Salmon, Sweet potatoes, Tea, and Whole-grain cereal.

I am positive that some of you have seen lists like this and most are developed by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which means they are promoted by Big Food and the USDA. This should raise red flags for the validity of the list. That said, I can see several items that don't belong on the list. These are not superfoods for people with type 2 diabetes, kale, low-fat milk, and whole grain cereals. Others that should be limited include some of the berries, nuts, and tea.

Now for the reasons:
Kale. This is a farce if I ever heard of one. In the food world, it is hyped to the extreme, but in a report published by the Centers for Disease Control that ranked 47 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables, kale ranked fifteenth (with 49.07 points out of 100 for nutrient density). Here’s a roundup ofthe 10 leafy green cousins that researchers say pack a greater nutritional wallop.

Whole-grain cereal. Recently, the World Health Organization announced we should reduce our intake to a tiny 5 percent of daily calories—half of what the organization previously recommended. For someone on a 2000-calorie diet, new guidelines mean a sugar limit of about 100 calories, or 6 sugar packets. They listed this as “Health” Food Imposter #1 - Whole Grain Cereal. Most whole grain cereals serve up more sugar you’ll find in half a dozen donuts.

Low-fat milk. I don't know about you, but I need the fat in whole milk. It helps with my total daily fat intake. Yes, I have a few more carbohydrates, but I like the extra nutrients in whole milk as well.

As for limiting these foods, I would advise you read about them and use you meter to find out how your body handles them.

Berries. Many think berries are great and then overeat. Others think that just because the fruit is dried it is safe – not even. The sugar is just more concentrated and people then eat too large a serving of dried fruit.

Nuts. Be careful and don't get caught here. I no longer eat nuts, so it is hard to advise people on these, but many nuts need to be limited in the quantity you eat. I know almonds are good, but cashews can make blood glucose spike upwards. Do your research before consuming some nuts.

Tea. There are a lot of pitfalls in tea. If you can stay away from tea that has caffeine this is a good place to start. Others teas have hidden sugars. While minute in quantity, it is sugar to say the least and some areas of our country like sweet tea and this makes me sick personally and I refuse tea in many areas unless I can be assured that it is not sweet tea.

Eggs. Eggs are back in favor and I never stopped eating them even against doctor's orders. I eat eggs prepared almost any way, but I like hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, and fried. I know some people cringe at fried, but I use butter to fry them in and even olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil. I will use this, but I prefer regular olive oil and even better, butter for cooking. Butter I may use to excess, but I do limit olive oil and extra virgin olive oil.

Salmon. I like wild salmon, and I do avoid farmed salmon or salmon that does not come from Canada or the USA catch.

Sweet potatoes. This should have been on the avoid list as the starch does convert to glucose and I wasn't paying attention. This is one that you need to check and then test afterwards to see how your body reacts to the quantity you consumed. They are high in carbohydrates and a medium at 130 grams (4.6 ounces) will have 23 grams of carbohydrates. Compared to potatoes, sweet potatoes are nutrient dense and more nutritious than the potato.

I would suggest reading the WebMD article, and the links above to give yourself some grounding in what people call superfoods and for most people with diabetes, superfoods they are not!

No comments: