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Single foods do not change health status

The notion of eating a certain food for "health" has been around for a while- but it isn't a helpful notion.

Certain foods are hailed as "superfoods" because they contain antioxidants, protein, flavanols blah, blah, blah. And bold claims are made about these foods- they cure illness, boost the immune system, aid weight loss and basically are miracles, if influences are to be believed!

But let's look at the "superfood" myth.

Yes, many of the foods given the label of superfood are nutritious foods (many are fruit or veggies). But realistically, none of them is responsible for your health.

Firstly, it is important to remember that a handful of berries or a few leaves of kale make up only a small proportion of your diet. We eat these "superfoods" in the context of a whole diet. So yes, eating fruit and veg is important, but it is important to have them alongside wholegrains, sources of fat and protein, dairy and of course the foods you love.

Eating a healthy food won't make you healthy, and of course not eating the "in" healthy food won't make you unhealthy. Health is influenced by so much more than single foods- our whole diet, our physical activity, our sleep quality, stress levels, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, genetics and lots more.

It is a combination of these things that influences our health. Health is complex, basing health status on single foods ignores that complexity.

Remember: Eating a certain food won't change your health, alter your disease risk or ensure you live to 100. Health is more complicated than single foods.

Watch my video "Single foods do not change health":

Although this message is not a simple or sexy one, it is a realistic one. We should not minimise the complexity and nuances of health. The message "eat this food and you will be healthy" sounds great (and easy), but that doesn't mean it works.

Lots of love,

Little O x

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