What if the super food’s a super dud?

Whole30: Day 17

The thing about diets, lifestyle changes, food resets, etc. is that thanks to internet cookies you suddenly find yourself drowning in suggestions. I go on facebook, oh heeeeey there! I google something, ta da!

Some of these helpful tips are helpful, but anyone who’s ever done this sort of thing knows that there’s always those… “helpful” tips. Don’t drink soda and lose weight! Exercise and get healthy! Eat less and get thin, thin, thin!

…Ok, so I’m going to put aside the fact that I’m not doing this to get “thin, thin, thin,” and discuss the tip I hate the most: swapping.

You know, swap out “unhealthy” foods for “healthy” foods! Instead of beef stir fry, do tofu! Sprinkle chia seeds instead of croutons on your salad so you’re fuller! Oh, and of course, use avocado in EVERYTHING!

Well, thanks for the show of concern, but these tips are…how shall I say it? SUUUUUPER unhelpful.

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Tofu, you say? I can’t eat tofu now because it’s made of soy. Chia seeds? They make me bloat, WOW is it uncomfortable. Oh and avocado? I’m allergic to it!

I haven’t been officially tested, but how many times can you eat something and two hours later be doubled over from stomach cramps before you take the hint that your body is rejecting something? I believe that’s considered an “intolerance,” but the point still stands…for me, avocado is no-go.

One reason I thought whole30 would be good for me is that I finally had a list of suggested foods and recipes that wasn’t just: eat avocado.

Seriously, look up “clean eating challenge.” Any given plan includes avocado AT LEAST once a day…

Let me get real about this “super” food for a second: avocado is very high in monounsaturated fat, which is good for blood flow. However, monounsaturated fat can be found in many other places, and when you get right down to it, regular consumption of avocado has no proven health benefits.

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Yes, it tastes good, people say it’s good for you, the internet says it’s good for you, but there is zero medical evidence that backs this up. You know a person on an avocado-heavy diet that lost a ton of weight? Any doctor will tell you that there could be about a thousand other reasons for that change. The fact is that anyone recommending it as a “super food” is most likely a nutritionist or a dietician, not a doctor. Also, you may notice that recommendations for it often say “possible health benefits,” because avocado’s superfoodiness has not really been studied. 

This is true of all super foods. Chia seeds? They’re healthy but also high in fat. Kombucha? It may improve digestion, but if it’s not made properly it can make you violently ill. Even spinach, Popeye’s go-to super food? Yeah it’s good for you, but the much-hyped high iron levels that vaulted it to super-status in the early 20th century were the result of a clerical error.

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Put the mythos surrounding super foods into perspective by doing a different kind of swap: imagine it’s not avocado that everyone’s hyping, it’s apples, and they’re in EVERYTHING. And not just a couple slices, an entire apple goes in your smoothie, on your toast, in your salad.

Yes, apples are healthy and they make great Evil Queen bait. But ask any doctor, nutritionist, or dietician, and they’ll probably caution you against consuming four or five apples a day.

The moral: Just because something’s healthy, doesn’t mean you should start inhaling it.

But what about Joe somebody who inhales avocado and feels amazing? Always remember that no two bodies are quite the same, so something that super-charges one person may make another person feel like crap.

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So you found your super food and you feel amazing? That’s great, I’m happy for you. But I don’t want to hear about how much better I’ll feel if I start swapping it for my morning coffee.

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One thought on “What if the super food’s a super dud?

  1. Avocado allergy: totally real. It’s not one of the top 10, but close behind (often develops in people with latex allergies, which accounts for high numbers). Stomach cramps – and elimination of the food from both ends – common symptoms.

    So yeah, I hear you on the avocado avoidance.

    Like

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