8 superfoods that aren't worth the hype, according to experts

8 superfoods that aren't worth the hype, according to experts
From Global News - August 2, 2017

Superfoods are often deemed powerful and can do a number of things to your body, but if you dont eat well in general, a few superfoods here and there arent going to make a difference to your overall health, experts say.

These foods are overrated because a lot of money is being made pinning our healthy hopes onto these non-magical substances. Of course, they are good foods, but you need to think of them as the pricey, optional accessories to a healthy diet, says Desiree Nielsen, a registered dietitian based in Vancouver.

READ MORE: Superfoods to aid fertility and pregnancy

Below, experts weigh in on the superfoods that arent worth the hype, especially when you consider their high cost, marketing campaigns and lack of scientific research to back the claims of better health. More importantly, they say, dont expect any of these to provide miracle weight-loss or energy boosting results.

Goji berries

Kyle Byron, a Toronto-based nutritionist, says all berries are superfoods. They provide powerful antioxidants that keep us healthy and living longer, he tells Global News. He says goji berries are expensive because of their hype and import costs. There are some preliminary tests that show potential for additional benefits, but the research is weak.

Coconut oil

Nielsen says coconut oil is simply a cooking oil, not a superfood.

The amount of websites claiming that coconut oil is a miracle food is shocking. Its an important fat for people on a fully vegan diet, as it provides saturated fats that might otherwise be lacking. And although some people like to cook with it, Nielsen recommends extra virgin olive oil instead.

Coconut oil has a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which the body prefers to burn than store. But its not magic; if you over-consume energy over the course of the day, your body will store the extra energy as fat.


This blue-green algae claims to boost energy and have antioxidant benefits, but Nielsen says there is not much scientific research out there to back these claims.

This is important because this stuff isnt cheapand in the manufacturing process, there can be heavy metal contamination. Sourcing and quality matters here, big time.

And for those who believe it is the best way to get protein, she adds you are better of having nuts, beans or eggs.

If you are interested in the benefits of algae, spirulina has much better research behind it. Its a unique pigment, C-phycocyanin, and may help support liver health.

Agave nectar

Anar Allidina, a registered dietitian based in Richmond Hill, Ont., says this sweetener has been marketed as a low-glycemic sweetener, because it doesnt have glucose.

However, agave does have fructose, which is another type of sugar. While our body uses glucose for energy, the liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose in significant amounts. Eating a diet that is high in calories and high in fructose means the liver gets overloaded and starts turning the fructose into fat, she tells Global News.

Coconut water

Vegetable and fruit drinks

Acai berries

Green smoothies


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