Super Foods: Nutraceuticals
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Ok. Here's yet another new marketing trick: Super Foods. I'm not referring to natural foods that are proven to be good for you (e.g. broccoli), but foods that have been "enhanced" with what are called nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals also called "functional foods" are regulated under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act-in other words they are not regulated as foods.
There is no single legal definition for them, but for all intents and purposes they may be defined as: A substance that is food or part of a food that provides medical or health benefits including the prevention and treatment of disease. Nutraceuticals include a broad range of substances such as genetically modified foods, herbal supplements, and soy protein, as well as good old folic acid in your Wonder Bread.
One nutraceutical that many people may be familiar with is Omega-3. Next time you're in the grocery store check out the eggs. You are bound to see cartons of eggs labeled "contains Omega-3".
Now, there is a new "super-yogurt" Yoplait Healthy Heart. It hit the shelves in March 2005 and is loaded with plant sterols. Now you can eat your 6-ounce yogurt and also get the equivalent of 11 servings of brussels sprouts or 35 regular-sized carrots.
WooHoo! Uh…but isn't that overkill you ask? One might also say "Only in America", but they would be wrong. The trend is worldwide and the business of "super foods" is booming in Japan and Europe as well.
What's wrong with getting your nutrients by eating a well-balanced diet filled with whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, a little seafood and a little meat? Dunno. Works for me.
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