Brits wrongly believe chocolate, bread – and PIZZA are ‘superfoods’.
A study of 2,000 adults found only a third could confidently say if a food item is considered to be a superfood – with more than one in twenty believing fizzy drinks fit into the category.
Curry (6 per cent), cake (6 per cent) and even beer (6 per cent) are also among the items wrongly thought of as superfoods.
But less than half were aware that spinach and kale fit into the food group, while just 10 per cent thought the same of goats’ milk.
The study, by British goats’ milk producers St Helen’s Farm, also found that when asked what makes something a superfood, more than a third think ‘good fats’ plays a part.
And while 62 per cent also think antioxidants are a key nutrient in superfoods, 42 per cent admitted they don’t know what these are.
Almost half believe minerals are another component, and a quarter think they should be low in calories.
A third also said the freshness of a food makes it more or less likely to be a superfood, with three in 10 admitting their decision to purchase edible products is influenced by how far it has travelled.
Amanda Hamilton, nutritionist and spokeswoman for St Helen’s Farm, said: “It’s easy to criticise such labels but the fact is, the term superfood is here to stay so better to help people understand which beneficial food fall into this category and what shouldn’t.
“For me to call something a superfood I’d be looking for something with exceptional levels of nutrient density, or some kind of added benefit that’s hard to get in other ways.
“Superfoods should help solve nutrition challenges, not add to them.
“If those special foods can be locally sourced, all the better.
“Although the term isn’t commonly used by experts as there’s no standard criteria that defines it, it is increasingly used by consumers, so it has become a label worth understanding.”
The study also found Brits believe the benefits of superfoods include being full of vitamins (58 per cent), providing antioxidants (55 per cent) and a good source of energy (38 per cent).
With many considering alternative milks to be superfoods, a third of respondents have tried to cut out cows’ milk from their diet.
Of those, two in five have tried soya alternatives, almost a quarter have turned to goat’s milk and 42 per cent have tried almond.
Six in 10 of those polled, via OnePoll, regularly consume dairy-based milk, as well as three quarters who indulge in cheese and 58 per cent who tuck into yoghurts.
Amanda added: “There are no guidelines around superfoods like there are around 5-a-day for example, it is too loose a label to do that.
“From my point of view something like goat’s milk should have the superfood label as it is gentler on the tummy for many people and you don’t miss out on all vital calcium, vitamins and minerals that you expect from milk.
“I introduced it for my daughter who had trouble digesting cow’s milk and now we all just love the taste.”
50 Foods Brits believe are superfoods:
5. Whole grains
11. Brussels sprouts
16. Kidney beans
19. Almond milk
22. Coconut milk
24. Soya milk
26. Oat milk
31. Cow’s milk
32. Goat’s milk
38. Salted peanuts
42. Ice cream