Nutrition experts say that Brits are being seduced by new ‘superfoods’ championed by online influencers, wrongly believing they are more nutritious than less expensive everyday foods such as eggs.
Most people surveyed thought eggs contain fewer vitamins and minerals than fashionable foods such as seaweed, coconut oil, almond milk and chia seeds – when the opposite is true.
Millennials were most likely to get it wrong – only 13% of 18-24 year-olds knew that eggs are high in vitamins and minerals, although they contain 18 essential nutrients. In contrast, 27% of 18-24 year-olds thought coconut oil was high in vitamins and minerals when it in fact has only one (vitamin E).
Only 22% of 18-24s realised that eggs have high levels of ‘good’ fats (omega 3s and/or mono/polyunsaturated fat) – whereas nearly half of millennials think that coconut oil is high in ‘good’ fats, when it is actually high in ‘bad’ (saturated) fat.
“These findings suggest that many people are wasting money on so-called ‘superfoods’ without realising that everyday foods such as eggs contain far more nutrients – as well as costing much less,” says public health nutritionist Dr Juliet Gray.
An analysis of the cost of typical ‘superfoods’ has shown eggs to be the cheapest option, with fashionable foods such as avocado, almond milk and seaweed costing more than three times as much per portion. And a tablespoon of coconut oil, with just one vitamin, costs more than an egg containing high quality protein and 18 vitamins and minerals.
The survey findings coincide with a new research review which investigates the role eggs play in the diet, concluding that their unique combination of high quality protein and 18 vitamins and minerals means they should be termed ‘Nature’s multivitamin’.