FUNCTIONAL FOODS: MYTH OR REALITY

functional food

Definition:

There is no real definition of functional food.

This term was coined by the food industry. A nutraceutical combines the concept of drug and the concept of food. It’s about highlighting a nutrient that is added to the current food (yogurt, oils, margarines.). The functional foods are produced in different ways: – Either incorporating something – either increasing the concentration – either is removed – either modifying the downstream supply ( eg feeding chickens to control the quality of their eggs). The main components of functional foods are: –

The sterols that lower cholesterol . – Omega 3 that decrease cardiovascular risks – Probiotics that help strengthen the natural defenses. – Antioxidants retard cellular aging and cardiovascular disease. The consumer does not know what to think, these products are mixed with other stall on the supermarket, so it consumes as a normal product, no real monitoring, but this episodic consumption is it good for something other than the manufacturer’s wallet? fad or not?

The nutraceuticals are everyday food products that are supposed to make you more beautiful, more intelligent, level your deficiency for that they are to be effective it must consume the right dose, which is not well defined. On 1 July 2007, an EU directive aimed at regulating the claims made ​​on the labels of these nutraceuticals is implemented. This obliges industrial testing these products through an independent laboratory, to avoid any quackery and offer the consumer the actual qualities of the product. In Europe it is forbidden to put forward therapeutic for diseases (good for cancer), we remains cautious because the studies are not sufficiently advanced and the decline is not important enough to have real claims.

There is no scientific consensus for asserting their protective role. In some countries there is no regulation via the allegations and industry do not hesitate to tout their products as drugs, you chews against colds, drinks against influenza Instead of going to the people going to the supermarket pharmacy! L food processing and pharmaceutical industries have in my view two very different roles. Some studies on sterols and probiotics demonstrate the positive effects of their consumption on health, but the quantities that should ingest are too important and the effects long term are unknown. Indeed, it would consume three doses of actimel day this is hardly feasible without being at the expense of other foods and unaffordable for the majority of the population. When fortified foods (cereals fortified with vitamins), Landing our supposed shortcomings, there are really helpful knowing that a very small percentage of the population suffers from deficiency? We can not supplement the whole population for some cases of deficiencies.

Conclusion Certainly we do are only human beings and our diet is not always perfect, but food should be fun and a response to the needs. We can incorporate these functional foods in our diet while having in mind that eating a yoghurt will not drop our cholesterol levels by a miracle! But as against it contributes to the enrichment of big food companies. As I loop this article, a dairy specialty supposed to reduce our food intake just released on the market, I do not doubt its effectiveness, it is too early, but the solution is not.

Wanting force compensate for deficiencies that do not exist, is not shorted to poisoning overload? The researchers take very seriously the studies conducted on the effects of certain nutrients on our health but at the moment everything is still to prove. A balanced diet that is the most important, it will cost much less in your wallet and all what your body needs to be brought to him.