Super Foods – the ‘Steel Cut’ Syndrome

An Italian breakfast of super foods, worthy of the gods

The Italians know about food - this was a healthy breakfast worthy of the gods!

Abandon your search for the super foods, whether it’s goji berries or krill oil.

The search for a perfect list of ‘super foods’ undermines your good intentions to eat better.

The ‘Steel Cut’ Syndrome

I call this quest for the ultimate food, the ‘Steel Cut Syndrome’ – a term I’ve adopted following a conversation with a young, overweight man looking to change to a healthy eating diet. Part of his eating plan, he said, was to have a breakfast of porridge oats everyday. A common enough strategy, I thought, as oats are widely perceived as a win-win food, being low in fat, high in fibre and very filling.

The man told me he’d read in a fitness magazine about a new, trendy type of ‘Steel Cut’ oats, which were ‘better’ for you. These special oats were apparently cut by steel machinery, he said, as opposed to the more common rolling method. They had a lower glycaemic index which causes less of an insulin spike in the blood stream. But he was having a hard time finding a shop that stocked them, as the specialist item was not available in his local supermarket.

‘I’m waiting to buy them online, before starting my diet,’ he said.
‘Or you could use regular oats and start tomorrow,’ I said.
‘These ones are better,’ he said.
‘Not if you’re not eating them.’

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