I have tried to answer a question whether tea filters retain vitamins or minerals in tea.

When I wrote "The health benefits of green and black tea are mostly associated with their content of polyphenols" I apparently crossed a red line into health discussion that are to be avoided lest the site devolves into a pharmacy magazine style collection of doubtful health claims of certain foods. I understand that. The OP already skirted this with a question regarding minerals and vitamins which are not covered by the nutrient-composition tag which targets macro-nutrients (and has an explicit warning against tagging health-related questions with it).

While I'm probably more discussion- and comment-friendly than many others, I feel only ignorance and apathy regarding the health benefits of phenols and merely echoed common opinions. How can I make the answer (which I spent some time researching) publishable? For example, instead of referring to health benefits I can simply write "many people are interested in polyphenols that tea contains", simply omitting the obvious reason why they would be. Would something like that be sufficient?

I still feel that is should be possible to discuss stuff that's in food, and how it is affected by preparation. This is a cooking site, after all

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    It seems pretty literally true that when you mention "health benefits" you are not just allegedly making health claims. I appreciate that in the body of your question you're ultimately asking how to post in line with the policy about health discussion, but would you consider framing/titling your question that's a little less of an invitation to debate?
    – Cascabel Mod
    Mar 11 at 22:25
  • @Cascabel And you couldn't just answer the question? Mar 11 at 22:31
  • @Cascabel I see now that the sentence "associated with" can be read as "I associate". I meant to say "people associate", without endorsement. Mar 11 at 22:32
  • @Cascabel I have now edited the answer, perhaps it can be undeleted. Mar 12 at 2:11
  • Shockingly, I don't have unlimited time; I had time to write that comment but not time to write an answer.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Mar 12 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


I am afraid that in this case, this is out of your hands. You can only write an answer on polyphenols if the OP came to the site with the explicit intention to ask about exactly about polyphenols.

People have various preferences on what they want to pay attention to in their nutrition. Discussions about these preferences are extremely difficult, and much more subjective than most people realize. This is why we have a very hard rule: we don't write anything that goes towards changing these preferences. Such content gets nuked from orbit.

This is why we mostly never accept any content on nutrition and health. The tag is one exception. The rule there is not that it's about macronutrients; it can be about anything that the OP considers health-relevant. The condition is that the OP themselves brings the substance into discussion, identifying it unambiguously.

This is why questions which simply ask about any "nutrients" or anything similarly vague get summarily closed, and the OP is asked to commit to a well-defined class of nutrients. We usually consider this unanswerable, because answerers are not allowed to pick their preferred nutrients and write answers about those.

In this case, I almost closed. But GdD's answer was already posted when I saw the question, and it avoided naming any nutrient. Since we are trying to reduce the number of moderator-only closures, I decided to ask the OP to edit, without closing it.

I am aware that you posted the answer in good faith. I also understand how frustrating it is when your time and effort are lost, especially when you are convinced that you have produced high-quality content, and when the reasoning behind the site's rules goes against widespread beliefs. In general, nutritional questions are very difficult for us, and when they are allowed, it is common to delete answers on them, because people rarely know what exactly is accepted before they post.

  • Thanks for taking the time to write the elaborate answer -- it makes the issue much clearer. By the way, the "macro-nutrient" thing is the first sentence on the tag page: "Questions regarding facts about macro-nutrients within foods." Mar 12 at 15:13

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