Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Acai SuperFood BS

Why are we so willing to believe health claims about foods that are not supported by strong empirical evidence? Is our desire to be healthy without having to think too much about what is required to maintain good health so strong that our innate skepticism buckles whenever an earnest friend, slick salesman or too-eager-to-write-good-copy journalist blathers about some hitherto unknown or overlooked enzyme rich, chock-full-of-antioxidant plant or animal product?

I've been seeing products made from Acai berries for awhile now, and I treat them in the same wariness that I've always treated the foods and diets that flood into the marketplace tethered to promises of better health. Nothing promotes good health better than a varied diet and lots of rest and exercise.

But never mind. It's fun to watch the experts who push this stuff on the public squirm when the evidence turns against them. To wit: the words of a celebrity dermatologist who sells an acai supplement

“I certainly think açaí, the fruit, has great health benefits,” he said in an interview. “I would call it a superfood, but I’ve always spoken generically.” [Source: The New York Times]


Jennie/Tikka said...

There's just no other answer, besides balanced diet, careful on the carbs, don't overdo things, get plenty of rest and plenty of exercise. There simply is no other way, period. There is no way to make it any easier.

charcuteire said...

Good genes help too.

Walt said...

Amen Bob,

The Multi Level Marketing firms have our backs. My new favorite is Xango Juice with mangosteen. For only $32.00 a bottle you to can have this:

Reconstituted Mangosteen juice from whole fruit puree, (shipped from Asia)

Apple juice concentrate

Pear juice concentrate

Grape juice concentrate

Pear puree

Blueberry juice concentrate

Raspberry juice concentrate

Strawberry juice concentrate

Cranberry juice concentrate

Cherry juice concentrate

Citric acid

Natural flavor


Xanthan gum

Sodium benzoate.

They claim 1 - 3 onces daily is all you need to get "The harnessed power of xanthones."


The Bad Yogi said...

Whenever I see ingredient lists like that, my first reaction is, "mmm, floor sweepings!". Just like House Special = Whatever we need to get rid of.

Bob said...

As if it's not already a sucker bet, the miracle juice is concentrated and pasteurized, chemically changed and rendered a shell of its former self.

I was disheartened when I saw Alton Brown doing a commercial for Welch's grape juice. It was he who first told me (on his pomegranate show) that pasteurization and concentration diminish the health benefits of fruit juice.

Ulla said...

I feel like the video is messing up your site. IS it just me?
PETA really represents end of times to me. Spoiled people with spoiled ethics.

Ashok K.R said...

Whenever I see ingredient lists like that, my first reaction is, "mmm, floor sweepings!". Just like House Special = Whatever we need to get rid of. Weight Loss