ACAI BERRIES: Miracle Fruit?

Today’s post deals with Acai berries, which over the last few months we’ve seen a huge influx of shakes, powders, diet pills, etc. containing this “miracle fruit”. The berry apparently does everything from burning fat (fat is oxidized, not burned, by the way), improving your mental state, fixing the federal deficit, and building a high speed train from NYC to DC.

So the question remains: What is the deal with Acai berries? First, a technicality: It’s not a berry; it’s a fruit that comes from the Acai palm. The tree grows from Belize to Brazil, mainly in swamps and flood lands. The Indians used to use it as a high calories snack (hint, hint) on hunting expeditions. “Wait, did you just say high calories snack? But it’s a super fat burner and my friend lost 85lbs. on it!”

Okay, let’s look at the numbers: 100 grams of dried acai powder delivers 533.9 calories (same as a chocolate bar), 52 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, and 32 grams of fat (mostly monounsaturated). Well, it certainly is not a low calorie item! There are also no proven fat burning properties in the fruit. Conclusion? It simply does not make sense that eating a fruit would allow for massive losses in body fat. Most of the Acai diets are really cleanses, so the weight loss is mostly water.

“What about anti-oxidants?” Not looking much better, actually. While the Acai fruit does contain anti-oxidants, the numbers are lower than blueberry juice, concord grapes, or red wine. They are not a bad product, just not worth the hype.

This brings me to my final point: People have been conditioned to believe that by magically adding or taking away a nutrient or macronutrient group from their diet, they will achieve drastic results. This logic is very flawed. Why? Because the laws of physics will always prevail! Calories matter! If you could fill your macros at McDonalds, you would get the physique you wanted (granted, it’s very difficult).

Don’t fail for these gimmicks; save your money and spend it on chicken, steak, rice, and the gym instead!

Until next time,
Maik Wiedenbach