In response to the numerous inquiries he has received, Dr. Cherry addresses the questions, claims and truths behind the Acai Berry Diet.
Linda and I do not recommend the acai berry for any weight loss program, nor do we recommend the so-called "Acai Berry Diet." Why? It does not work in the long-term.
Many of you have also heard of the Grapefruit Diet, but probably none of you still follow it. Now, the Acai Diet is almost an exact copy, with intense marketing surrounding weight loss claims of 30 pounds in 30 days. While in both cases the fruit itself is very nutritious, the diets are not conducive for long-term weight loss. With diets like these, the weight lost is primarily from fluids, not fat, and generally returns as soon as the dieter goes off the diet.
The acai berry is from the Amazon in Brazil and certain other South American locales. Fairly new on the American scene, it is exotic and mysterious – the marketer's dream come true. It is a bluish berry, a relative of the blueberry, cranberry, and other dark purple fruits.
I've done extensive research on this berry. Is it healthy? Absolutely. Does it promote weight loss? Those claims are totally unfounded. Is it expensive? You bet - often over $30-40 per bottle. Is it worth it for my health? Absolutely not, unless you live in the Amazon and can get it at local prices!
Here's what I recommend: Blueberries, our North American equivalent. Flavonoids called anthocyanins are what give both blueberries and acai berries their blue color and their high antioxidant levels. So, the Brazilians have acai, and we have blueberries. While fresh blueberries aren't cheap, frozen wild blueberries are a great option.
Something else to try is purple grape juice - a nutrition powerhouse! Purple grapes are also filled with anthocyanins, giving them their dark color.
My final word – save your money and get your antioxidants from other less expensive, healthy, delicious sources.
The ORAC/antioxidant values of acai and other fruits and vegetables will be discussed in an upcoming article.