SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT

This week, let’s explore a brand, which on first glance appears to be somewhat misleading since it promotes some hard-to-miss claims that make it easy for just about anyone to fall for:

  • ‘ZERO BELLY’ — that’s a LOT to promise. Do you really want ZERO belly?? Keeping fit to achieve zero belly fat may be a goal for some people, but the name is a far stretch and can be off-putting for many others.
  • Reduce visceral fat (this is the fat that develops around our organs to prevent acidity, any toxicity etc. from penetrating deeper into the actual organs — yup it’s protective in one sense, but also a scary type of fat that is metabolically active and is considered its OWN organ system!) by 10% — yet another promise that is extremely hard to prove/guarantee. (There are some really cool scales you can find on Amazon that can track your visceral fat, and you can watch the number melt away as you shed weight, especially if you’re following a healthy lifestyle plan that works for you.)

zero belly

Cute how they add a dazzling recipe to the back of the package, though! Makes it easier to get started ASAP. Nice wording too, but all seems a bit too good to be true.

What’s it MADE of?

  • Protein blend of pea protein concentrate, hemp protein — nice choices here, although keep in mind that any concentrates have been highly processed compared to their whole food counterpart.
  • Sweetened with stevia — organic? Likely not..
  • Prebiotic corn fiber — although it says non-GMO, ingesting too much corn in your diet in this form isn’t ideal, especially since the package is not stamped with the official non-GMO seal of approval.
  • Natural flavor — red flag! No ‘flavor’ can be considered ‘natural’ if/when it’s created in a lab.
  • Ashitaba (chal curb angelica keiskei) is a plant that does not have much research supporting its use in humans. Many of the studies, as denoted by WebMD, are done in test tubes and animals, so we aren’t too clear about its’ effects or mechanism of action in our body. That doesn’t make me feel too comfortable… Along with the statement that there isn’t yet enough research to denote safety of this plant, WebMD also claims that this plant is used to treat:

    heartburn” (gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD), stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout, constipation, and hay fever. It is also used for cancer, smallpox, fluid retention, blood clots, and food poisoning. Women use it to increase the flow of breast milk.” –>Why would I want this in my smoothies to address weight management?! Especially not on a daily or regular basis.

  • Might be a typo on their packaging, but organic inulin is in parasyntheses along with the bacillus strain — was this on purpose? Not sure what this even means.
  • Lacking information on organic sourcing of ingredients, along with nonGMO certification stamp for their use of ‘non-GMO’ corn.
  • Although the site makes tons of claims about the quality and efficacy of their probiotic strain GBI-30 6086, this SINGLE strain, Bacillus coagulans, is merely one in a sea of trillions of other probiotics living in our gut maintaining the health of our immune system, which makes me skeptical as to how on earth this one single isolated strain (does this strain even survive on its’ passage along the digestive tract and throughout the gut?!) make all the difference for your digestion? I remain highly skeptical, and uneasy.
  • Rule of thumb: To make any difference in our gut, I like to recommend products that include at minimum 7-10+ different strains of probiotics.

Overall GRADING: This product receives a B- since it uses herbs that aren’t supported well in the research for weight management in humans, there is only one single strain of probiotic used in the whole blend, no stamps of organic or nonGMO approval which would step it up in terms of quality of ingredients, including corn. Too many claims made that might lead the consumer astray. Lack of transparency! Typos on their packaging.

Despite the GRADE B-, this brand is getting such a relatively high grade since it was creative in its’ marketing and use of plant-based power to achieve reduction in weight.

Fingers crossed that it tastes good without lingering aftertaste!

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