POM Wonderful – Is It Really Wonderful?

In my last post on pomegranates I mentioned the recent craze over POM because of its supposed health benefits. I talked about pomegranates and how they might not be all they’re hyped up to be, but what about POM? POM markets that there are immense benefits from pomegranate juice with ads such as these:

POM AdvertisingThese are pretty significant claims in my opinion. Of course I’d scramble to buy a product that kept me forever young and cheated death! Could POM Wonderful really be that wonderful??!

This CNN article suggests that POM has been marketed as a “health halo”, where an aura of healthfulness is attached to a product based on labels like “low-fat”, “all-natural” or “made with whole-grains” that seduces consumers into buying. A spokesperson for the American Dietetics Association said that “as long as consumers limit themselves to 8 oz. servings and products with no added sugar, juice can be an excellent source of vitamins and other nutrients, but it’s certainly not going to solve any of your health issues.”

I have to agree with them on this one. It is a food company’s job to market things in a way that will make people want to buy them. POM has marketed their product as a “life support” and a “super-power.” Meanwhile, there is no concrete evidence that suggests POM or pomegranates in general, cure or treat any specific diseases or have significant health benefits.

Now let’s actually compare a raw pomegranate versus a bottle of 8 oz. POM:

Screen shot 2013-06-23 at 11.35.26 AMI admit I was surprised by how big the difference was between the two! I assumed that if POM truly was just 100% pomegranate juice, it would have the same numbers as a raw pomegranate. As you can see this is not the case! Some of the discrepancy could be because when you eat a pomegranate, you’re getting little bits of fibre and other fruit pulp from inside the arils, and therefore ingesting more than just the juice like you would when drinking a POM. Eating a raw pomegranate also gives you more vitamins, as well as less calories and less sugar.

After comparing the two, it is clear that as the saying goes, “fresh is always best!”

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