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The Quest for Functional Foods

Foods with Function or Designed for Deceit?


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  • I loved this article! In the age of the hyped up commercial and the infomercial it is too easy to believe what you hear/see. Thank you.
  • Great article. One has to be so well educated to navigate the claims made by the food industry. I tend to believe we can't fool mother nature, and I prefer to stick to whole foods that are not tampered with by the food industry.
  • I agree with everyone here. So often people fall for things they see on television or online. But this product and it will help lose weight without dieting or exercise. What about that Garcinia they keep talking about it or other products I seen promoted by Dr. Oz and others? They all claim to help you lose weight without doing anything. And people actually fall for it because so called celebrities used it. How much of that is true and did they do any research or tests on it/
    It seems everyone wants to be thin but they do not want to change how they eat or live. I would eat all organic except I am on a very strict food allowance and cannot afford it now.
  • I don't understand this sentence:

    "The functional ingredients of this 12-ounce beverage include: 90 milligrams of green tea extract (known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG for short), 100 milligrams of caffeine, 20% of the daily value for calcium."

    Is this a run-on sentence that should have the word "and" inserted before "20% of the daily value for calcium" or is it making some kind of connection between caffeine and calcium intake? Confusing!
  • Live-saving vaccines and pharmaceuticals are synthetic to some extent, while disease-causing microbes abound in nature. Natural is not synonymous with "healthful" and synthetic is not synonymous with "unhealthful."
  • I tried Activia yogurt just out of curiosity, and it made me feel nauseated.
  • Trust, but verify.Thank you, Ms. Hand. I'd heard people talk about functional nutrition but I didn't know what that was.
  • Is Cocoa Vita powdered cocoa actually better(healthier) than other cocoas?
    Thanks, chris
  • Wouldn't it be nice if truth was the merchandising theme instead of hype? Many think a "little white lie" can keep them ,out of trouble or more competitive. Trust is a word I treasure. Thank you for this revealing article, Becky.
  • Natural is always best. I feel the same way with hybrid fruits and vegetables. When man starts tampering with what GOD intended, it becomes questionable.
  • This looks like some kind of brand war. And the "goal" is to catch eaters in the middle. No wonder Americans obsess over food, but still eat the wrong things.
  • I think that advertisers are extremely adept at finding the 'right' information to add weight to their product claims. We as consumers should be very wary of any product that has been modified too much. My personal belief is that if it has been laboritory processed in any way, then it is less healthy for us. I always try to keep processing as my number one guide to food choices. I can't in any way believe that any ingredient would make a coke drink or any other fizzy drink for that matter - more healthy or "functional". Come on people!! we just want it to be more "functional" because we like the taste!!
  • Eat whole organic foods, cook whole organic foods from scratch, if man messed with it, don't eat. If it has a label, don't eat it.
  • The biggest challenge is to break people of the habit of believing what essentially amounts to a marketing ploy on most of these "functional foods." My biggest pet peeve is the word "enriched" in wheat products. I've read time and again that in order to claim to be enriched, the process the wheat went through actually REMOVES most of the natural nutrients from the wheat before artificially adding them back in. I also know that when I consume enriched products, I feel more bloated after I eat. Whole grains do NOT do this to me at all.

    I also think it comes down to a major problem with consumers (Americans especially): the quick fix. If you don't regularly eat a healthy diet, perhaps eating enriched or fortified products every now and again will solve your diet dilemma. If you consume tons of fried foods, perhaps taking some extra supplements will help you run that fat through your system faster. A magic pill, a super drink, an age-old simple remedy: when all we really need to do is learn balance in our diets and to add exercise into our lives (even if that just means taking a 15-minute walk every day).
  • Not the least bit surprised at this article. Yogurt in itself is GREAT for your digestion alone, without the expensive probiotics they purport to have added to the mix. I promote yogurt to patients who are on antibiotics, due to the fact it adds back good flora to the intestine. Go ahead and indulge in Acttivia if it helps...for some it does more than others. Those of us with NORMAL guts, won't notice any difference, so why are you eating it?!

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