For a long time, proponents of this website have made complaints that MonaVie contains very little fiber. They seem right to complain as most any dietitian will claim that fiber is one of the major benefits of eating fruit. With many MonaVie distributors erroneously stating that MonaVie is equal to 13 fruits, it seems like the fiber was a major issue.
“Was” is the keyword there.
MonaVie, in what seems like an admission of guilt, has decided to fortify the juice with Fibersol-2. Their claim: “With Fibersol-2, you can drink to your health with the confidence that the MonaVie juice you love is fortified with soluble fibers.”
Problem solved, right?
Well it doesn’t seem to be true. What is Fibersol-2? The company that makes Fibersol says, “Fibersol-2 digestion resistant maltodextrin is a spray-dried powder produced by a proprietary method of controlled enzymatic hydrolysis of cornstarch.” Cornstarch? A product used as a thickening agent doesn’t seem to be like drinking fruit.
More concerning though is the Maltodextrin. Looking at the Wikipedia page, you find the following information, “It is commonly used for the production of natural sodas and candy.” That’s not necessarily bad, but it hardly a good thing. Later on in the article there is, “While wheat-derived maltodextrin may cause concern for celiacs that it may contain gluten, maltodextrin is such a highly processed ingredient that the protein is removed, rendering it gluten free.” I highlighted the point that it’s highly-processed and hence has the protein removed.
I’m sure a lot of MonaVie distributors are thinking that this is a lot of opinion and surely the people who make Fibersol-2 have far more qualified food scientists than some anonymous guy on the Internet like myself. I’ve heard that before. So I’m going to thwart that defense from the get-go:
It seems that I’m not the only one concerned about these fiber additives, Jacob Gershman for The Slate says Don’t be fooled by polydextrose and other fiber additives. In that article we have the following quote:
“Companies are putting fiber into foods like cookies and ice cream and making people think these are healthy foods, when in fact they should be eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s dressing up junk food as health food,” says Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C. “We have no idea if polydextrose has the same benefits as bran. It’s deceptive.”
I’m not saying that MonaVie is a junk food, but that misses the point. Here is a very, very reputable person specifically saying that companies like MonaVie are adding this to deceive people despite the fact we don’t know the benefits of these additives.
The rest of the Slate article makes a very important point with MonaVie in mind:
Ironically, the rise of these faux-fibers is driven by the greater attention that consumers are paying to nutrition labels. The food companies, in other words, are teaching to the test. Whether it’s reducing fat and calories or adding fiber and vitamins, the industry is getting ever more clever at manipulating ingredients of snacks and other treats so that the stats mimic the nutritional data of fruits and vegetables.
Adding fiber and vitamins? Isn’t that exactly what MonaVie says it is doing here?
But what does Bonnie Liebman (again the very, very reputable Bonnie Liebman) have to say about maltodextrin? She uses polydextrose as the example in the quote. Well fortunately you can read her article here. To save you some time, I’m going to quote page 5 where she gives the bottom line about fiber additives:
- Isolated inulin, polydextrose, and maltodextrin are soluble fibers but they’re not gummy, so they probably don’t lower blood cholesterol or blood sugar.
- Isolated oat fiber and soy fiber are insoluble, so they may help keep you regular. Polydextrose may also help, but inulin and maltodextrin don’t seem to.
So Fibersol-2 / Maltodextrin may help the nutritional label look good, but it doesn’t look like it will blood cholesterol, blood sugar, or help keep you regular.
The question is whether MonaVie will address this issue? Or will they do what they’ve always done in the past and pretend it doesn’t exist?
Originally posted 2010-08-15 11:40:01. Republished by Blog Post PromoterThe above article is intended to be accurate at the time of its original posting. MonaVie may change its pricing, product, or other policies at any time without notice.
This post involves:
Next: The Problem with the “Try MonaVie” Argument