POM Wonderful, maker of pomegranate juices and products, has been ordered by a federal judge to stop its misleading marketing campaigns. POM’s health messages lead consumers to believe that pomegranate juice can treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and/or erectile dysfunction. While this may be true, POM did not provide enough scientific evidence. And as such, these health claims should be filed under SCI-FI, or possibly PHONY-BALONEY.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued POM in 2010, charging the company with deceptive marketing.
What you need to know:
To POM’s credit, their beverage is 100% pomegranate juice. Nothing else added. We enjoy it on occasion, simply because it tastes great. The tart and sweet flavor is an acquired taste, but served very cold it is just … wonderful. POM is great at design and marketing too.
However…the nutrition facts panel is not wonderful at all:
The iconic 16 oz bottle of POM contains two 8 oz servings. Each of those servings is 160 calories, of which 136 are from sugar.
The 34 grams of sugar per serving amount to over 8 teaspoons! Double that if you’re guzzling down the whole bottle, which most people do.
Each bottle of POM you drink, you’re ingesting 17 teaspoons of sugar and 320 calories!
There are plenty of antioxidants in POM, according to the company. Thing is, all fruits have antioxidants, not just pomegranates. So there’s nothing special about this juice compared to others.
But eating an entire pomegranate is not so simple. Peeling the rind, removing the albedo (white membrane), and separating the hundreds of arils (those juicy sacs with the seed inside) is quite the chore, and yes – the juice stains clothes.
What to do at the supermarket:
We should thank POM for bringing pomegranates to our attention. They are a lovely fruit, and do provide vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. Hardly any fiber though – one pomegranate has less than 1 gram of fiber, compared to 3.5 for a medium apple. Other fruits have more of some nutrients, less of others. All fruits and vegetables are good for us.
Fruit Juice is a different story. It loses much of the nutritional potency of the original fruit, especially the fiber. What it does for us is provide a highly concentrated dose of sugar.
If you are looking for a superdrink to consume regularly – go for tap water. As an occasional treat, POM is fine, as are many other juices. Choose what tastes best.