One popular characteristic among dietary patterns and lifestyle templates today is the restriction of carbohydrates and more accurately, reduction in available glucose (or net carbs). Those that can strictly follow such diets like the ketogenic diet (Nutritional Ketosis) have in many cases drastically cut back on fruit consumption due to the presence of inherent sugar in most fruits. Along with this reduction in fruit consumption, it seems that vegetable intake also falls off. This makes it challenging to maintain good phytochemical (nutrients from plants other than vitamins) intake while on a keto or very low carb diet.
It seems logical then, that if a source of balanced and abundant phytochemical nutrition was available in a tasty fruit that has almost no available sugar that this would be a superstar product to include in these diets. Such a fruit does exist and is gaining in popularity.
Açai is the so called ‘berry’ from a palm tree originating in the Amazon flood plain of Eastern Brazil and adjacent areas. This ‘berry’ has a large very hard stone or seed over which a thin layer of skin and pulp is draped and is much more like an olive than a berry. The skin and pulp have almost zero sugars and are loaded with antioxidants and purple pigments.
Açai has specific health benefits and the research findings from human studies continue to pile up in its favor. Açai contributes to the effectiveness of reduced-sugar/reduced-carbohydrate diets by managing insulin metabolism, improving liver function relating to cholesterol and triglycerides, and managing other symptoms of ‘Metabolic Syndrome’. The benefits and the medical research citations are listed below.
Açai plus Zsweet®
Açai has an excellent flavor when properly sweetened. However, it tastes like an earthy olive when not sweetened. Unfortunately, this berry in Brazil and elsewhere is typically prepared with loads of added sugar, like the cranberry here in the US.
But why is Zsweet® the perfect sweetener for enhancing açai? Zsweet® has been tested in many recipes using both açai frozen pulp and dry powder and makes açai taste fantastic. Not only does it taste great, but the combination of Zsweet® and açai has potentially synergistic health effects. Erythritol, the key ingredient in Zsweet® has zero impact on blood sugar and insulin (zero net carbs), so it is Keto Safe. Erythritol also blunts absorption of any residual sugar or carbohydrates in açai, acting like an insurance policy against any rise in blood sugar from the fruit. Lastly, açai is loaded with fiber and Zsweet® helps raise our bodies’ satiety signaling (diminishing our appetites) creating a fantastic combo for dieters.
There are so many ways to enjoy this amazing taste and health combination, smoothies, ice cream, sorbet, puddings, cookies and many others. Send us some of your creations and we will post on our social media platforms.
Here are some key facts about açai that dieters will want to know:
- Reduces the rise in blood sugar after a meal.
- Reduces fasting blood sugar and insulin.
- Helps manage fat levels in blood.
- Acts as an antioxidant when consumed as part of a normal human diet.
Açai research references:
Effects of Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population
Udani et al,
Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:45
Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) dietary intake affects plasma lipids, apolipoproteins, cholesteryl ester transfer to high-density lipoprotein and redox metabolism: A prospective study in women
Pala et al,
Clinical Nutrition 37 (2018) 618-623