Monday, March 14, 2011

Badvertising: Corazonas' cholesterol lowering stupidity

For a lesson in why front of package health claims are a terrible, dangerous, and deceptive practice look no further than Corazonas.

Who are they?

Well they're a company whose entire product line is leveraged by large, loud, front of package health claims.

They're also a company whose entire product line consists entirely of junk food. Cookies and potato chips to be exact.

And while you might be able to make the case that at least Corazonas cookies and potato chips are quite as bad for you as their alternatives, not quite as bad for you certainly doesn't suggest good for you, and psst, guess what? I've got a secret to tell you, COOKIES AND POTATO CHIPS AREN'T HEALTHY FOODS!

Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't ever eat them, it just means you should eat the smallest amount of them that you need to enjoy your lives.

And please, for the love of everything holy, don't ever eat them with the impression that doing so will be good for your health - because that's just plain stupid.

[Coincidentally Fooducate, one of my favourite blogs, covered Corazonas in their post yesterday. Check it out!]

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  1. Plant sterols have never been shown to prevent heart attacks. See this post for more information:

  2. Paulette8:10 am

    I'm all for healthier snacks in principle, but healthier or not, chips, cookies along with candies & the like must be kept in check as an occasional treat only.
    I looked at the their site and it appears that this is a US product,and not labelled for sale in Canada. - (does not mean the products are not here- and if here, should be highlighted to CFIA for enforcement action for the over the top claims). Although the site is brimming with information about the supposed health benefits, and make claims about fat content etc they don't even post the nutrition facts or ingredient lists for reference.

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  5. 840 mg of sodium?? Wow. Sure, your cholesterol *may* be lowered, but what about hypertension?

  6. Anonymous5:04 pm

    Dear Yoni,

    This is Ramona Cappello, and I’m the founder of Corazonas Foods. I found your post online and wanted to offer some clarification on a few of the points made here. I appreciate your position as a bariatric doctor, though I want to note that Corazonas does not claim to be a “health food” company. Our claim is simply that the plant sterols in our snacks are proven to help lower LDL cholesterol, which has been substantiated by more than 140 clinical studies (including those from Brandeis University and the USDA).

    Your post states that we make cookies, however Corazonas does not manufacture any cookies. We do have a line of Oatmeal Squares, that while they may taste almost as good as a cookie, each Square provides 13-16 grams for whole grains (depending upon the flavor), 6 grams of protein, and 5-6 grams of fiber per square. Our Oatmeal Squares offer on-the-go nutrition, and are a convenient way to integrate plant sterols, whole grains and other nutrients into the diet.

    Also, to clarify one person’s comment about the calorie, fat, and sodium contents in our chips, each bag of chips contains 6-7 servings (1 oz each), which is made clear on each nutrition panel, and which coincides with required labeling in the United States. Each serving contains 130-140 calories, 6-7 g fat, and 75mg-170mg of sodium (depending on the flavor). All of our nutritional information, including ingredients can easily be accessed on the products page of our site -

    I’m a huge advocate for exercise and eating fresh fruits and vegetables, however the reality is that consumers are still going to snack every now and then, and that’s where we come in by offering a great-tasting alternative made with efficacious cholesterol-lowering ingredients. Our snacks may not be for everyone, but for those who are concerned with high cholesterol, and have had to give up on enjoying their favorite snack foods, Corazonas offers a wonderful alternative that allows them to enjoy snacking again while integrating heart-healthy ingredients into their diets.

    We’re constantly working to improve the nutritionals in our snacks and appreciate the feedback. Should you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at

    Best in health,
    Ramona Cappello

  7. Guess it was deleted, but Ramona Cappello had left a comment on this post. She's the founder of Corazonas food.

    Fact is, I'm not upset with Ramona or Corazonas at all. I'm upset with the fact that food regulations allow her to create the illusion that her chips are a healthy dietary choice.

    Fact also is, if I were her, I'd do the exact same thing.

    You see her job is to sell her chips and cookies.

    If she can do so by stamping a giant heart and talking about cholesterol, she ought to go for it.

    The problem are the front of package health claim regulations that let her get away with it.

    Will look into her posting and if I can't find it, perhaps I'll put it up for her.

  8. Anonymous9:08 pm

    I find it hilarious, and predictable, that your panel of heavyweight experts immediately went to the whole bag.