You might be surprised at some of the ingredients in a Slim Fast shake—a “diet” meal replacement. Specifically the first one. Yes, this product may help you quickly drop some weight, but you probably won’t keep it off. If health is what you’re aiming for, you don’t want to drink this!
Look at this chart I put together that compares 1 can of Slim-Fast to a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar!
|Slim-Fast Shake||Hershey’s Chocolate Bar|
|Fat||3.0 grams||13 grams|
|Saturated Fat||1 gram||8 grams|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.5 grams||None|
|Monounsaturated Fat||1.5 grams||None|
|Cholesterol||5 grams||10 grams|
|Sodium||220 mg||35 mg|
|Carbohydrate||40 grams||26 grams|
|Fiber||5 grams||1 gram|
|Sugar||34 grams||24 grams|
|Protein||10 grams||3 grams|
Sugar. First ingredient! Slim-Fast has more sugar than a Hershey’s Bar!!
High Oleic Sunflower Oil. This just sounds bad, but it actually isn’t! K, sugar and oil though? Yeah, gross.
Maltodextrin. According to Wikipedia, “Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide (sugar) that is used as a food additive. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a creamy-white hygroscopic spraydried powder.” Keep those creamy-white hygroscopic spraydried powders outta my food! This ingredient is often extracted from corn, a crop that is commonly genetically modified in the U.S. In Europe, it is extracted from wheat.
Gum Arabic. This is a is a natural gum made of hardened sap taken from the acacia tree.
Milk Protein Concentrate. This is a concentrated milk product that can be highly processed. I don’t even quite understand what this is. Can one of you smarty pantses go to Wiki and tell me? Leave a comment! We don’t know if the milk being used is from cows treated with rbGH. Check out my Dannon post for more about rbGH (growth hormones).
Cellulose Gel. People would probably wonder more what this is if it was called it’s alternate name, carbooxymethyl cellulose! Sounds scary, right? It’s a food additive that’s also used in K-Y Jelly (high viscosity!) and some paper products. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Soy Fiber. First off, soy is often genetically modified (GMO) in the United States.
Buttermilk Powder. A cultured skim milk. This could also be made with milk from rbGH-treated cows.
Potassium Phosphate. Yet another food additive. It is a term for the salts of Potassium.
Xanthan Gum. Guess what this is? Yep. A food additive. It thickens! Also used in cosmetic products. Versatile! It can be made from common allergens, such as soy, wheat and corn. People who are allergic to these foods should not eat foods with this ingredient.
Dextrose. A simple sugar. Don’t ask me about this. It’s all science-y.
Salt. 220 mg worth! Yay!
Guar Gum. The ground endosperm of guar beans.
Soybean Lecithin. Lecithin is extracted from soybeans using hexanes. Hexanes are mostly from the refinement process of crude oil. I’m not making this up! I swear. Hexane is a really bad thing. In 2007, grain processors were responsible for more than two-thirds of hexane emissions in the United States. It’s highly toxic too.
Artificial Flavor. Artificial flavor is pretty much chemicals that can be made to taste like whatever flavor the food producer is trying to hint at. They are tricksy little Hobbits.
Carrageenan. According to Wikipedia, “the gelatinous extracts of the Chondrus crispus seaweed have been used as food additives for hundreds of years. Carrageenan is a vegetarian and vegan alternative to gelatin.” There are concerns that carrageenan may cause intestinal inflammation and maybe even inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Sodium Phosphate. The only thing I could find for this is that it’s used to clear out the bowels before a colonoscopy. Certainly this can’t be the same thing? Is it a way to have people thinking that the Slim-Fast diet is working? Things that make you go…
Acesulfame Potassium. This is an artificial sweetener I’ve never heard of, which scares the hell out of me! The commercial names this sweetener is known under are Sweet One and Sunett. Some people question the safety of this sweetener and feel not enough research has been done on its possible effects.
Aspartame. Wiki says: “A low-calorie sweetener made primarily of two amino acids; aspartic acid and phenylalanine.”
Read my other aspartame-containing What’s In It? Wednesday!—Diet Coke post!
Vitamins and Minerals. Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin E Acetate, Ferric Manganese Sulfate, Copper Gluconate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamin Monoitrate, Chromium Chloride, Riboflavin, Biotin, Folic Acid, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Phytonadione Vitamin K1) Potassium Iodide, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) and Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
May Contain Wheat.
Phenylketonurics. Contains Phenylalanine.
Alternative to Slim-Fast: A smoothie made with lowfat, organic yogurt, organic fruits and flax seeds! Fiber, natural sugar, whole foods, filling protein and yummy!
Until next week!