Are SlimFast Shakes Healthy?

Are SlimFast Shakes Healthy

July 25, 2016   20 Comments

When you see SlimFast advertise “balanced nutrition” does that make you think that their shakes are healthy?

I don’t know many people who wouldn’t want a “Creamy Milk Chocolate” shake that helped us lose weight and was a healthy choice. Now THAT is a holy grail for food companies.

What is a SlimFast Shake? It is meal replacement shake that you pair with one balanced 500 calorie meal and three snacks – fruit, veggies or SlimFast snack bars per day. I would guess that the average amount of calories that you would eat is about 1200.

Most of us eat far more than 1200 calories per day so it would follow that you would lose weight if you stuck to the plan. Of course, once you went back to your regular diet of MEALS and not SHAKES, you are almost guaranteed to gain the weight you lost back.

Here is the ingredient list for the Creamy Milk Chocolate shake:

Fat Free Milk, Water, Sugar, Cocoa (processed With Alkali), Canola Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Fructose, Gum Arabic, Cellulose Gel, Mono And Diglycerides, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Potassium Phosphate, Maltodextrin, Soy Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sucralose And Acesulfame Potassium (nonnutritive Sweeteners), Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Magnesium Phosphate, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Ferric Orthophosphate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone (vitamin K1), Sodium Selenite, Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Sweetened With Nutritive Sweeteners And Nonnutritive Sweeteners. Contains Milk And Soy.

Oh my.

If I can simplify – I believe this is like chocolate milk with added fiber, protein, sodium, and a multi-vitamin. I'm not sure what is "balanced" about this combination. Balanced is one of those words marketers can use without any tough standards like the word "natural". These words don't mean anything and should be disregarded when on a product package.

Here are the nutritional facts for one shake:

190 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 25 g carbohydrates, 18 g sugar, 10 g protein, 5 g fiber, 210 mg sodium, 8 SmartPts

Are SlimFast Shakea healthy? I think it is not something I would drink if I was trying to lose weight or become healthier. It has a lot of sugar (they list it 3 times and include high fructose corn syrup) and sodium – and even with 10 grams of protein – I am not sure it would fill me up.

The second ingredient is WATER - which makes me think that $2 for one of these is way over priced. SlimFast is probably making bucks off including water (an ingredient that is almost free).

It tastes like chocolate milk with sucralose added (not very good).

There are so many better options for a quick "meal" replacement – for example Greek yogurt (high in protein, low in calories), smoothies that you can make yourself – try this Peanut Butter Banana Power Shake, KIND bars, a apple with peanut butter, cheese and whole grain crackers....

You can even find low sugar chocolate milk and take a multi-vitamin. This combination would cost far less than the $2 per shake that I spent to buy these.

Obviously, the SlimFast shake is a processed food and shouldn’t take the place of whole foods (fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains).

I can understand the convenience of drinking a shake when you are in a hurry – but it would be far better to buy a Ninja, Vitamix, or Blendtec and make your own shake based on whole foods (try this Green Smoothie).

Do you drink SlimFast shakes? Why do you drink them? Do you think they are a healthy choice?


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20 Comments:

Personally, I like something that I can chew. Otherwise, I feel deprived. I tried Smoothie King once and, even though I have a sweet tooth, it was way too sweet for me. I can't imagine it was healthy. I want real food instead of a liquid meal replacement.

on July 25, 2016

In addition to the sugars, the red flags for me are "hydrogentated" soybean oil, cellulose gum, cellulose gel, and carrageenan - all thickeners to improve "mouth feel." "Hydrogenated" ANYTHING is an automatic strike. Carrageenan is a controversial ingredient with debatable carcinogen suspicions. And "cellulose" is wood pulp - a non-digestible CHEAP filler (a decent article here: http://naturalsociety.com/15-companies-whose-products-contain-wood-pulp-cellulose/)

on July 25, 2016

I tried the Slim-Fast diet years ago. Yes, I did lose the 15 pounds that I wanted to shed but I was astounded how quickly I regained them after I stopped the plan. Now that I've wised up about good nutrition I'm able to maintain a healthy weight by just eating sensibly. Now I'm concerned about an elderly relative who consumes Boost meal replacements once or twice a day to supplement his diet. Is this option as good as the manufacturer makes it sound? Sometimes he simply settles for a peanut butter sandwich and Boost at dinnertime. Can this possibly be considered a healthy meal? I'd love to be able to give him some sound advice from an outside source because he tends to pooh pooh anything family members tell him. He leads a rather sedentary lifestyle and doesn't have the
appetite he used to, but I think he needs more fiber and protein. Everyone in the family loves him dearly and want to keep him around in a healthy state as long as possible. I'd love your opinion of Boost and other similar "doctor recommended" products that are appealing to old folks...and to others who just use them as a quick fix. Thanks for any input!

on July 25, 2016

It isn't worth the money. I rather make my own shake and I know what is in it and I can control the sugar as being diabetic I have to watch carbs and sugar.

on July 25, 2016

I lost 52 pounds on Slim Fast back in 1992...to this day with eating right and exercise I have not gained back a pound...you just have to be willing to eat healthy and get up off the couch..so yes Slim Fast does work but the rest is up to you!!

on July 25, 2016

Just the thought of one of these shakes makes me feel a bit ill.

on July 25, 2016

I used to like to drink them, but if I drank them once a day at lunch, as I had a desk job, so didn't want alot of food, on the weekend, I'd spend the day in the bathroom, as the fiber would mess up my 'regularity' so to speak. I'm crazy but I liked the flavor, if it was cold.

on July 25, 2016

They have a high protein version that has far less sugar. I have used them in the mornings because I don't like eating breakfast but need something to take my medication and can't have a lot of yogurt, fruit, or peanut butter because of health restrictions. They work in a pinch, definitely overpriced and I would be happier if the ingredients list was shorter.

on July 25, 2016

Nice post. I have same thoughts sharing on my book. Join My Intuitive Eating Program http://www.theconnollymethod.com.au/live-your-ultimate-life

Kate Connolly
kate@theconnollymethod.com

on July 25, 2016

After the three mentions of sugar that Lisa mentioned, the list of ingredients says sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium which is listed as a nonnutritive Sweeteners. All this sugar is in this product because if something is not sweet enough people will reject it as our taste buds have been conditioned to like sugar and salt. Do people still salt watermelon and grapefruit like they used to? Sugar strawberries to "bring out the juice?" I like my fruit plain! Here is the sad thing about all these drinks: lazyness. everyone deserves a lunch at work if you work more than a 6 hour shift and you need the mental break! It took time to put the weight on, and people should realize it will take time to reverse the process.

on July 25, 2016

I wouldn't touch the regular Slim Fast but I have the "Advanced Nutrition" (?) high protein version (lower sugar, too) in my fridge for when I don't feel like eating in the morning. Will you be reviewing the high protein version?

on July 25, 2016

@Amy - sounds better than this one. I will take a look. Thanks for your question!

on July 25, 2016

To Frances. A Peanut Butter Sandwich Along With A Serving OF
Boost Is Fatty.
A Newer Alternative Is Abbott's Laboratories ''Ensure Clear''
Because It Contains No Fat.

on July 25, 2016

To the woman asking about the Boost supplements - I had experience with this with my father. He would mix one of these with double the amount of skim milk as his evening meal and even though I would have preferred he have something more whole food based, I had to come to terms with what he was capable of in terms of making for himself. He was never much of a cook so after my mother died, anything beyond scrambled eggs and toast was probably not going to happen. He was also losing energy and physical strength to age which added another layer to the difficulty of making something more complicated. It might help to look at your relative's abilities in terms of what he can make for himself. His penchant for a Boost and a peanut butter sandwich in the evenings may be because that's the best he can do for himself and asking for help might be hard for him to do.

on July 26, 2016

There's something in those shakes that make me extremely nauseous. I'm better off with my own shakes in the a.m....half a frozen banana, cup of frozen strawberries, vanilla Silk, half a scoop of protein powder, a scoop of flax seeds and I'm hunger free for many hours.

on July 26, 2016

To Susan who so kindly responded to my concerns about Boost meal replacement drinks: My elderly relative would do much better if he would just allow his three daughters to prepare wholesome meals for him. All of his girls are excellent cooks and live within short driving distance from him so it's not a matter of him being neglected...they'd love to keep him well-fed if he'd allow them to.do.so! He's not being nasty in his refusals and the dear man just feels he's making things easier for them. They've even discussed the situation with his doctor who assured them that their dad was in good health, but they've noticed that his strength is waning noticeably. We all feel that Boost is probably okay as a supplement, but NOT as a meal replacement - especially for a man who is pushing 80. I'm not knocking the product - just questioning dependency on it as an easy fix. By the way, it's really nice to know that there are people out there who are willing to share the concerns of other loyal Lisa fans! Makes us feel like we belong to.a sisterhood.

on July 26, 2016

@France and @Susan - thank you for sharing your stories about Boost. I am not an expert in geriatric health so I would ask a registered dietitian about whether or not these meal replacements make sense.

I do hope we have created a "sisterhood"!! Thanks for your questions and comments.

on July 26, 2016

I would not use Slim Fast thanks....way too many chemicals and I hate Sucralose tasting anything. For the people worried about elderly relatives: They would do much better if they simply had a protein shake made with veggies & fruits in a blender. I have this for breakfast every day. They need a vanilla protein powder (I prefer plant based like pea protein), water or milk, spinach, and either berries, a green apple or pumpkin in the fall.(I put in a few pecans & pumpkin pie spice..yum) The green apple I cut one up & put in walnuts & spinach & cinnamon. If the elderly relative has a blender this is a MUCH better alternative to Boost. It takes like 1-2 minutes to make and has whole food nutrition in it. No cooking required. (Healthy fats, veggies, fruit, protein)

on August 4, 2016

hey nice post . but here i mention that weight lose nutrition like Green tea , Green coffee bean extract , multi-vitamin helpful for weight lose. Find more products : http://www.sinewnutrition.com

on September 10, 2016

Just bout a case of slim fast
I am type 1 diabetic
I know many moons ago my mom trying it
And she too would rather chew food.
I of course like the Glaserna but just to much money.
I went with the powder so I am useing water milk shoots my sugar up high "
After reading some of the post I am kinda scared now.
Love this page
Thank you

on October 24, 2016


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