Up to 4 hours of hunger control with 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving.
Reviews from Real People
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|Soy Free Protein|
|No Artifical Sweeteners|
|Price Per Serving||$2.43||$3.50||$2.55||$1.95||$4.33|
SlimFast is a name you’ve undoubtedly heard due to how long the company has been around and how broadly it is marketed, but can this shake help you lose weight and in general is it a good shake for a healthy lifestyle? How does it influence your overall health and are there controversial ingredients?
Read on to learn more about this meal replacement shake option…
Editors Tip: Studies suggest that meal replacement shakes offer the best results when used for at least 5 months. Save money and buy in bulk or bundles.
SlimFast Nutrition Facts
The SlimFast protein shake mix comes in four flavors: Rich Chocolate Royale, Strawberries & Cream, French Vanilla and Creamy Milk Chocolate. For the purpose of this review, we are going to look at the label for the French Vanilla product…
The first thing we notice about this label is that you have to add milk to this product, which undoubtedly makes the amount of calories per serving higher. Whereas the shake mix is only 110 calories alone, the calorie count goes up to 200 calories per serving after adding 8 fl oz. of fat free milk.
For a meal replacement shake, we recommend that you chose a product that has preferably as close to 100 calories as possible, to keep your daily calorie count down and allow you to add other healthy ingredients into your shakes. So in our opinion, the calorie count in this shake is too high.
The SlimFast protein mix by itself has a shockingly low protein amount at only 2g of protein per serving. You will definitely want to mix the protein shake with milk, which will give you 10g of protein per serving – but that is still too low for a meal replacement shake!
A meal replacement shake that is beneficial for weight loss should contain 14g – 20g of protein per shake serving, in order to keep your body full and boost your metabolism to burn fat. Anything less than that amount would not have enough protein necessary to help propel your weight loss efforts or keep you full in between meals.
Fiber – Soy Fiber
The SlimFast Vanilla Shake contains a decent amount of fiber at 4g total (with or without milk). Although this is an okay amount, it can still be higher at about 5g or more, in order to keep the body full, digest properly and cleanse the body of toxins.
Something we don’t like, however, is that soy fiber is in the ingredient list, and soy is a controversial ingredient in terms of potential negative health effects. There is a lot of controversy surrounding too much soy in your diet, and some studies say it may cause health issues including hormone disruption in men and women, and even fertility issues.2
The SlimFast Shake contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals (24 in total) including Vitamin’s A, C, D, E, K, B6 and B12, and minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate and copper.
Though this is a nice array of vitamins/minerals, it would have been nice to also see some superfood blends or additional ingredients for overall health.
Sugar – Very High and Can Lead to Weight Gain
When it comes to sugar content and artifificial sweeteners, this is an area where SlimFast falls way, way behind on health benefits, to the point where it’s actually shocking.
First off, there is 11g of sugar per serving in the protein mix ALONE, and then when you combine it with the fat free milk, that leads to 24g of sugar per shake serving – an absolutely crazy high amount for a healthy meal replacement shake.
Just how high is it? Well the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that the recommended max amount of added sugars that should be confumsed in a day is 37.5g for men and 25g for women. So, a woman would just about hit her max sugar for the day with just ONE of these shakes (and the recommendation for weight loss is two per day)! And sugar is listed as the FIRST ingredient in this shake – meaning it has prominence over the other ingredients.
Artificial Sweeteners: Maltodextrin, Acesulfame Potassium, Aspartame and Artificial Flavor – Also Leads to Weight Gain!
Another issue is all of the artificial sweeteners in these shakes – so many! Even if artificial sweeteners are controversial with different opinions on the matter, there are still plenty of studies and evidence to show that all of these manufactured ingredients could potentially do your body harm: maltodextrin, acesulfame potassium, aspartame and artificial flavor.
Starting with maltodextrin, this artificial sugar usually created from corn and wheat is a commonly used food additive found in many packaged foods. The problem is that maltodextrin has a high glycemic index rating and can spike your blood sugar, and studies show that it may promote the growth of unhealthy bacteria and increase the risk of inflammatory disease.3
Next, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), is a calorie-free sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than table sugar. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), there may be a link between Ace-K and thyroid damage.4
Aspartame (better known by the names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful and Equal-Measure), may be the worst one of all. Aspartame may account for 75 percent of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA including weight gain, depression, fatigue, irritibility, anxiety attacks, migraines, heart palpatations and more. Some researchers say that chronic illlnesses may also be triggered or worsened by consuming aspartame.5 Sounds like a potentially very scary ingredient!
Finally, artificial flavors are chemicals that are created and not originally sourced from a food product or nature. Artificial flavors may cause reactions including allergic reactions, chest pain, fatigue, headaches and depression.6
But the bottom line is also this: artificial sweeteners contribute to weight gain. In fact, they may contribute to weight gain even more than regular table sugar. Studies show that artificial sweeteners, despite what many people think, actually increase the motivation to eat, since they do not activate satiety signals in your body. Several studies have shown a link between artificial sweetener use and weight gain.7
As you can see there are many controversial ingredients in SlimFast, and there is also one more…
Another Controversial Ingredient: Carrageenan
Another ingredient that is used in SlimFast Shakes, carrageenan, is a food additive extracted from a red seaweed. It has no nutritional value and is used as a thickener to improve the texture of yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, some milks, and more.
Research shows that undegraded carrageenan – the type used in foods – has been linked to malignancies and other stomach problems. Other research has shown that carrageenan can cause inflammation in our bodies, which is a root cause of many diseases including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.8
Though other sources state that this ingredient is safe, there are studies and research against that claim, so in our opinion, it is best to err on the side of caution.
The Company Behind SlimFast Shake
SlimFast is a company that promotes a weight loss plan where you eat six times a day (two of those meals should be replaced with shakes). Dinner should be a healthy meal and then there should also be three snacks (SlimFast also sells those).
You can’t buy SlimFast Shakes on their website, but you can buy them at other retailers including Walgreens, Walmart, Jet, Target and Amazon at varying prices. We were able to find a per serving cost of $1.24 online.
This is extremely low for the price of a meal replacement shake. This once again brings us back to the potential quality and effectiveness of the shake, which definitely isn’t up to our standards in terms of helping you lose weight or becoming healthier.
So, even though SlimFast is a well-known brand name that has been around since 1977, does that mean that they are a good option for a healthy, effective meal replacement shake? In our opinion, the evidence that we found in this review would say no.
Going back to the label for each shake, there is low protein and extremely high sugar. There may be a good amount of vitamins and minerals, but in our opinion, the high sugar would out-weigh the benefits of those nutrients. Plus, sugar is a leading cause of weight gain.
There are also a lot of highly controversial ingredients in each shake that studies show may be bad for your health including artificial sweeteners maltodextrin, acesulfame potassium, aspartame and artificial flavor, along with carrageenan. And the artificial sweeteners have also been shown to lead to weight gain.
We found that SlimFast does work for many people, but others expressed that they could not stand the taste of the shakes which they said were “just flat out bad” and did not see results because they were still hungry all the time.
Even though this product has a very low price, there are other meal replacement shakes of much higher quality, for just a little bit more. Check out some of the other shakes on this site for comparison.
- 2 – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/12/08/the-dirty-little-secret-hidden-in-much-of-your-health-food.aspx
- 3 – http://www.livestrong.com/article/502241-the-risks-of-maltodextrin/
- 4 – http://www.healthline.com/health/is-acesulfame-potassium-bad-for-me
- 5 – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/06/aspartame-most-dangerous-substance-added-to-food.aspx
- 6 – http://naturallysavvy.com/eat/what-are-artificial-flavors
- 7 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765
- 8 – https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/food-safety/is-carrageenan-safe/
1Nutritional information from https://slimfast.com/original/#shake-mixes. Accessed 5/19/17. Controversial Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Acesulfame Potassium, Aspartame, and Carrageenan. BBB Rating accessed 1/24/19.