It all started with an email from an American brand, to write a detailed review on a meal replacement powder. As I was browsing through the list of ingredients, my answer was sent back immediately, that I am not gonna put that into my body. I found many positive reviews on the forums, saying only good things about them, however, as I dug deeper into this whole subject of cheap meal replacement powders, I got into a very dark place. It looks like, that consumers get blindfolded, they just don’t care or all the internet posts are as engineered as these meal replacement powders are. I re-contacted all the companies, who wanted to provide me with their ready to drink solutions and denied the testing.
I chose one cheap and one high-end brand, what will be detailed in a future article, but in this rant, I am gonna still mention some non-desirable enterprises. In addition to my private health concerns, often some of these co-ops go through name changes and sketchy company twists, so surely there is something hiding deep in the water.
I am not sponsored, nor affiliated and did not sign a contract anywhere. For this reason I can write anything, but it must be honest.
I always try staying calm, try not to swear, try not being over-passionate. It is a very difficult task, as I can see human health getting damaged. I see some initial light though, like a match getting lit up then burnt off in a dark stadium. Some of these solutions are better than a pre-packed TV dinner, coke and potato-powder chips, but not that far from it !
Most of these food powders contain soy. Even if it was non-GMO, what is rare as an albino black panther, it is not good for you. It has a lot of anti-nutrients. With fermentation this can be eliminated, but first of all, we don’t see fermented soy in meal replacement powders and secondly why would you try modifying something to be edible what was toxic ? What kind of thinking is this ? The possible alternatives are limitless. The Amazonian Indians have one or two deadly-toxic starch possibilities of cassava or sweet yam. They found a way to make it comestible, but if there were apple trees, fish and rice around, they would not ever eat dangerous roots.
Canola is a highly bred franken’ “food” and finding a non-GMO version is as difficult as for SOY. It was used by Canadians first as industrial rapeseed oil, as it sticks to wet metal. You can understand the military / naval applications. Then when the war was over, using Darwinian techniques, they bred a non-toxic low euric acid version. Can(adian) O(il) L(ow) A(cid) ! Canola. (In French – Colza)
Regardless it is non-GMO or weirdly certified organic, it has no health benefits, but most likely have deep DNA damaging effects. Even bertrand.bio what would be nearly perfect, has canola oil ! Why ?
The debate on high quality, family farmed, grass-fed, organic, free range, sparingly consumed fermented milk produce is dependent on where you come from. Either ways if you ate that kind of cheese, while wine tasting or with an apple as a post dinner snack, once every two weeks, it would cause absolutely no harm !
However, there is no question, that as industrial waste-product, whey is not good for you ! It must be certainly a premium ingredient, not a carcinogenic substance.
Vitamin and mineral Mix
If you had a quality, fibre and real food rich diet, replacing one meal what has synthetic vitamins and minerals will do no quantifiable damage. What disturbing is the fact, that all of these cheap meal replacement companies use the same blend. I am nearly 100% sure that I could count on one hand, the number of factories furnishing all meal pouch brands these industrial side-product “vitamin” mixes.
The same true to oat-flakes, pea protein, rice protein, isomaltuose, maltodextrin, dextrose and so forth. One ring above all !
Twisted health claims
- For instance blue-green algae, spiruline and chlorella are good for you. Just because alginate is used in the micro-encapsulation process, companies can claim, that their produce contains the brain and heart-healthy DHA and EPA ! How ?
- A complete, quality protein and lecithin are healthy, therefor soy has a lot of benefits. Seriously ?
- Canola oil is a superior source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a convenient ratio of 2:1. Really ?
- Gum Arabic is a mixture of highly digestible carbohydrates and glycoproteins. It is a just stabilizer. Do not put health claims on it please !!!
- We use sucralose, aspartame or alcohol sugars to eliminate blood sugar fluctuations. What ?
- Certain preservatives, filling agents and stabilizers, like sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate and others are nearly always listed as minerals. Should I enlighten them, that just because it contains the words “sodium” and “potassium” , it doesn’t mean that they are healthy and absorbable minerals for the body ?
The first list should be occasional or never consumed. The second could be a good option for budget seekers and time crunched rushing individuals. The third group would need some money in the bank as they are 3 to 8 fold more expensive, but as quality goes, they are way superior to the previous ones.
Decide to yourself what is your future of meal replacement powder choice will be. I recommend to use them occasionally, regardless where they come from. Post exercise or as an expedition meal.