Soy is the most controversial protein today. Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole non-GMO soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities—protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products. Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens.
Do your research as soy protein has been linked to breast cancer, brain damage, Infant abnormalities, Thyroid disorders, Kidney stones, Immune system impairment, Severe, potentially fatal food allergies, Impaired fertility, Danger during pregnancy and nursing.
Dextrin is actually a name for a type of low molecular weight carbohydrates.
Dextrins are produced by enacting the process of hydrolysis on starches.
Hydrolysis involves splitting water up into its basic components and allowing those components to attach to other molecules.
Whey protein concentrates are created by pushing the protein source (milk, whey, etc.) through a very small filter that allows water, minerals and other organic materials to pass though.
Meanwhile, the proteins, which are too big to pass through the filter, are collected, resulting in protein powder.
Modified food starches are often used as bulking agents to increase the bulk of a food without affecting its nutritional value. Modified food starches might be used as an anti-caking agent to keep foods free-flowing, or as an inexpensive way to control moisture in a food product. In low-fat meat products, modified food starch is used as a binder.
Note that people sensitive to wheat or gluten should avoid products with modified food starch as an ingredient unless it specifically states that the product is gluten free or states the specific type of starch used. Many manufacturers will use whatever food starch is cheapest or readily available for their product – corn, wheat, or otherwise.
Soy lecithin is not soy protein, but instead a component of the soybean plant that is used an emulsifier in a variety of foods.
The average person in the U.S. consumes 3,500 milligrams of sodium a day. That’s equivalent to almost 9 grams of salt, or nearly 2 teaspoonfuls—way more than the 2,300 milligrams per day suggested by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Although salt in moderation has not proven harmful an increasing body of evidence indicates that we should reduce the amount of salt in our diet. The American Medical Association (AMA), the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and the National Institutes of Health have begun a campaign to cut the salt intake of Americans by one-half.
One of an array of factory-made additives, cellulose is increasingly used by the processed-food industry to thicken or stabilize foods, replace fat and boost fiber content, and cut the need for ingredients like oil or flour, which are getting more expensive.
Cellulose is especially popular because it can be used in many ways in food and is relatively inexpensive.
The definition of natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations is: “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
The search for “natural” sources of chemicals often requires that a manufacturer go to great lengths and expenses to obtain a given chemical. For this reason, synthetically produced flavors are frequently used in foods and beverages.
Artificial flavors have been known to cause an array of health problems such as chest pain, headaches, fatigue, nervous system depression, allergies, brain damage, seizures, nausea, dizziness and many more.
Just Google the “dangers of Acesulfame Potassium” and your screen will light up! What is it? It is a calorie-free sugar substitute, also known as Acesulfame K or Ace K. In the U.S., it is used in such products as candies, baked goods, frozen desserts, and beverages. Here’s the problem it’s highly highly controversial, especially as of late. Reported side effects: Long term exposure to methylene chloride can cause nausea, headaches, mood problems, impairment of the liver and kidneys, problems with eyesight and possibly cancer. Because of such recent controversy towards it’s safety and side effects it’s been banned at leading retailers, the most recent being Whole Foods.
Although this could fall into the yellow category we feel it important to point out a few things.
For starters corn syrup solids are manufactured from corn syrup liquid through a process that removes 97% of the water from the liquid.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest puts corn syrup and corn syrup solids on its “Cut Back” list.
The CSPI says these corn syrup products are not toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or promote bad nutrition.
Corn syrup is a sweet, thick liquid that’s made by treating cornstarch with acids or enzymes.
Xanthan gum is a sugar-like compound made by mixing aged, or fermented, sugars with a certain kind of bacteria.
In manufacturing, xanthan gum is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in foods.
Carrageenan are a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties. Carrageenan can be found in many foods, even foods labeled “natural” and “organic.” It is widely used in dairy products (chocolate milk, whipping cream, ice cream, nonfat sour cream), frozen dinners, dairy alternatives (soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk), prepared poultry and cold cuts, nutritional drinks, and even infant formula.
Potassium is an essential nutrient we get from the food we eat. It typically comes in the form of potassium chloride.
Along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium, potassium is an electrolyte, meaning that it helps to conduct electrical charges in the body. Like all the other electrolytes, our bodies have evolved elaborate systems to control blood levels in a narrow range.
This is good news since normal levels of potassium are absolutely critical to life—if potassium levels get too high or too low, the heart and nervous system completely shut down.
Milk naturally contains calcium phosphate.
Foods such as breads, cereals and drink mixes also commonly contain calcium phosphate.
Manufacturers also frequently fortify packaged foods and drinks with calcium phosphate.
Magnesium is an element your body needs to function normally.
Magnesium oxide may be used for different reasons. Some people use it as an antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, or acid indigestion.
Magnesium oxide also may be used as a laxative for short-term, rapid emptying of the bowel (before surgery, for example).
It should not be used repeatedly. Magnesium oxide also is used as a dietary supplement when the amount of magnesium in the diet is not enough.
Ascorbic acid is another word for Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound with antioxidant properties. Ascorbic acid works to preserve food.
Long name for “Iron”, Ferrous sulfate provides the iron needed by the body to produce red blood cells. It is used in lots of things today, mainly to treat or prevent iron-deficiency anemia, a condition that occurs when the body has too few red blood cells because of pregnancy, poor diet, excess bleeding, or other medical problems.
What can high-zinc foods do for you?
-Help balance blood sugar
-Stabilize your metabolic rate
-Prevent a weakened immune system
-Support an optimal sense of smell and taste
Vitamin E acetate, also called tocopherol acetate, is a dry form of vitamin E that is commonly referred to as tocopherols. The acetate form is an ester, which has a much greater stability than unesterified tocopherols. One of the principle differences between the dry and oil forms of this vitamin is that the former has no immediate antioxidant properties. An antioxidant is a substance present in many all natural foods that are rich in nutrients. They help to retard the aging of cells and play a vital role in protection against free radicals.
Niacinamide and niacin are slightly varying forms of vitamin B3.
Vitamin B3 is naturally in many foods like fish and green vegetables and is also found in many vitamin B complex supplements.
Another name for vitamin B5, calcium pantothenate or pantothenic acid is a water soluble found in most food.
Manganese is a mineral that is found in several foods including nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It is considered an essential nutrient, because the body requires it to function properly. People use manganese as medicine. Manganese is used for prevention and treatment of manganese deficiency, a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough manganese.
Copper is an essential trace element for most plant and animal species, including man. Its deficiency is characterized by specific biochemical and pathological lesions. The customary adult daily diet provides adequate copper to prevent signs of deficiency. Both copper deficiency and chronic copper intoxication are relatively rare.
Pyridoxine is one of the compounds that can be called vitamin B6, along with pyridoxal and pyridoxamine.
Riboflavin also known as vitamin B12. This is naturally found in many foods and it is added to many protein shakes.
Thiamine mononitrate is a form of vitamin B1.
Vitamin A palmitate is the form of vitamin A found naturally in animal sources and also produced synthetically.
Chromium chloride is the naturally occurring trivalent variety of the mineral chromium found in many food types and synthesized supplements.
Most commonly referred to as chromium only, chromium chloride is a human dietary requirement.
Folic acid is a B vitamin. It helps the body make healthy new cells.
“Folic acid” and “folate” mean the same thing.
Folate is found naturally in some foods and folic acid is a manmade form of folate.
Since 1998, folic acid has been added to most enriched bread flours, cornmeal, pasta, rice, and other grain products in the U.S. and Canada.
This was done to help prevent spina bifida and anencephaly, two birth defects that are caused in part by too little folate in a mother’s body around the time her baby is conceived.
Biotin is a water soluble vitamin and another name for vitamin H.
Biotin is associated with many health benefits including the metabolism of fats and amino acids, as well as the production of new cells.
Potassium iodine is an organic compound that is commercial sold as white table salt.
Sodium molybdate is a chemically altered form of the mineral element, sodium.
Sodium is a natural salt and sodium molybdate is used in the food industry as a fertilizer and as a nutritional supplement for health.
Sodium molybdate use in food may have some benefits, as well as some side effects.
Sodium selenite, another name for selenium, is a mineral essential for optimal health, even though your body only needs small amounts.
Sodium selenite is present in plant foods, in some meat and seafood, and in supplements.
Selenium is touted as a treatment for a variety of diseases because it’s an essential component of glutathione, your body’s most potent natural antioxidant.
Vitamin K, and vitamin K as MK-7 in particular, plays an important role in keeping calcium in the bones and out of the arteries. Hopefully, as we cast a broader net of understanding, clinical bone trials will include analysis of vitamin K status along with calcium intake evaluation.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. The main function of vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bones and aid in cell to cell communication throughout the body.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 is very common in most foods and helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.
The Medifast Program is a no-nonsense diet plan that delivers meals to their customers in conjunction with shakes. This review focuses only on the shakes that they are pushing as meal replacement options, and therefore should not be confused with their other diet plan.
Like many other shakes, they use soy as their basis for protein, which is a red flag for our editors. Not only do they rely heavily on soy, they also include milk isolate, which is an allergen and less effective form of protein for the body. As for sweeteners, they utilize fructose which is not a good option in terms of weight management.
Soy – In our opinion, soy is not an ideal protein source, as there are a lot of alternatives out there. Recent studies have linked soy proteins to thyroid issues, food allergies, danger for pregnant or nursing women, immune system problems, and much more.
Fructose – This simple sugar can cause liver malfunction. Instead of balancing sugar levels, it can actually cause fatty tissue formation and cause weight gain.
Acesulfame potassium – What’s in it: Acesulfame-K is a potassium salt containing methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.Reported side effects: Long term exposure to methylene chloride can cause nausea, headaches, mood problems, impairment of the liver and kidneys, problems with eyesight and possibly cancer. Acesulfame-K may contribute to hypoglycemia. Concerns: Of all artificial sweeteners, acesulfame-K has undergone the least scientific scrutiny. Early studies showed a potential link between the sweetener and development of multiple cancers in laboratory animals. Acesulfame potassium is a calorie-free sugar substitute, also known as Acesulfame K or Ace K. In the U.S., it is used in such products as candies, baked goods, frozen desserts, beverages, dessert mixes and tabletop sweeteners. The FDA, which is the governmental agency responsible for ensuring the safety of all foods, has approved acesulfame potassium for use in numerous food products.
Artificial Flavors – The search for “natural” sources of chemicals often requires that a manufacturer go to great lengths and expenses to obtain a given chemical. For this reason, synthetically produced flavors are frequently used in foods and beverages. Artificial flavors have been known to cause an array of health problems such as chest pain, headaches, fatigue, nervous system depression, allergies, brain damage, seizures, nausea, dizziness and many more.
The Medifast Program offers some quality ingredients amidst the soy and fructose options that our editors utilize to raise red flags, but still packs in some nutrients that may be beneficial for healthy living. However, the detractor ingredients may be too much for many to swallow.