Not so safe drinks

By September 19, 2008Uncategorized

Of late, there has been much todo about what I would dub ‘shake’ diets.  

You know the sort of thing, you buy a packet of powder which is intended to be mixed with water to produce a ‘meal replacement’.  These fabulous shakes will make you thin and beautiful just like [insert celebrity name].
There are quite a lot of these products on the market now and I haven’t looked at most of them in detail, but one product does publish its nutritional information on the web, so I thought I’d share it with you.
According to their website Each Celebrity Slim meal replacement shake sachet contains a nutritionally balanced combination of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber, to sustain your energy while you lose weight.”  But if you look closely at the label you will also see that each Celebrity Slim sachet contains 24.6g of sugar in each 55g serve (44.7%)!  They must have forgotten to mention that the product is almost half sugar in the marketing blurb.
A glance at the ingredients list tells us that the primary constituent of the sachet is Skim Milk Powder and the second most prevalent ingredient by weight is Fructose!  A few more items down the list (ordered in terms of percentage by weight) is Glucose Syrup Solids.  Some of the sugars must be glucose but it would appear that a significant majority are pure fructose.
If you are following the diet you are supposed to replace two meals per day with a sachet.  If you do that you would ingest 49.2g of sugar (mostly pure fructose) from the ‘diet’ food alone.  
There’s not many Calories in one of these shakes – just 208 – about the same as a 300ml Chocolate Milk (which by the way only contains 22.5g of sugar as sucrose and lactose).    
I suspect if you replaced two meals a day each with a small chocolate milk you might lose quite a bit of weight, but the extreme calorie restriction and the appetite inducing effect of the fructose would make it a very hard regime to stick to.  …. Perhaps that’s the reason for this warning Many dieters find they get sugar cravings or their hunger is difficult to control.”  followed by a sales pitch for ‘Fat Burner tablets’ (whatever they are).

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