Although these products contain some “natural” botanicals, they also contain a long list of big words and potentially harmful ingredients like “natural flavours” (a term often used by the food industry to disguise MSG), whey protein (dairy), reverse-osmosis water (mineral leaching), maltodextrin (hydrolyzed corn starch), and magnesium stearate (immune suppressor). According to nutrition experts, these common ingredients have been identified as potential health risks for many people. The fact of the matter is that these types of products were designed to look good, smell good, taste good, and ultimately sit on a shelf in a container for long periods of time.
Oh, and make companies rich.
One major problem with depending on these “miracle” meal replacement shakes and bars is that they are not sustainable. Sure, you may lose some weight quickly and go down a few sizes, but then what? Are you really going to continue buying these products for the rest of your life? What if you can’t afford it or get sick of it? What are the long term effects on your health? This type of eating style is not natural and you really have to ask yourself if this is a realistic approach to improve your health.
Another problematic scenario is that many of the representatives selling these products do not have formal training and knowledge in nutrition or the long term effects of the products on their customers. They make a great living and are well-meaning entrepreneurs that can recite the ingredients list, but do they actually know what these things are? Often, these products can be ordered right off the internet and a person’s bio-individuality or health history is never taken into account nor is a holistic assessment ever done.
One must realize that anything concocted in a lab is not naturally occurring and therefore the “nutrients” cannot be assimilated completely by our bodies. Experts in the health and wellness industry know that when our body encounters a substance that is not recognized as natural, it does not know what to do with it and thus stores it in our cells as a toxin.
However, real food provides you with a myriad of fibre, cells, tissues, micronutrients, macronutrients, phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins that are all perfectly balanced by nature to nourish you and to be completely absorbed and utilized by the human body. You cannot extract one nutrient out and expect to get the same results as you would from eating that whole food. Unfortunately, big bucks and powerful marketing promote manufactured products as a solution, but the reality is that people need to take responsibility for their own health and stop looking for a magic bullet.