WHAT IS IT?
Optifast is a meal replacement shake offering 100% of 24 vitamins and minerals. It’s claimed to be an easy to mix formula, and they also offer a ready to drink liquid shake.
Their powdered shake has a combination of dry milk and calcium caseinate that equals 14 grams of protein. They currently offer three flavors in Strawberry, Chocolate, and French Vanilla. These shakes are meant to be drunk alongside the other meal replacement foods offered by the company. On their own, they’re said to be a nutritionally healthy choice. So are these shakes truly effective for weight loss? What kinds of ingredients are added, and are they wholesome? This Optifast review will help you discover the truth about this meal replacement.
OPTIFAST INGREDIENTS AND SIDE EFFECTS
|Nonfat Dry Milk||Fructose||Calcium Caseinate||Canola Oil (BHA/BHT)||Salt|
|Potassium Phosphate||Magnesium Oxide||Mono and Diglycerides||Choline Bitartrate||Potassium Chloride|
|Ascorbic Acid||Natural and Artificial Flavor||Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate||Ferrous Sulfate||Zinc Sulfate|
|Vitamin A Palminate||Niacinamide||Copper Gluconate||Calcium Pantothenate||Manganese Sulfate|
|Vitamin D3||Color (Beta Carotene, Turmeric Oleoresin)||Pyridoxine Hydrochloride||Thiamine Hydrochloride||Riboflavin|
|Chromium Chloride||Folic Acid||Biotin||Potassium Iodide||Sodium Molybdate|
|Sodium Selenite||Vitamin K1||Vitamin B12||
Nonfat Dry Milk: Dehydrated milk that is added to foods due to its naturally long preservation.
This ingredient is often imported in from difference countries. There’s controversy over its use, due to a 2008 scandal where 300,000 people were contaminated from this ingredient.
It was found to be contaminated with melamine, which is added to help increase the protein content. This could also lead to kidney stones and renal failure.
A recall began in China after several people had debilitating illnesses.
Fructose: Fruit sugar that is absorbed directly into the bloodstream when digested.
It’s considered one of the worst sweeteners that can cause metabolism disorders, as well as raise the risk for obesity. The University of California, Davis performed a clinical study showing:
“increased consumption of fructose may be detrimental in terms of body weight and adiposity and the metabolic indexes”
“shown to induce visceral obesity, insulin-resistant diabetes, and hyperlipidemia”
This means it can cause issues with raising blood sugar, and it can increase the risk for weight gain. These kinds of effects have also shown a rise in obesity related illnesses.
Fructose when it’s extracted from fruits has been shown in many other clinical studies to be harmful to overall health.
Calcium Caseinate: Protein taken from the casein found in milk. It’s a cheap protein source often added to increase the amount of protein in foods.
Though it can lead to a sense of fullness, this ingredient is cheap to make, and isn’t as potent in amino acids as other protein sources.
The manufactures also fail to list the total amino acid profile. So it’s impossible to determine whether it has enough amino acids to help the body’s performance. When replacing meals it’s important to determine how much amino acids are provided, instead of solely looking at the total protein content.
Canola Oil (BHA/BHT): Oils made from the processed seeds of rapeseed. BHA and BHT are preservatives added to help fats from going rancid. Live Science has mentioned there are possible side effects. They listed studies in which this ingredient lead to:
“cancer in rats, mice and hamsters”
In California this ingredient has also been listed as a carcinogen.
Artificial Flavor: Man made synthetic ingredient used to help make food taste a particular way. It’s often added to help substitute natural flavors that would be harder to keep fresh.
It can be extracted from many different common allergens including soy, wheat, and corn. Though it’s not required for the company to list how they sourced this ingredient from. This could potentially lead to unwanted side effects.
OPTIFAST QUALITY OF INGREDIENTS
Optifast has a total of 18 grams of sugar that comes from fructose, which is considered one of the worst sweeteners available. Multiple studies have shown it to potentially raise the risk for obesity. 18 grams of sugar is a significant amount as well, this can make weight loss harder.
Also, there are preservatives that have shown to potentially be carcinogenic. Both BHA and BHT have been found in some studies to have a damaging effect that leads to cancer.
There is a high amount of protein at 14 grams, but it comes from cheap sources such as nonfat dry milk and calcium caseinate. Both of these can be purchased for much cheaper, though they’re not the best protein sources. The company also fails to list the total amino acid score, so it’s impossible to determine if the protein provided is well rounded enough.
There’s far too much calories as well at 160 per serving. The combination of high sugar, calories, and no fiber make this a very poor meal replacement. It can all make weight gain easier, instead of helping support a weight loss diet plan.
EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this supplement with a proven meal replacement such as 18Shake for better results.
THE PRICE AND QUALITY OF OPTIFAST
The company fails to mention how much these shakes cost. They only offer sales for people who visit their clinics, and then they try to recruit people into their centers.
It’s important to be able to know how fairly this is priced. Though due to the high amounts of sugar, low quality protein, no explanation as to the amino acid content, and the 0 grams of fiber, this shake isn’t a well-rounded enough meal replacement. It’s unlikely to help people with appetite suppression.
Web MD advises to find a meal replacement that offers the following:
“3-5 grams of fiber per serving”
Without this, you aren’t getting enough fiber to help promote healthy digestion and appetite suppression. Since you aren’t getting enough fiber from this shake, it does not qualify as a proper meal replacement. You’d have to supplement with additional fiber sources to make up for the lack of quality.
Before considering any shake, it’s important to know exactly how much it costs. Since this meal replacement has poor ingredients, it shouldn’t be priced too high.
BUSINESS OF OPTIFAST
The Nestlé Health Science company makes this brand. They can be found via the following customer support information:
Phone Number: (800) 662-2540
Address: 445 State Street
Fremont, Michigan 49412
They fail to mention whether or not they offer money back return. There’s also a problem with controversies.
The company has also had to recall their products in the past due to contaminations.
The New York Times added that
“The Food and Drug Administration … was investigating and working with Nestle to pinpoint the source of the latest E.coli contamination”
This outbreak ended up harming several people, who had to be hospitalized. It’s unknown how this problem was handled to ensure it wouldn’t contaminate any future batches of their foods.
EDITOR’S TIP: For the best results with meal replacement shakes diet our experts recommend to use it at least 5 months. Save your money buying a few bags of meal replacement product.
CUSTOMER OPINIONS OF OPTIFAST
There aren’t many reviews on the shakes themselves. Here are a few of the limited customer reviews online:
“found I was always hungry”
“first three days were awful”
“struggling a bit”
There was the common opinion that this meal replacement failed to suppress people’s appetite. For many, it was shown to cause extreme hunger and many continued to have constant thoughts about food.
The company also fails to provide any testimonials or studies to show why this shake would be a proper meal replacement. Without much information available, it’s unknown if this is priced fairly, or if customers found it useful for weight loss.
The few reviews have all been negative towards the overall quality of these shakes.
CONCLUSION – DOES OPTIFAST WORK?
When considering a proper meal replacement, it’s important to make sure there’s enough fiber with low amounts of sugar. Optifast has too much sugar added that’s from a sweetener shown in studies to potentially cause weight gain. Better options are available that have no preservatives, high quality protein, and all natural ingredients. Its customers have also reviewed this shake poorly.
When searching for a proper meal replacement, it’s important that customers reviewed it highly, and that it has a well-rounded nutritional profile. There’s simply not enough support for this meal replacement to rank it as one of the best.
The very best shake out of 2016 that offers all the mentioned benefits is 18Shake. There’s 5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and just 90 calories added to this all-natural formula. Customers mention it’s great for reducing appetite, and that people have lost significant amounts of weight. Best of all, it’s made only with natural ingredients, and no fillers of any kind.
This meal replacement has many customer testimonials showing just how effective it truly is. People rave about its easy mix formula, its ability to suppress appetite, and how effective it is for weight loss. They also mention that it tastes great, which is important when using a meal replacement so you don’t lose track of your diet.