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The New SlimFast Keto Options: Are They Healthy Enough?

By Fitoru | 25 October 2019
Meal replacement powder in a scoop vanilla chocolate strawberry

You may well know the SlimFast brand as part of various weight-loss crazes since its inception in the 1970s, but the general public’s understanding of fitness and weight loss has changed greatly since then. While SlimFast boasts years of weight-loss success stories, the popularization of diets like Whole30, paleo, and the ketogenic diet have made people more aware than ever that natural foods are ideal for optimal health and well-being beyond just losing weight. Does the new SlimFast Keto formula hold up to these higher standards? We have the scoop on the ingredients.

The Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes on Keto

Scientists have found that the use of shake mixes and meal replacement drinks can actually contribute to a diet’s success, specifically to diet adherence. A diet that is too difficult to maintain long term is a diet that in a practical sense is a failure. Meal replacement shakes and snacks that deliver concentrated nutrients conveniently throughout the day can help weight-loss efforts with their ease of use and ensure dieters aren’t missing out on any key nutrients or vitamins. 

Ketogenic nutrition is notoriously hard to maintain in the early days of the keto diet, largely because it requires a complete diet overhaul. Removing carbs and sugary foods is just one aspect of the keto diet. Increasing healthy fat macros is another, and all the while the dreaded “keto flu” symptoms may be popping up, derailing efforts. Keto-friendly meal replacements can help bridge the gap between the keto flu and full ketosis, but is SlimFast the right brand?

The Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes on Keto

SlimFast Keto Shake Mix: Ingredients

SlimFast Keto products come in three different shake mix flavors: Fudge Brownie Batter, Creamy Coffee Cappuccino, and Vanilla Cake Batter. Their main formulas include the following ingredients.

An MCT Oil Blend

A staple of low-carb keto dieting, MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides) derived and concentrated from coconut oil is an excellent keto energy boost, perfect for those utilizing intermittent fasting practices to start the day with a bit of keto coffee (with or without keto coffee creamer). The SlimFast blend includes grass-fed butter and MCTs from coconut oil and palm oil. 

The potential problem is the palm oil: when it comes to healthy oils for cooking, palm oil isn’t the best option due to how much it and other vegetable oils are refined, deodorized, and bleached during processing. Coconut oil and olive oil are naturally cold-pressed oils, whereas vegetable oils are not only problematic when it comes to your health, but they’re also frequently bad for the environment, with red palm oil sourced from unsustainable practices that destroy forests and peatland wildlife habitats.

A Protein Blend

With whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and grass-fed collagen peptides, the SlimFast keto products do provide the same protein as many other meal replacement shakes and protein drinks designed to boost a muscle-building workout. The only issue with whey protein and the collagen peptides derived from grass-fed animals is that whey is a milk-based product that may be undigestible for the lactose intolerant. And, of course, animal products are not appropriate for anyone keeping a vegan keto diet. These shake mixes contain soy products too, another known potential allergen.

Sweeteners and Additives

This portion of the ingredients list includes natural sugar-free sweeteners like erythritol, stevia leaf extract, dextrose, and carrageenan (polysaccharides from red seaweed), as well as various natural flavors, thickening agents like guar gum and xanthan gum, plus soy lecithin, salt, and silica (for anti-caking). Keeping free of refined sugars and artificial sweeteners is important on keto, which means the only real concern in this area is the dextrose: a simple sugar made from corn and chemically identical to glucose (blood sugar).

Vitamins and Minerals

The vitamins and minerals included in the SlimFast Keto plan are:

  • Ascorbic acid
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate
  • Niacinamide
  • D-calcium pantothenate
  • Cyanocobalamin
  • Ergocalciferol
  • Folic acid
  • Biotin
  • Beta carotene 
  • Phylloquinone
  • Pyridoxine HCL 
  • Thiamin mononitrate 
  • Riboflavin
  • Sodium molybdate
  • Zinc oxide
  • Chromium chloride
  • Manganese sulfate
  • Sodium selenite

With a decent amount of B vitamins and several important minerals, the nutrient content of SlimFast Keto doesn’t leave much room for complaint, unless you prefer a keto shake with more natural vitamin content from whole foods and not the artificially created vitamins included in SlimFast products.

SlimFast Keto Shake Mix Ingredients

SlimFast Keto Fat Bombs and Snacks

SlimFast’s keto line also includes liquid ready-to-drink keto shakes (in Creamy Milk Chocolate, Vanilla Cream, and Creamy Mocha Latte), keto recipe meal replacement bars (in Whipped Peanut Butter Chocolate, Nutty Caramel and Nougat, Whipped Triple Chocolate, Salted Caramel Macadamia Nut, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough), and pre-made keto fat bomb snacks in the following flavors:

  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Salted Caramel Creme
  • Tangy Orange Creme
  • Chocolate Mint Chip
  • Caramel Cup
  • Caramel Nut Cluster

Fat bombs are a great way to increase your macros of healthy fats in a tasty way. These low-carb snacks are sometimes a perfect choice, particularly in the early days when you’re trying to reach a state of ketosis. MCT oil, coconut oil, coconut cream, avocado oil, ghee, cacao or almond butter…whatever base you choose, you can get a high-fat treat without having to think twice about calories or net carbs. Keto fat bombs are also incredibly easy to make at home in large batches, so is there anything in a SlimFast keto fat bomb that makes it more or less appealing for your shopping list?

SlimFast keto fat bombs again contain palm oil, which is a deal breaker for a lot of people looking for low-carb ketogenic nutrition from sustainable sources. 

As for sweeteners, there are the keto-friendly additions of stevia and erythritol, but each of these snacks also contains soy and milk products, and all are made in facilities that process wheat and tree nuts. That makes these products impossible for anyone with a milk, soy, gluten, or nut allergy to consume. 

While SlimFast keto combines some of the staples of a keto diet with the ease of the clinically proven SlimFast plan for weight-loss success, there are other products on the market that are made with much higher quality ingredients, and take a lot better care of those with allergies or other dietary restrictions.

SlimFast for First-Timers

SlimFast keto shakes and their new line of keto basics like MCT oil, keto creamer, Ultra Hydration+ in Tropical Orange Mango flavor (for mixing with water), and ketone test strips are a good starter pack for those first dipping their toes into the keto lifestyle. In the beginning, one of the biggest hurdles is excising artificial flavors from your food, not going over your carb macros, and finally reaching ketosis where you can burn fat just by choosing the right balance of nutrients. Once you become keto confident however, you may find that a SlimFast keto meal replacement shake mix isn’t up to the highest standards. 

Brands like Ample K, Ketologie, and our own exogenous keto support products here at Fitoru are not only examples of keto made easy, but they’re also from purer vegetarian/vegan, non-GMO sources of whole foods and non-refined ingredients. For optimal low-carb support, don’t just trust a label that says “keto.” Check the ingredients list to make sure you’re getting the highest quality ingredients you deserve when making such a positive change with your diet.

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STRUGGLING WITH MEAL PLANS?

We’re putting the delicious back in dieting, so that, as your body kicks into ketosis, you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything…not taste, not enjoyment, and certainly not fulfillment.

  • 5-10% Carbs

  • 15-25% Protein

  • 65-75% Fat

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