While recently surfin’ Instagram I came across this hashtag: #herbalife. I had never heard of it and much to my surprise it was hashtagged (is this a real verb?) over two hundred thousand times. That’s a lot of times! So I decided to check out their website and what they were all about. After doing some research, I was shocked. People are consuming this stuff thinking they’re making a good move for their health? People are selling this and calling it healthy? Disgusting. So here is my unbiased review of Herbalife.
Much to my dismay, Herbalife is your run of the mill scam disguised as healthy living. According to their website,
Our Mission is to change people’s lives by providing the best business opportunity in direct selling and the best nutrition and weight-management products in the world.
Unfortunately, they by no means sell the best nutrition products and they don’t even come close. Here is the ingredient list for their protein drink mix:
Here’s the ingredient list for the Forumla 1 shake, which is labeled as healthy but is basically cancer in a can.
And the peanut butter protein bars:
The creamy chicken soup, with a side of MSG and hydrogenated oils!
*I wrote this article years ago and have since discovered that Herbalife has changed the ingredients in the chicken soup to be slightly less horrible. I’d link to a picture, but it’s very blurry. Find updated ingredients here.
Let’s examine these ingredients further. I wish I could explain to you the full scope of the several horrible ingredients Herbalife uses, but I don’t have ten hours, and you likely don’t have the time to read a 20 page blog post.
Soy Protein Isolate
Soy protein isolate is the very first ingredient, from genetically modified soy (the USDA estimates that over 94% of soy in America is genetically modified). Soy is not a health food, in my opinion it isn’t even food. It is highly processed garbage. You can read more about how much I hate soy here.
Soy is rich in phytic acid, which blocks mineral absorption. It’s rich in goitrogens, which negatively impact the thyroid. It’s rich in phytoestrogens, that mimic estrogen in the body, and have been linked to cancer.
If you’re looking for a non-denatured protein with recognizable ingredients from grass-fed cows, I buy this protein powder for Scott. It’s grass-fed, raw and contains no toxic ingredients. Buying Herbalife supports the genetic modification of our food system.
These products contain the artificial sweetener, sucralose, also known as Splenda. From the mouth of the beast,
Sucralose is made through a patented, multi-step process that starts with sugar and selectively replaces three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule with three chlorine atoms. The result is an exceptionally stable sweetener that tastes like sugar, but without sugar’s calories.
That’s right, it’s chlorinated. Sucralose destroys beneficial gut flora, thus impairing immune function and promoting obesity.
No. Sucralose is not a natural product – it is not found in nature. Although sucralose is made from sugar, the sugar molecule is chemically modified to make sucralose which is classed as an artificial sweetener.
As for the food recommended by Herbalife, they miss the mark again. While it’s nice that they advocate fruit and vegetable consumption (I mean, who doesn’t?) they also advocate highly processed low-fat foods that are devoid of nutrients. Yet again, processed soy rears its ugly head in their breakfast burrito recipe. They do make their own food that people can buy. Like their creamy chicken soup:
Canola is one of the largest GMO crops and is likely genetically modified in herbalife products. It is a rancid industrial oil that undergoes an unbelieable amount of processing. It is extracted with hexane, a neurotoxin, then bleached, deodorized and a slew of other disgusting techniques. Find out more and see how it’s produced in the video below!
Monosodoium glutamate can be tricky because it masquerades under so many different names. Any of the following can contain it: yeast extract, natural flavors, artificial flavors, maltodextrin, corn syrup – all of which are found in Herbalife products!
If you’re not concerned with MSG, you should be. Glutamate is not processed in the body the same way naturally occuring glutamic acid is. MSG is an excitotoxin and can cause oevreating.
Carageenan is a processed food additive made from seaweed that has been shown to cause cancer in lab rats, induce colitis, exacerbate ulcers and is overall terrible for the gut and digestive tract.
If you need tips on healthy eating, click here, because Herbalife products are not only unhealthy, but promote disease. I mean really, I can’t even count the ingredients in the junk above. Among them are hydrogenated soy, canola and cottonseed oils, margarine, autolyzed yeast extract (also known as MSG), artificial flavors, wheat protein and corn syrup. This is not food. This is not healthy.
While Herbalife may be an effective weight loss tool, it is not a safe or healthy nutrition regimen. There are better ways to lose weight and you should not sacrifice your health to accomplish that. In the same regard, it is also not the ideal product to put on muscle or use for bulking. There are healthier options, starting with eating real, unrefined food grown locally, organically and sustainably. If you would like a healthy nutrition program, I highly suggest starting with my 21 Day Lifestyle Transformation.
Here is the recipe for the protein shake I make, it is unprocessed and actually good for you.
*I do not recommend most protein shakes and meal replacements, excluding the organic, grass-fed protein powder I linked to in this article. I have gotten a lot of questions about other product lines since writing this. If you have a question about a particular brand of protein shakes and/or meal replacements, please provide a link to the product so I can more efficiently answer your question.