To Herbalife, or not to Herbalife? That is the question.
Diet and lifestyle are deeply personal choices. Determining whether something is healthy is also extremely personal—it’s also relative. Thus, I hesitate at writing any Herbalife reviews because I don’t mean to offend anyone or fly in the face of something that works for you. But recently, I got a few different emails from people asking why I was no longer a Herbalife distributor/consumer. I gave my standard one-sentence answer: I read the ingredients.
One of the common arguments I began hearing was that,
- Herbalife has helped a lot of people and,
- It’s a lot better than McDonald’s.
“Healthy” is not absolute. It’s relative. What I mean by that is, EVERY consumable product on the planet will have something else which is more healthy or less healthy than the product itself. So to compare a weight loss protein product like Herbalife to fast food and say that its healthier than McDonald’s… well, my answer to that is: there are lots of things “healthier than McDonald’s.”
Let me preface this all by saying that I am sure Herbalife is a lot healthier than McDonald’s in many regards. It’s tasty, relatively low-calorie and indeed does have a rather large international customer base. They must be doing something right. However, for me and my personal health, I could no longer consume Herbalife or sell it as a distributor in good conscience. Here’s why.
My Personal Herbalife Review
I was a dedicated Herbalife customer, consuming 1-2 shakes a day, for almost 2 years. I initially noticed a little weight loss but one of the main reasons I even began looking deeper into the contents of Herbalife was that I saw my weight plateauing and sticking stubbornly, refusing to budge. My boyfriend actually suggested that it was the Herbalife, so I hesitantly looked at the ingredients and soon made the switch.
Note: I got all of this information from the back of my Herbalife protein shakes. All the ingredients are clearly listed on the labels. This Herbalife review is my own personal opinion and I am not being paid or otherwise compensated by anyone to write this.
Blue 1, Yellow 5… Enough said. No thank you. I respect Dr. Mercola very much as an authority on health and wellbeing, and here is what he has to say regarding the consumption of toxic food dyes.
What the hell is wheat doing in a protein shake powder? I have been unable to find a definitive answer on this, but the only conclusion I have come to from the research I have done is that wheat and wheat gluten make great fillers and binding agents, while making the texture of the shake more palatable and appetizing. This has obvious consequences for those trying to avoid wheat or have any sort of wheat/gluten intolerance.
Sucralose, non-nutritive artificial sweeteners and other sugar alcohols are speculated to be linked to inflammation, disruption of metabolism and the destruction of good gut bacteria and intestinal flora – not to mention the other rather unpleasant side effects (running to the bathroom, anyone?)
I found it confusing for a self-proclaimed weight loss aide to contain up to 10g of sugar per serving. This is as much as a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Excessive sugar consumption is linked to all kinds of chronic disease states (obesity, diabetes, cancer, inflammation, etc.) and does not help with weight loss—I promise.
Yes, gluten is a buzz word. And some people avoid it despite not knowing what it is, as Jimmy Kimmel recently proved. I do know what gluten is, and I avoid it because I feel better when I do. (Again, a personal choice.) I was shocked to find that it was in some of Herbalife’s products, presumably being used as a binding agent.
Other Controversial Ingredients:
- Canola Oil
- Soy (I have not found definitive proof that Herbalife’s soy is/isn’t non-GMO)
I’m Not Hating on Herbalife Here…
In short, each to their own. If Herbalife is working for you I would never suggest you need to switch from a product you’re happy with. It worked for me for a time, but a healthy lifestyle is a choice which is entirely your own. Whether you’re gluten-free, paleo, vegan or just pro-clean eating, choose food and dietary supplements which work for you. Don’t let one review change your mind. Your health depends largely on your integrity and certainty in the products you consume.
ALTERNATIVE PROTEIN PRODUCT SUGGESTIONS:
Sun Warrior – Pretty tasty plant-based protein powder. They have a variety of raw protein bases (brown rice, activated barley, etc.) so you can choose what works best for your lifestyle. I find it to be not foamy with a normal consistency.
Vega – A Canadian-based company (bonus!) that has packed all kinds of sprouted protein goodness alongside some greens and other vitamins into this great all-in-one product. (Note: I don’t recommend this being your only source of vitamins or greens… it’s just an added perk that you can get these extras along with your protein.) Sweetened with natural stevia, this one is a keeper.
AboutTime Whey – I often alternate between plant-based protein and whey protein, and I like this one the best. It’s tasty, not too overly sweet, comes in a variety of great flavors (Birthday Cake! HELLO!!!) and is all natural/non-GMO. Bonus: About 5 ingredients, all of which you can pronounce.
Jay Robb – Another great distributor of both whey and egg white protein. Tasty, all natural and non-GMO.