I’m asked this question frequently – what do I think about Isagenix or Herbalife?
Isagenix, Herbalife or the latest greatest slimming protein and supplement powders seem to be sold on great stories and dubious science. At the moment, Isagenix seems to be the latest and greatest and many people are using the product because firstly, it can make you a lot of money if you engage family and friends and secondly, it offers health and happiness without much effort. Why would you not want to be involved?
Having said that, when most people are assessing a food, they will look at the nutritional panel and not bother to read the ingredients.
Whenever I look at a product, I’m not interested in the fat, salt, sugar, protein, calorie content but rather I want to know what is the food or shake or bar made from? What are the ingredients? Do they look like ingredients I would find in my pantry or my grandmother’s pantry or does it look like something from a science experiment?
Many people ask me about Isagenix and Herbalife and I just say I wouldn’t eat it, give it to my family or promote it. It doesn’t take me long to make this decision for myself. I go through each of the ingredients and look at how they are made, what they are made from and if there are any genetically modified ingredients etc. It takes a lot more time to research, especially when there are some new ingredients that I am not familiar with. Then to put it all down on paper is what takes the time.
If the protein bar was made from almonds, coconut, coconut oil, honey, sunflower seeds, chia seed, sesame seed, camu camu, currants, dates and walnuts, I wouldn’t hesitate to eat it and I wouldn’t research the ingredients as I know what they all are. But if the protein bar is made from the following ingredients, I’d be questioning exactly what they all are; Protein blend [whey crisp (whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, tapioca starch, calcium carbonate, lecithin), calcium caseinate, whey protein isolate], brown rice syrup, yoghurt flavoured coating [maltitol, fractionated palm kernel oil, calcium caseinate, milk protein concentrate, nonfat milk, yoghurt powder (cultured whey protein concentrate and cultured nonfat milk), lecithin, natural flavour], maltitol syrup, polydextrose, raisins (7%), gluten-free rolled oats (7%), water, high oleic safflower oil, natural flavour, cinnamon, vitamin and mineral blend (magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol acetate, niacinamide, zinc oxide, copper gluconate, calcium pantothenate, ferric orthophosphate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, manganese sulfate, vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodide, sodium molybdate, vitamin D3, vitamin B12), maltodextrin.
Do you see what I mean? Most of the ingredients are isolates, concentrates, fractionates, non fat products with isolated vitamins and minerals and quite a lot of sugar added in the guise of maltdextrin, brown rice syrup, polydextrose and maltitol syrup, along with flavours and emulsifiers.
In May 2014, Nutritionist Natasha Longo did all the hard work for me and has written a well researched, extensive article on the ingredients of both Isagenix and Herbalife products and explained their origin, how they are made and the lies behind the company. Do I believe the sellers of this product are lying? No I don’t; they are just caught up in the products propaganda and truly believe in it, but let’s look behind the scenes and read Natasha’s brilliant research article on the ingredients.
(Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counsellor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.)