People are always looking for ideal protein products for years as a means to enhance their lives and keep off the pounds.
The product brand coincidentally called Ideal Protein is specifically designed for weight loss. During this Ideal Protein review we will take a look at what it is, how much it costs, and benefits.
How are Ideal Protein’s reviews?
Ideal Protein reviews have generally been mixed. Based in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, the company doesn’t have an apparent ranking with the Better Business Bureau. Another issue with Ideal Protein is the cost, which is detailed below.
What is Ideal Protein?
Here’s what the company’s website says about its program:
The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method is a medically designed protocol containing 2 key components – weight loss and a healthier lifestyle education to assist you in maintaining your results after dieting. Our protocol has evolved for over 20 years, but was originally developed over 2 decades ago by Dr. Tran Tien Chanh who focused his career and research on nutrition with a particular emphasis on the treatment of obesity and obesity related issues.
You must learn to eat “smarter” or risk regaining your lost weight. Therefore, when you begin our program you will be assigned a personal weight loss coach. Your coach will assist you through each of the 4 phases of the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method. In phases 1 & 2 your coach will help you set your weight loss goals and support you on that journey. In phases 3 & 4 your coach will shift focus to weight stabilization and post-diet living, teaching you weight maintenance habits that may assist you in keeping the excess pounds off after dieting.
What’s the cost of the Ideal Protein diet plan?
This is something that couldn’t be verified, but here’s a rule of thumb to follow: if they don’t give a price up front, it’s probably very expensive.
Another website gave an unverified quote for Ideal Protein at $350 to sign up and $90 per week for supplements, though that price was dated by at least one year.
If you do decide to spend money buying Ideal Protein we have a handy recipe guide available to get you started.
What’s in the Ideal Protein diet?
The Ideal Protein diet company fails to provide the specific foods or supplements that one eats or takes after they they enroll in the program.
But here is a list of ingredients found online in their chocolate flavored shake:
- Milk Protein Concentrate
- Xanthan Gum
- Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali
- Skim Milk
- Acesulfame Potassium
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Sodium Caseinate
- Silicon Dioxide
- Natural and Artificial Flavor
- Sea Salt
Milk Protein Concentrate
Usually made from skim milk, this processed milk protein product is spray dried and added as a cheaper solution to other protein sources.
Milk protein concentrate is typically imported. The Food and Water Watch organization cautions that there’s a lack of oversight on milk protein concentrate.
For example, Food and Water Watch noted that comparable types of protein were imported from China, which carried contaminated dairy and was later added to baby formula.
This imported dairy had high levels of melamine, known to cause liver damage among other things. Milk protein concentrate is cheap and added to processed foods as a cost effective measure because it’s cheap to import from places overseas.
Milk protein concentrate is typically a minimum of 40 percent protein to 90 percent protein by weight. 1 tablespoon of pure Milk Protein Concentrate usually has around 5 grams per serving. It’s a complete source of amino acids and with increased amounts has less lactose.
A study conducted by Dairy Management, Inc., found that Milk Protein Concentrate “provide[s] benefits, such as water binding, gelling, foaming, emulsification, development, functional benefits.”
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein isolate is a byproduct of the cheese making process which has a full range of amino acids. This has been shown to help lean muscle growth and is easy to digest.
The isolated version of whey protein isolate has a minimum of 90 percent protein by weight while being a protein rich source low in lactose and fat. It also contains few calories per serving.
An ideal protein indeed.
This is milk you commonly see in your grocery stores next to the whole milk and low fat milk. It has about 0.1 percent total fat, is more watered down and is thus less tasty as a result.
Even though skim milk is added as a method to reduce calorie intake, studies demonstrate that it’s not necessarily helpful for weight loss.
The reasons are twofold. Fat is actually satiating and there’s no evidence that diet which incorporates moderate fats will make you get bigger, and it also has fewer nutrients.
There’s also no vitamin K in fat-free milk, as noted by the Real Food Guide, meaning one has to drink more skim milk to get the necessary vitamins, negating the purpose of drinking it.
Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali
This is a treated form of crushed cocoa bean when alkalized reduces a great amount of the antioxidants.
Because of the natural stimulants found within it, it tends to produce unwanted side effects including:
- Rapid heart rate
It can contain levels of caffeine and because of the way it’s processed, it’s not as nutrient rich as pure cocoa powder. This reduces the amount of trace minerals and vitamins to be better preserved in the formula.
While the added caffeine is minor, but for sensitive peopled it could cause unnecessary issues. Furthermore, there’s no mention of the caffeine content by the makes of Ideal Protein.
This could shy people away from anyone who wants to get on board with the Ideal Protein diet plan.
Something most of us love and are quite familiar with, this is in the shake to add a pleasant taste, is cheap to add and is easy to produce.
Sugar can be extracted from several different foods including sugar beet and sugarcane. When insulin rises it can lead to body weight gain, especially when it’s included excessively in a diet on a daily basis.
In its unrefined form, taking too much sugar can result in unwanted side effects including the following:
- Higher risk of cardiovascular disease
- Higher risk for obesity via metabolism disorders
- Addiction resulting in moodswings and flu-like symptoms
- Tooth decay
A study from the New England Journal of Medicine adds that “sugar is associated with [being] overweight, possibly because liquid sugars do not lead to a sense of safety.”
In other words, it’s possible to eat lots of sugar and not be satisfied, as the body isn’t satiated with more sugar. Should you go by the pure Ideal Protein diet recommendations, the sugar intake would be a staggering 4 grams per serving.
While sugar brings a pleasant taste to foods, one is prone to liver disease and diabetes including liver disease and diabetes if abused. It’s best to eat in limited amounts.
This is another ingredient found in processed foods. Carrageenan is made from edible seaweed and must be highly processed to be usable.
A study conducted by Juntendo University found the toxic effects of carrageenan, that it “is carcinogenic to the colorectum of the rat.”
The study also revealed an increase in tumors in rats that were once healthy.
Another study performed on rats by the Lamboratoire de Securite des Aliments noted carrageenan “promotes the growth of aberrant crypt foci in the rat colon.”
What this means is that carrageenan caused abnormalities in rats’ colons and rectums, potentially leading to cancer.
Both the studies concluded carrageenan led to cancerous side effects, despite having no affiliation.
Carrageenan isn’t a necessary ingredient and has no nutritional value whatsoever. It is only added as a thickener. In fact, the only reason it’s found in the formula in the first place is because it’s a cheap way to help serve for a better balance of the ingredients.
Some consumer watchdog organizations have advocated for getting rid of carrageenan from foods altogether.
This is another thickener, but composed of a mixture of sugar and bacteria. It can be extracted from several foods including wheat, corn and soy. It’s very cheap to produce and considered likely to be safe in the amounts typically found in food.
Xanthan gum can help prevent the oil separation that occurs whenever dry and wet ingredients are added in a product. Xanthan gum also can be used as substitute for gluten.
Yet another artificial sweetener typically known as its brand name, Splenda. Sucralose can be 1,000 times sweeter than sucrose.
Consumption of sucralose can lead to possible side effects. A study conducted by Hachinohe National College of Technology showed sucralose “induced DNA damage in gastrointestinal organs.”
Another study from the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health notes that sucralose “exerted numerous adverse effects.”
Furthermore, sucralose consumption “alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450.”
Reducing gut bacteria could cause damage to the immune system. In other words, the body treats sucralose likes a toxic ingredient.
Sucralose is added as an alternative to sugar which is supposedly a healthier alternative. But because of its processed nature, sucralose can have unwanted side effects as well as the ones mentioned above sugar can cause.
What is this? You guessed it, another artificial sweetener!
Acesulfame potassium is 200 times sweeter than sucrose and is calorie-free. Like some of the artificial sweeteners above, consumption of acesulfame potassium is prone to dangerous side effects.
Hormone and Metabolic Research Journal notes that acesulfame potassium “can also induce insulin secretion.”
While acesulfame potassium isn’t intended to have an effect on blood sugar, it does which can make hunger reduction more difficult.
A study by the group PLOS One found that consumption of acesulfame potassium “could affect cognitive functions, potentially via altering neuro-metabolic functions.”
Because acesulfame potassium can be eaten in large amounts and not affect hunger levels, it can potentially increase the risk for obesity. Studies have shown usage of acesulfame potassium the potential side effects.
This is hardly a pure protein diet to be sure. There are many ingredients in foods like this and often added to generic, processed foods. Better options are available that don’t use processed, artificial and cheap ingredients.
This is a mineral with comparable properties to plastic. That’s right: plastic. It’s supposedly added to treat weak bones, stroke and other conditions.
Higher amounts of silicon dioxide might lead to passing the blood brain barrier. Webmd also noted that silicon dioxide is “LIKELY SAFE in food amounts. Its safety as a medicine is unknown.”
Without being able to determine the amount of silicone dioxide added in the product, it’s not possible to determine its safety. It’s likely however, that silicon dioxide was added in the product more as a filler rather than for its nutritional value.
There are artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, damaging thickeners and several substandard forms of protein. Ideal Protein doesn’t add their own ingredients labels online, but rather insist you go to one of their centers.
Some users fortunately posted the ingredients like the chocolate shake above, but labels to many of the products are lacking.
Even though there’s a lot of protein in the shake with the chocolate having 18 grams, it’s composed of milk protein concentrate and sodium caseinate. These are poor in comparison to the whey protein, the amount of which isn’t known. The shake would’ve been much better had they avoided these two forms of cheap protein.
Ideal Protein also doesn’t mention it’s amino acid content. When determining a protein rich shake, it’s very important to know whether or not it has a balanced amount of amino acids. This is for the following reasons:
- Whether or not these shakes are rich in protein
- How effective a shake is in meal replacement
- Amino acids are vital when replacing meals as they are essential to regulate many body processes
- Seeing if one must supplement a shake with additional protein sources to compensate for the lack of amino acids.
To be sure, Ideal Protein wouldn’t be something I would recommend to my friends or my family anytime soon. Thus I don’t suggest you go anywhere near it.