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I usually read Jimmy's cluttered-with-ads blog in my feed reader, so am not normally subjected to the sponsors, etc. But I went to his site directly this past week and lo and behold, Jimnatius Mooreilly has a new sponsor. The promo image is shown at right. At first I thought, this looks like a supplement, so eh? So what if it apparently isn't working for Jimmy Moore, who no doubt was given free product to evaluate, at least it's just a supplement containing all of those micronutrients we know deficiencies in cause obesity. Hypocritical, yes, but not tragically so.
And then I clicked the link ... The manufacturer's site is HERE, and the specific product link is HERE. It's a meal replacement shake. That's right. A meal replacement shake. Is it Primal Fuel? Bwa ha ha. Not even close.
For $35-40 (-10% LLVLC discount) you get 21 servings of this shake. Let's forget the claims made for a moment, and look at this product. That's a pretty pricey 168 calories. At 37% fat, that's way too low for proper LC! Only 2g saturated fat per serving and 4g total. That's like only a teaspoon!! Below is the nutritional information and ingredients:
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Let's look at that list: Protein blend ... OK lacto-paleo if you're not too picky about that pesky real whole foods thang. Cocoa powder ... OK we all know Grok had access to this sheet! Dunno if he alkalized his though. Non Dairy Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Mono- and Di-glycerides) SAY WHAT????? Omega-6, grain derived and whatnot all in one "ingredient". Fibersol TM (vegetable fiber) -- we'll come back to this one in a bit, Oat Fiber -- someone alert Wheat Belly!, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dried Cream Extract, Nat Chocolate Flavors, Guar and Xanthan Gums, Flaxseed Powder, Other Natural Flavors, Sodium Chloride, Lecithin (cough ... soy! ... cough), Magnesium Oxide -- I note this is the least bioavailable form of Mg, Silicon Dioxide (Anti-caking), Sucralose SAY WHAT?????, Artificial Sweeteners are NOT paleo!! Acesulfame Potassium -- aka Acesulfame K = another non-paleo artificial sweetener, Ferrous Fumarate, Ascorbic Acid, DL Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Oxide, Biotin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin K (Phytonadione), Niacinamide, Copper Gluconate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Chromium Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin D Cholecalciferol Pyridoxine HCL, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide.
Oh Evelyn, you're just picking on Jimmy now. His ingrate readers haven't been donating so he has to have some sponsors. At least it's low carb so ... Not so fast. Because in a blog post not even six months ago entitled Low-Carb Dieter Beware: Soy-Based ‘Body By Vi’ Visalus Protein Shake Mixes Not A Panacea, Jimmy tells us how he goes about his endorsing/affiliate/etc. business. First he's a natural skeptic so he always checks the ingredients list!
Anyone who knows me will tell you I read labels very carefully before putting something inside my body. If there is an ingredient in a food I am going to consume that I don’t want to have in me, then I want to know beforehand. Scouring the ingredients list of this Visalus protein shake mix, I noticed the very first ingredient in the shake was the primary source of protein–SOY!
In that blog post he ranted against Body By Vi shakes, the ingredients list shown at right. He goes on to complain about the fat content of the shakes:
Speaking of dietary fat, there was only 1g of it in this Visalus protein shake mix along with 7g carbohydrate (5g of which is dietary fiber) and 12g protein in this 90-calorie meal replacement shake.
Which I would point out is really not all that much lower fat and actually slightly higher in carb compared to the MRP he's now happily hawking. Based on an email exchange with the company, Jimmy concluded:
I was left even more disappointed with the company and sealed the deal that I’d NEVER even consider working with this company as a consumer of their product or to sell their stuff.
A paraphrasing of his questions/responses/conclusions (some direct quotations in ""):
- Jimmy: Where's the sat fat? Visalus: There's 1 g of healthy fat, you can add more of your own Jimmy: This company is a bunch of lipophobic idiots.
- Jimmy: Why is this made with soy? (his educated readers are eliminating soy from their diets). Visalus: Addresses concerns then states soy is complete easily digested protein. Jimmy: Hoo boy rant going on about all the nasties in soy (seemingly unaware that protein isolate likely doesn't contain most of these offensive components, and a 90 cal shake hardly makes for a soy based diet!)
- Jimmy: MCT source? Visalus: Coconut Jimmy: Well at least these idiots got something right.
- Jimmy: "Why does this product contain artificial sweeteners like Splenda instead of natural ones like stevia or a stevia/erythritol blend?" Visalus: Cites issues with aspartame, possible problems with xylitol, concerns over mass use of stevia. Jimmy:
"What a convoluted answer! I can appreciate the information but it still doesn’t address the primary concern–why do you have an artificial sweetener in a protein shake product that is supposed to be deemed as healthy to consume? This business about stevia not being put through the same “rigorous” testing as sucralose (Splenda) is simply a red herring and ignores the crux of my question. More and more people are moving away from artificial sweeteners to more natural options because they don’t want chemicals in their body. Trying to undermine the definition of “natural” with the mushrooms example is yet another attempt to deflect attention away from the issue at hand. And she totally ignored saying anything about erythritol and instead chose to blather on about xylitol and how toxic it is for dogs (which I was already abundantly aware of!). Then at the end after lamenting the lack of science supporting stevia she said if they can make it taste good that they’ll “consider moving to using it.” Which is it?! Hoo boy, I’m getting more and more disgusted with this Visalus company by the minute!"
- Jimmy: "What is this “Digestive Resistant Maltodextrin” and why is it an essential part of the Visalus product?" Visalus: It is a patented fiber [Fibersol!!] that is non gassy, derived from corn. Jimmy: "Oh great! Another product with some form of corn in it. Gee, that’s real healthy. I wonder if that corn has been genetically modified in some form or fashion. Venture to guess?"
- Jimmy: What's with the O6's and where are the O3's? Visalus: Our product only has 1g fat Jimmy: "therein puts the nail in the coffin of these Visalus protein shake mixes. While totally dismissing my question about omega-3 essential fatty acids, she notes this program is low-fat AND low-carb.
Jimmy closes out the post with some thoughts:
The unanswered questions that still remain about this Visalus company should make it next to impossible for any low-carber dedicated to the high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb lifestyle change to embrace this concept wholeheartedly.
And I can’t in good conscious promote something that I myself cannot believe in. Before I work with any company, I personally vet them out for myself to see if what we believe about nutrition and health is on the same page. I’ve turned down some extremely lucrative sponsorship offers from companies to advertise on my blog/podcast simply because I would not expose my fans who trust me to something I’d never use or consume in a million years. It’s a promise I’ll always strive to keep to you for as long as I’m entrusted to sharing information publicly on my sites.
If you’re already involved in promoting or participating in Visalus or their accompanying “Body By Vi” 90-Day Challenge and are happy with it, then I’m happy you’ve found something that works for you. But I couldn’t ignore writing about what I discovered about this company and sharing it with my beloved readers today. It is my hope and desire to arm people with information so they can make an informed decision about what is best to do for their own health. Hopefully that’s the service I’ve provided for you guys today.
So, there you have it folks. Jimmy would NEVER involve himself with a company like Visalus selling a low fat low carb protein shake that contains soy, maltodextrin (corn), and artificial sweeteners. Educated low carbers have been moving away from these ingredients for years now (well, in Jimmy's case about 8-9 months now). He would NEVER expose his trusting fans to a product he didn't properly vet. Or not it would appear. Because this MRP contains soy, maltodextrin (remember that's the fibersol), artificial sweeteners, and even one more little thingy: corn syrup solids (wonder if that corn is GMO!)
If just 10% of all you freakin' ingrate readers of LLVLC would just pony up $1, Jimmy wouldn't have to be such a lyin' hypocrite to raise spending money for this week's upcoming LC cruise and month long vacation. It's all your fault, and to think how he's sacrificing his own health to help you.
"Isn’t it ironic that in the midst of trying to help others live a healthy lifestyle that perhaps I’m partially destroying my own in the process? " ~Jimmy Moore
Would you trust this man?
(this is the only avatar pic that is somewhat current as of this post, it's on his Low Carb Conversations podcast website)