Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Before you take your doctor's advice, read the ingredients!

Recently my mother had some dental surgery. Prior to the procedure, I was talking to her on the phone and she told me she had just been out grocery shopping to get some things to eat following the surgery. She mentioned the dentist told her to get some "Boost" – a meal replacement drink.

I was appalled. I asked her on the phone to read me the ingredients.

I ask you now, what in this list of crap is nutritional?

Water, corn syrup solids, sugar, modified milk ingredients, canola oil, high oleic sunflower oil, corn oil, artificial flavour, salt, soy lecithin, carrageenan, artificial colour, soy oil, (may contain potassium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid), minerals (calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate tribasic, chromic chloride, cupric sulfate, ferric pyrophosphate, magnesium phosphate dibasic, manganese sulfate, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, potassium iodide, sodium citrate, sodium molybdate, sodium selenite and zinc sulfate), vitamins (biotin, calcium d-pantothenate, dl-α-tocopheryl acetate, folic acid, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, sodium ascorbate, thiamine hydrochloride, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D3). 

From what I can tell, you've got the following:
  • water
  • sugar
  • sugar
  • modified milk ingredients, as defined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: any of the following in liquid, concentrated, dry, frozen or reconstituted form, namely, calcium-reduced skim milk (obtained by the ion-exchange process), casein, caseinates, cultured milk products, milk serum proteins, ultrafiltered milk, whey, whey butter, whey cream and any other component of milk the chemical state of which has been altered from that in which it is found in milk (Source)
  • a bunch of oils, from most likely genetically-modified sources
  • artificial flavour, as defined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: one or more substances prepared for their flavouring properties and derived in whole or in part from components obtained by chemical synthesis (Source)
  • some very processed thickening agents
  • artificial colour, this shouldn't be news to anyone... they are chemicals 
  • a bunch of added mineral and vitamins that are poor sources and often a type that our body cannot readily absorb (calcium carbonate, for instance is a poor calcium supplement choice, we absorb very little calcium from this source)

Feel free to help a nutritionista-in-training and point out the REAL FOOD, and therefore nutrition...

Still looking... thought you might.

Instead of Boost, here's my suggestion: easy, fresh, cheap, and is full of REAL nutrition.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • large handful of greens (spinach, kale, chard)
  • 1 cup of mixed berries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • BLEND this goodness up and then DRINK this goodness up

Feel free to take it to the next level and add more nutritious superfoods using my two go-to smoothie recipes here and here.

Enjoy and be well!


  1. Great post Rae! It's so irksome to find health professionals recommending such items to their patients...and a dentist recommending a sugar-laden product is very ironic!

    Now I'm curious - did your mom take your sage advice and avoid the Boost? Hope so!

    1. She told me she was making smoothies. Not quite the recipe above, but still a million times healthier than sugar and gmo-oil :)

  2. Well the water is good for you, but you shouldn't need to buy it in this package!

    Got any tips for finding a good, food-conscious doctor in Ottawa?

    1. Yes, water is good for you. But it come free from a tap. :) Honestly I don't have any tips. I see my GP one a year for my physical, but it's an in and out thing. Really quick. I've been seeing a great naturopath for all my digestive issues with great success.