Is Boost A Healthy Nutritional Supplement?
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Over the past few weeks, I have been running a series of posts on Instagram that I call, “The Reality Check Series.”
While I’m NOT here to tell you that you have to eat a certain way or fit yourself into a certain “health box” in order to live a healthy, happy life, I did feel called to share something with my community that GRINDS MY GEARS - Not just as a healthcare practitioner, but as a wife, a mother, daughter, and a general human being of this planet.
It is VERY UPSETTING to see how difficult it is for the average human being to even UNDERSTAND whether their products are SAFE or DANGEROUS.
My problem is not in what anyone CHOOSES to do - My problem is with the misinformation. The hidden truths. The straight up LIES about what is in our food supply, skincare, drinking water, medications, and cleaning products.
And so, I created this Reality Check Series as a way to shed light on the vast amount of healthwashing that is occurring right under our noses. Whether it’s products that are marketed for infants while also containing cancer causing chemicals, products that contribute to the rising epidemic of heart disease (but pretend they don’t), products labeled in a way that makes the average consumer BELIEVE they’re healthy, natural, or clean, and products marketed to the people out there who are ACTIVELY doing their best to live well, yet their hidden ingredients leave little to be desired.
No more hiding behind a label that 95% of consumers DON’T UNDERSTAND.
With that, I’d like to introduce you to one of the worst offenders in the healthwashing category.
You ready? Let’s do it.
THE OFFENDER: Boost by Nestle
THE CLAIMS: “Complete Nutrition. No artificial flavour or colour. Natural source sweetener.”
K, hold my drink because this one hits home.
Boost is owned by Nestle. The makers of Haagen-Dazs, Kit-Kat, Coffeemate, Stouffers, Carnation, Aero, Quality Street, Smarties, Cheerios (which have recently been discovered to be highly contaminated with glyphosate - a patented antibiotic and class 2A carcinogen), Lean Cuisine, Nestea, Nescafe, Nesquik, Hot Pockets, and Purina pet foods.
Not only as a holistic healthcare practitioner, but also as a general human being, I do not want THIS company sourcing my vitamins - Nor do I want said vitamins to be delivered to me in the form of a sugary milkshake.
This product is marketed as only containing “Naturally sourced sweeteners,” which is a prime example of healthwashing. Let’s instead focus our attention on the fact that the second ingredient is “CORN SYRUP.” This is generally a highly processed, GMO, glyphosate & sugar cocktail, and it is the SECOND MOST PREVALENT ingredient in the package...Only next to water.
It doesn’t only contain corn syrup as it’s “naturally sourced sweetener,” because the 4th most prevalent ingredient is also SUGAR.
...But at least it’s “NATURAL”.....right? 🙄
Soy Protein and “flavours” are both often sneaky names for MSG. It doesn’t mean that this product contains it, but it also doesn’t mean that it doesn’t. And while monosodium glutamate may not be an “artificial flavour” per se, it IS an excitatory neurotransmitter that many people (especially kids) tend to be highly sensitive to. It’s also an excito-neurotoxin, meaning it can be straight up TOXIC to the brain. It is capable of causing a wide range of reactions, including headaches, migraines, nausea, weakness, numbness, and even behaviour and mood changes.
Contains carrageenan, which is an additive that comes from an Irish moss and is completely devoid of nutritional value. Some studies are beginning to link carrageenan with an increased risk of inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, glucose intolerance, colon cancer, and food allergies. This additive is most commonly found in non-dairy and dairy products like ice cream and yogurt as they help with the texture of these products. (PMID: 11675262)
Contains dimethylpolysiloxane, which also happens to be one of the main ingredients in silly putty! Not only is this synthetic substance a member of the silicon family, but it is also known to degrade into formaldehyde; which is a known carcinogen.
Canola Oil: We covered this one in our MARGARINE post a few weeks ago, where I said (and I quote): “Canola oil is the most highly processed, genetically modified chemical shit storm of an oil you can find.” Looking to understand fats on a deeper level? Check out my blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Fats.
Soy lecithin: While in some cases this ingredient can pose benefits (and can even be found in health food stores!), unless the soy is labelled as organic, this product is most likely using genetically modified soy. Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier, and the extraction process is where my biggest concern sits. It involves using hexane. The FDA does not regulate how much hexane residue is left over after soybeans are processed into lecithin.
And AH, the elusive term, “FLAVOUR.” On the front of the package, it states that there is, “No artificial flavour or colour,” which leads one to believe that this term, “FLAVOUR,” must be something natural. And while that is certainly a plausible assumption, this does not mean that whatever concoction of ingredients are being defined here as FLAVOUR, are nutritious or beneficial to the human body. Furthermore, they may even be potentially damaging.
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Boost is often used to supplement food after surgery or to “help” the elderly keep up their nutrient intake when they are not able to eat as much food. As a matter of fact, I had this very discussion with a close family member we recently lost to cancer who had a refrigerator full of it.
Boost is recommended by doctors (who, by the way, have absolutely no nutrition background), which is the most frustrating part of it all. I even had someone message me after reading this post on my social media, sharing that when she applied for funding to help cover her breast cancer treatments, she was offered an unlimited supply of it for FREE. This tells me everything I need to know about how our economy is run.
If you do a PET scan, radioactive sugar is injected into the body so that when the scan is done, the cancer cells literally LIGHT UP. Why? Because sugar feeds cancer. Sugar feeds “dis-ease.” And I assure you, this product was NOT serving my beloved family member’s quest to bring her body back into a state of health.
WHY, pray tell, are we marketing this “fortified” processed chemical sugar drink to our most vulnerable population? WHY, pray tell, are many dieticians standing by in support of this? This product isn’t just unhealthy, it is offensive. It is angering. And it is frustrating.
While I could go on, I think I’ll stop here.