Who doesn’t LOVE (secretly crave) a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch?! As a child, I could hardly resist the sweet, cinnamon-sugar milk — SO yum. Let’s see how Quest’s Protein Powder compares (can you see how they even add cereal bites?!).
Might sound tasty, but there are already a few red flags glaring up at me. Can you spot one? How about Cinnamon Crunch FLAVOR. Let’s continue and dig deeper…
Remember this stuff??
Sweetness: Sugars are <1g, but how on earth can they attain the sweet, cinnamon crunch flavor?! Erythritol. Uh oh. I gave a run-down on this sweetener last week, and shared my research explaining how even in low doses, erythritol can cause digestive upset, diarrhea and along with gas, bloating, headache and stomachache. This sweetener doesn’t even get metabolized in the body! It provides NO nutritional perks of any kind but yet it allows brands to list <1g of sugar on their label to trick those who aren’t sure what to look for. Now you know better!! Please avoid products using this to sweeten their product. GRADE F for sweetness.
Steviol Glycosides (Stevia) — love stevia as a choice to sweeten foods, but so far there are so many forms of sugar listed in the ingredient list, but yet they make a claim for <1g of sugar/serving? Doesn’t add up until you realize that the sweetness is coming mostly from artificial sweeteners, which are completely toxic to our delicate physiology.
Protein: Whey Protein Isolate can be a scary ingredient, especially when a company does not disclose their sourcing, or even mention the words grass-fed on their products. Whey is one of those ingredients that can be allergenic for many, even at a sensitivity level, and especially when it comes from dairy of mistreated cows. Dairy quality is of utmost importance nowadays, and using products from fairly treated animals who get to roam and eat grass instead of GMO-corn and gluten-laden products (not to mention the need for antibiotics and other hormones to boost milk supply!). This is one battle you want to fight, and avoid anything labeled as an ‘isolate’, which simply means really, really, REALLY processed! (aka unnatural form).
Milk protein isolate: again, another isolate. Think lots of processing! No mention of whether or not the milk in this product is organic, or from cleanly-sourced animals, this makes me wonder about the actual quality of the milk protein they are providing their customers.
RED FLAGS — let’s take a closer look into the ingredients:
Carrageenan — it is one ingredient hidden in many organic and regular products, including your boxed almond milks, cottage cheese, soy milk, toothpaste and more, and is considered a carcinogen (resulting in inflammation throughout the gut) which means that we do NOT want to ingest this whenever possible. The Food Babe put together a great article if you want to learn more. GRADE F for quality and thoughtfulness of ingredients.
Micellar Casein — casein in a highly addictive substance commonly found in lesser quality powders, protein bars and drinks, and is one of the worst forms of protein for your muscles as it is often drenched with toxic residues. In micellar form, it is an aggregate, a big glob. This isolate when originally found in raw milk before all the processing can actually provide a steady supply of power to your muscles, but seeing as caseinates are all ultra-thermolyzed and processed, they pose a serious health risk as degraded proteins providing even more danger than trans fats! Casein can even sometimes hide MSG, another addictive neurotoxin for the nervous system. YIKES! GRADE F for cleanliness of ingredients.
Sucralose — AH! NO. Such a disappointment. In case you forgot, SUCRALOSE = SPELNDA. The little yellow packet. Again, if you were wondering how they can list <1g of sugar on the label, this is why. Along with the erythritol, sucralose is an ARTIFICIAL sugar which is synthetically made in the lab to taste extra sweet, and is bound to chlorine molecules so that your body does not metabolize it. It is addictive, dangerous and highly corrosive to your system. You can learn more in this great article. GRADE F for sweetness.
Butter — Believe it or not, I LOVE BUTTER! Yes, I said it. BUT, I am very picky about the type of butter I buy and eat. Ideally, from grass-fed pastured cows, butter contains delicious saturated fats that lubricate your system and are extremely dense, filled with nutrition. In this case, there is no mention of the type of butter used, very likely salty, from non-organic animals, etc. Please be picky about your butter, and don’t just trust that it’s from a good, clean source!
Natural Flavors — There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ flavor. This is one of those categories where companies like to bunch together and hide all kinds of additives and other stuff without disclosing specifics. Just like we want to avoid all ‘fragrances’ from our skin/hair/makeup routines, we want to avoid any ‘flavors’, seeing as these are likely derived in the lab, and are synthetic. GRADE B- for flavoring.
Soluble Corn Fiber — when a product lists corn and doesn’t highlight the safety badge for nonGMO, then you can assume that it contains GMO corn which means that the DNA in this corn product has been tampered with and altered from its’ natural state, thus can wreak havoc on our delicate balance within the body. Both the long and short term effects of GMO products in the body are unreal, causing disease at all levels, including allergies, ADHD, fertility and hormonal concerns and SO many more. Steer clear whenever possible! And make sure your product has this stamp of approval (it’s one step in the right direction):
GRADE for QUEST Protein: F. Failed in almost all categories. Most ingredients are synthetic and of poor quality. Not much thought was put into the freshness of ingredients, so there is quite a bit of work here to do to clean this formula up. I would have to make many changes to this formula if I were to consume it on a regular basis, but I do like their Cinnamon Toast idea, and add cinnamon to almost everything I make 😉