There are so many different meal replacements available on the market today. Some meal replacements are designed with weight loss and nutrition in mind, while others are simply empty calories.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement is a condensed, nutritious meal in liquid form. Each serving of this shake contains 20 grams of protein, 7 grams fiber, 21 vitamins, and minerals, as well as probiotics, enzymes, super greens, and healthy fats.
But how effective are meal replacements? And how does the Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement compare to other similar products on the market? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement?
The company boasts that their raw organic meal replacement is portable, on the go, and full of various vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Their meal replacement is designed to be a quick and easy drinkable meal that will give your body the nutrition it needs.
The Garden of Life company claims that their meal replacement product will help to satisfy cravings, manage weight, and boost your overall health. Each packet has 120 calories and 20 grams of protein.
The protein comes from nutritious plant sources, derived from whole foods like peas and sprouts. The powder is designed to be filling to help you satisfy your cravings and manage your weight.
What Are The Garden of Life Replacement Flavors?
The Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal replacement flavors are Chocolate, Vanilla, Vanilla Spiced Chai, and Lightly Sweet.
Each flavor can be purchased in three different sizes: a 32-36 ounce tub, a 16-18 ounce tub, or in 10 individual serving packets. The packets make it simple to take Garden of Life Meal Replacement on the go. Simply toss a packet in your bag, and you have your lunch covered.
Is Garden of Life Meal Replacement Organic?
The Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal nutrition label specifies each ingredient as organic. The company’s products are USDA certified organic.
Organic farming is a method of farming where the crops are not treated with any pesticides or chemicals. People often make the switch from regular farmed produce to organic to avoid any unnecessary chemicals.
Does It Really Mean That This Powder is Organic?
Organic farming refers to the method that farmers use to grow their food. Organic agricultural products are grown without any pesticides or chemicals.
The fact that Garden of Life Meal Replacement is USDA certified organic means that the foods that make up the meal replacement powder have been sourced organically. The foods were grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides and then ground up to make the powder.
Organic farming is a farming practice that is meant to reduce pollution, create safe and healthy food, promote a self-sustaining cycle of resources, and enhance soil and water quality.
To be considered organic farmers, the entire farming process cannot add synthetic fertilizers or chemicals to the soil. Organic farming also forbids pesticides, genetic engineering, irradiation, synthetic pest control, and antibiotics.
If a product is labeled USDA certified organic, that means that the product fits government standards. To get a USDA organic certification, the farm must be monitored and observed by a government official.
Is It Better to Buy Organic Than Non-Organic?
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are some benefits to buying organic. These benefits include increased nutrients, higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. There are also less toxic metals, and less pesticide residue in organic food.
Studies have shown that there can be a small to moderate increase in some nutrients when the produce is grown organically. Also, the feeding practices required for organic farming lead to a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids in cattle, dairy, and eggs.
Another perk of organic farming is that there are fewer toxic chemicals and metals found in the soil of organic farms. Cadmium is a toxic chemical that is often found in soil, but studies have demonstrated that organic farms have fewer cadmium levels than the soil of traditional farms.
Why Drink Garden of Life Meal Replacement?
There are many reasons to take a meal replacement shake. Many people take meal replacements because they’re busy, fast-paced lifestyle doesn’t allow them much time for cooking.
Meal replacement shakes, unlike green powders or protein powders, are designed to take the place of a meal. Replacing a meal with a shake like Garden of Life Meal Replacement is an easy and quick way to make sure you are consuming all the nutrients your body needs.
When trying to lose weight, some people turn to meal replacements in order to keep track of their calories. As weight loss is all about calories in versus calories out, tracking calories can be essential to achieving your weight loss goals. And products like Garden of Life Meal Replacement makes tracking calories a breeze.
One scoop of Garden of Life Meal Replacement has 20 grams of protein. Protein helps to give your body the energy it needs. The protein in Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement comes from whole plants. The powder itself is made from vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds.
Garden of Life Meal replacement is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut free. It is made without filler ingredients, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or perservatives. It is simple to use and frees up time, which makes it a good product for busy people who want to improve their diet.
What Are The Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Ingredients?
The Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement ingredients are very similar across all the flavors, with each varying on their “Organic Flavor Blend” between Chocolate, Vanilla, Vanilla Spiced Chai, and Lightly Sweet.
Here are the Six different blends you can expect in each Garden of Life Meal Replacement flavor:
Raw Organic Protein Blend
The raw organic protein blend contains Organic Pea Proteins, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Proteins, Organic Amaranth, Organic Buckwheat, Organic Millet, Organic Quinoa, Organic Chia Seed, Organic Adzuki Bean, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Garbanzo Beans, Organic Lentils, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sesame Seeds, and Organic Sunflower Seeds.
Raw Organic Fiber Blend
The raw organic fiber blend contains Organic Tapioca Fiber, Organic Chia Seed, and Organic Flax Meal.
Raw Organic Fruit and Vegetable Blend
This fruit and vegetable blend is made from Organic Spinach, Organic Baobab, Organic Apple, Organic Beet, Organic Broccoli, Organic Carrot, Organic Tomato, Organic Green Bell Pepper, Organic Brussel Sprout, Organic Ginger, Organic Garlic, Organic Onion, Organic Strawberry, Organic Cherry, Organic Parsley, Organic Cauliflower, Organic Blackberry, Organic Cabbage, Organic Blueberry, Organic Raspberry, Organic Kale, Organic Cucumber, Organic Celery, Organic Asparagus.
Organic Flavor Blend
The ingredients of the organic flavor blend will depend on which flavor you choose. The vanilla flavor blend, for example, contains Organic Vanilla Flavoring, Organic Stevia Extract, and Sea Salt.
Raw Organic Greens Blend
The raw greens blend in the Garden of Life meal replacement contains Organic Alfalfa Grass Juice, Organic Spirulina, Organic Barley Grass Juice, Organic Oat Grass Juice, and Organic Wheatgrass Juice.
Raw Probiotic and Enzyme Blend
The raw probiotic and enzyme blend contains Lipase, Protease, Aspergillopepsin, Beta-Glucanase, Cellulase, Bromelain, Phytase, Lactase, Papain, Peptidase, Pectinase, Xylanase, Hemicellulase, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus.
Here’s a sample Nutrition Facts for the Chocolate Flavor:
Do Meal Replacements Really Work?
There are so many products on the market that claim to aid weight loss that it can be difficult to distinguish the scams from products that will actually help. Meal replacement shakes, unlike protein shakes or super green drinks, are designed to replace a full meal.
Meal replacements vary widely from brand to brand. Some come pre-made in a bottle or can. Others come as powders that you can then mix into any liquid you like. Garden of Life Meal Replacement, for example, comes as a tub of powder that you can then mix into your drink of choice.
What Are the Benefits of a Meal Replacement Shake?
Meal replacement shakes are a quick and simple way to consume vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and protein. When dieting, the reduction of calories can make it difficult to consume all the nutrients your body needs. A meal replacement shake helps ensure that your body is getting what it needs.
Most meal replacement shakes contain essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin D. It can be difficult to consume all these nutrients daily, so meal replacement shakes make the job easier for you.
Meal replacement shakes that have protein and fiber are also best for your body, as your body needs both protein and fiber to function. Consuming enough protein will also help your body to feel full, and feeling full can help aid your weight loss.
Some meal replacement shakes. like Raw Organic Meal Replacement, also add additional nutrients by including probiotic and enzyme blends into their ingredients. Thus, also helping you with your digestive system.
What Is the Science Behind Meal Replacement Shakes?
Meal replacement shakes are designed to help you consume as much protein in as few calories as possible. As weight loss is all about burning more calories than you consume, using a meal replacement can help you to intake fewer calories.
Meal replacement shakes are generally low in calories and high in protein and nutrients. Garden of Life meal replacement, for example, has 120 calories and 20 grams of protein (can vary slightly by flavor).
The high protein content will help keep you full, while the low-calorie content will help aid your weight loss.
Weight loss occurs when your calorie intake is restricted. The glycogen in your muscles then starts to run low. When your glycogen runs low, your body has to turn to fat stores for fuel.
When losing weight or considering meal replacements, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional. Restricting calories too much can lead to adverse health effects. The safest and healthiest way to change your diet is through the help of a professional.
Are There Any Studies That Prove the Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes?
There are some studies that suggest that consuming meal replacement shakes can help aid weight loss. One study found that, over a three month trial period, participants who consumed meal replacements lost 5.6 more pounds than those who followed a regular, reduced-calorie, whole food diet.
One review discovered that four out of seven studies demonstrate greater weight loss results with meal replacements. However, the other three studies found no significant difference.
Another study found that meal replacement shakes led to greater weight loss in obese participants by 1-2%. Those who took the meal replacements in this study had lower blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels.
Ultimately, meal replacement shakes are not a magic treatment for weight loss. Weight loss is all about reducing your calorie intake.
If consuming a shake makes it easier for you to reduce your calories, then meal replacement shakes will help aid your weight loss goals.
How Many Calories Are in a Meal Replacement Shake?
A typical meal replacement shake will contain 200 to 400 calories and sufficient levels of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can be a simple and easy way to ingest the nutrition that your body needs in a low-calorie form.
One serving of Garden of Life Meal replacement contains 110 calories. This is rather low for a meal replacement. Nutritionists generally do not recommend going below 1,200 calories a day, no matter your size. If each of your meals was 110 calories, then you would be severely under eating.
Due to the fact that Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal replacement is so low in calories, though, that means that you can spend the rest of your calories on other foods. The best way to maintain health is through consuming whole, plant foods.
How Many Calories a Day Do I Need to Lose Weight?
Everyone’s body is different, and so everyone needs to intake a different amount of calories depending on their unique physical makeup. How many calories you need will depend on your age, height, sex, and activity level.
Basically, you need to burn more calories than you intake in order to lose weight.
To calculate how many calories you need, google your TDEE. An online calculator will calculate roughly how many calories you need daily to meet your weight loss goals.
What Are The Meal Replacement Negative Side Effects to Be Cautious Of?
When making any alterations to your diet, it can always be helpful to consult your doctor. Some people might experience reactions to certain changes in eating, while other people might not experience any negative side effects at all.
According Garden of Life Raw Organic meal replacement reviews, some consumers experienced bloating, vomiting, gas, headaches, or muscle cramps.
Some people also experienced nausea and diarrhea. Nausea can occur with any sudden and dramatic change to your diet. If you experience any negative side effects, be sure to stop drinking the meal replacement shake and consult your doctor.
What’s the Differences Between Meal Replacements, Super Green Powders, Protein Powders, and Supplements?
With such a wide variety of health and wellness products on the market, it can be difficult to keep straight what exactly each product is meant for. Here is a quick breakdown of the difference between the different products.
Nutritional and dietary supplements are designed to help you consume the nutrients that your body needs. They can come in various forms: pills, tablets, liquid, powders, or capsules. Supplements can be found in a variety of doses, with a variety of combinations.
Nutritionists and dieticians generally agree that whole plant foods are the best source of vitamins and minerals. If you are unable to consume a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, supplements can assist you.
Supplements should not replace whole foods and can have different side effects on different people. Pregnant women, for example, should avoid supplements with fish oil, as fish oil can cause birth defects if taken above the recommended dose.
Basically, supplements are meant to supplement your diet. Most of your nutrients should come from whole foods.
Super Green Powders
Super Green powders are a kind of nutritional supplement. They come in a variety of blends, and each contains a unique ingredient list. The powders are generally made from whole fruits and vegetables, with large amounts of leafy greens.
The leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and roots are then ground into a powder. The powder can then be mixed into a liquid to make a drinkable, nutritious shake.
Protein powders come in a variety of flavors, with varying protein contents. They are designed to help boost your protein levels and are best for people who do heavy lifting.
Protein powders are made from the protein that comes from plants, eggs, and milk. Depending on the brand and powder, the powder may come with artificial flavors, sugars, or added vitamins and minerals.
While there are still not enough studies done on protein powders to determine their long term effects, some scientists warn about the danger of taking too much protein powder as it may cause digestive distress.
Some protein powders are too high in sugar and have a large number of calories, making them counterproductive to weight loss.
While meal replacements can have additional vitamins and nutrients, like supplements, they are specifically designed to replace a meal. This means that they are a calorie-efficient way to consume your nutrients.
Who Makes Garden of Life Meal Replacement?
Garden of Life is a company that was founded in 2000. The company is based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Garden of Life is focused on health and wellness and sells products that relate to health, wellness, and weight loss.
The Garden of Life company was founded by Jordan Rubin. Rubin faced a serious illness in his life and decided to fund a company that was committed to health.
On their website, the company writes that they are “fanatical about foods.” The company boasts that they are obsessive about what they put in the products, as well as what they keep out of them.
According to the Garden of Life company, they grow their produce naturally, organically, with sunlight, water, and patience. They keep pesticides and chemicals out of their agricultural practices. But can we trust what they say?
The company has a wide variety of certifications that speak to their values. The company is USDA certified organic, Non-Gmo Verified, Certified Vegan, Certified NSF, Certified Gluten-Free, U Kosher, Star-K Kosher, NSF Certified for Sport, Informed Choice, Certified B-Corporation, LEED Gold, and Green-e Energy.
Their array of certifications helps to improve customer trust. And the fact that their products are organic, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher allows them to market to various diets and lifestyles.
What Are the Company’s Guiding Principles?
The Garden of Life company lays out three guiding principles on their website.
The first principle listed on the Garden of Life website is the science of whole foods. They sought out the whole foods that provide the highest quality nutrients and the foods that are difficult to ingest on a daily basis.
The Garden of Life meal replacement powder is then made from those whole foods. Data backs up the science behind whole foods, and most nutritionists and dieticians agree that whole foods are best for your diet.
Garden of Life’s second guiding principle for their products is a focus on clean food. They focus on making sure to keep chemicals, pesticides, and harmful substances out of their farming practices.
Garden of Life is USDA Certified Organic, which means their farms have been observed and monitored and proven to be pesticide-free.
Garden of Life is committed to being transparent about their products. They want the knowledge to be available of where their products come from, and how their products are grown.
This includes helping the customer be aware of the farming practices, down to how the farmers treat their workers. The company believes that being transparent about this information is vital for customer trust.
Is Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Shake Safe? The Controversy.
Yes, in the past, unsafe levels of lead, cadmium and tungsten have been found in Raw Protein when tested by a third party. However, Garden of Life is now more involved with their farmers to ensure the quality of their ingredients.
NaturalNews.com reported back in 2010 how Garden of Life had an issue with toxic minerals being found in their end product. As a result “Garden of Life has committed to visiting each farm site where their brown rice material is grown and testing the water feeding each site for possible environmental contaminants including lead, cadmium, tungsten and mercury. “
NaturalNews.com also reported the following:
In essence, Garden of Life and Sunwarrior have agreed that all their protein products will achieve the following heavy metals limits no later than July 1, 2015 (and in reality, we will all very likely see these improvements much sooner due to the dedication of these companies to taking immediate action):
Agreed concentration limits in the final protein products:
Lead limit: 250 ppb
Tungsten limit: 50 ppb
Cadmium limit: 1000 ppb
Mercury limit: 50 ppb
These limits were mutually agreed upon by all three parties, and they represent the most progressive, innovative, self-imposed quality control limits that have ever been announced in the natural products industry.
This is great news because there are old Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal reviews that state lead, cadmium and tungsten are in the meal replacement shake. However, as of July 1, 2015, it is no longer true.
What Distinguishes Garden of Life Meal Replacement From Other Meal Replacement Products?
Garden of Life Meal Replacement is similar to other meal replacement powders on the market. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients; the powder is made from whole foods; and it is a filling meal replacement shake.
Where Garden of Life stands out is in its organic food sourcing. The ingredients are “clean” — chemical and pesticide-free. And there is no sugar or chemical additives.
Another element of the Garden of Life Meal Replacement that makes the product stand out is the probiotics in their meal replacement powder. Not all meal replacements contain probiotics.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods.
They have a variety of health benefits, including helping your gut health. Probiotics also help to positively influence your body’s immune system.
What Other Products Does Garden of Life Sell?
Garden of Life sells a variety of products on their website, from CBD extract and CBD probiotics to collagen, fish oils, and essential oils. They sell protein powders and prenatal supplements, among other products.
All of the Garden of Life products are centered around health and wellness. If you are interested in purchasing products from the brand, they likely have a product that will help with your individual health goals.
If you are specifically looking for a weight loss product, they do have various weight management products designed to help with your weight loss journey.
However, Garden of Life themselves admits that there is no “magic” cure for weight loss.
Weight loss simply comes from consuming fewer calories. However, products that help you feel full or boost your health can have a positive effect on your weight loss journey.
The Garden of Life company is transparent about where their ingredients come from and are open about their ingredients. They also have a wide variety of certifications that speak to their commitment to organic agricultural practices.
The company seems to be open and honest, not lying about miracle weight loss products, and being very clear that there is no “magic” treatment for weight.
The Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal offers more nutrients than most meal replacement shakes as it also offers a few super greens and probiotics.
They have a wide variety of products, all intended to meet different health needs.
Garden of Life Meal Replacement’s low-calorie count makes it more of a supplement than a full meal replacement.
Several Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal reviews reported having head aches and digestive issues. This can be due to the person not being used to some of the ingredients found in the meal replacement shake.
Overview of Garden of Life Meal Replacement
The Garden of Life Meal replacement is a convenient and quick shake that makes it easy to ingest the nutrients that your body needs. The product contains ingredients that are chosen for the energy-boosting effects.
The protein content in Garden of Life Meal replacement will help you feel fuller longer and the probiotics will help to boost gut health.
The Garden of Life Meal Replacement packets are extra convenient for those who are living a busy, fast-paced life and still want to focus on their health.
The Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal is a great meal replacement shake on a budget. It contains a large amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and probiotics.
There is a concern that to some people the probiotics may be cause some digestive discomfort. However, this is a common concern for several supplements that include probiotics and/or digestive enzymes.
The Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal can also have a bit of a chalky taste. To take care of this, simply blend it with ice and water, milk, or almond milk.
Overall, the Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal is a well made product that we recommend.
Our Top Recommended Meal Replacement Shakes
|Shakeology is our most recommended meal replacement shake because it's a nutrient dense shake that includes:
Thus, making it perfect for weight loss, increased energy, digestive health, reduced cravings, and overall better health.
Plus, Shakeology has stood the test of time as it has been around since 2009 without compromising its whole food ingredients. Instead, Shakeology has improved their flavors in taste and potency, and has even added vegan and gluten free options.
|Ample Meal is an interesting meal replacement as it focuses more on healthy fats. Ample Meal includes:
With Ample Meal, you can get a nice fulling 400 calorie meal with 2 scoops or do a single scoop of 200 calories if your goal is weight loss. Similar to Shakeology, it’s free of all the artificial junk that most meal replacement shakes have today.
|MacroMeal is another interesting meal replacement shake as it contains a blend of fast, medium, and slow digesting protein that delivers sustained energy. MacoMeal also includes the following core ingredients:
Although not technically a meal replacement as it’s low in carbohydrates, people have found it to be filling because of the MCT oils and slow digesting proteins.
- Healthline: Can Meal Replacement Shakes Help You Lose Weight
- Mayo Clinic: Organic Foods
- USA: Organic
- National Institute of Health: Probiotics
- ABC: The Science of Weightloss Shakes
- European Food Information Council: Supplements
- Harvard Health: The Hidden Dangers of Protein Powders
- Superfood meal powder review: Garden of Life Raw Meal and Boku Superfood