Medifast is a low-calorie diet program that claims to help you lose 2 to 5 lbs. per week. On the Medifast Five and One Plan, you eat one Lean and Green Meal from real food, plus five Medifast meals that you can order online. Before you start Medifast, look at the ingredients in the products to make sure you like them, and get your doctor’s approval.
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Fats, Proteins and Carbohydrates
Each meal or shake from Medifast provides about 100 calories. Fat is relatively high in calories, with 9 calories per 1 g, and Medifast ingredients do not include many pure fats such as oil or butter. However, some shakes, such as Medifast Plus for Women’s Health, contain partially hydrogenated oils, which are sources of unhealthy trans fats. Most Medifast meals have at least 10 g protein, and some of the ingredients that supply protein are soy protein isolate, milk protein isolate and egg whites. Some products get carbohydrates from wheat flour, although other products are gluten-free for people who are sensitive to gluten, a protein in wheat. Sugars in Medifast include corn syrup and fructose. Inulin and gum arabic are ingredients that add dietary fiber.
Vitamins, Minerals and Flavorings
To help you meet your micronutrient needs while on Medifast, the meals and shakes contain vitamins and minerals. Each serving provides about 20 percent of the daily value for most vitamins and minerals, so if you eat the five Medifast meals that the Five and One Plan recommends, you will probably meet your needs. However, you should only follow this very low-calorie diet under your doctor’s supervision because it restricts so many foods. Medifast products have salt to enhance their flavor, and many of the meals have sugar substitutes to provide sweetness without adding many calories. Some of the common sweeteners are erythritol, a sugar alcohol, and sucralose and acesulfame potassium, two artificial sugar substitutes that do not have calories or carbohydrates.
Up to three of your five daily Medifast meals can be Medifast shakes, and many of the shakes have certain ingredients to help make your Medifast plan more customized. For example, the Essential1 Dark Chocolate shake is high in antioxidants, and it has resveratrol, quercetin and fruit components such as cranberry and blueberry powder. Medifast Plus for Joint Health has glucosamine and chondroitin, which may support cartilage in joints. Medifast Plus for Women’s Health has black cohosh for mood and echinacea to support your immune system. Many of the shakes have small amounts of caffeine to boost your metabolism. Ask your doctor to help you choose the shakes that are most likely to help you reach your individual health and weight loss goals.