Are Special K Protein Shakes Healthy?

You probably won't find Special K shakes at the health food store; however, substituting them for higher-calorie foods could help you achieve a healthy weight, possibly reducing your risk of obesity-related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. That said, these shakes have added sugar and artificial ingredients, and you can get the same weight-loss boost from a diet of natural, low-calorie foods.

Close-up of a protein shake being stirred. Credit: Palle Christensen/iStock/Getty Images

Nutrition Overview

Special K protein shakes are mostly water and isolated proteins, along with multiple types of sugar, artificial sweeteners, natural and artificial flavors, thickening agents and added vitamins and minerals. Most Americans already get more than the recommended amount of protein in their normal diets, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to Oregon State University, you get better overall nutrition from unrefined food sources such as fresh fruits and vegetables, which contain a broader range of nutrients then processed, fortified products like these.

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