Dieters, Natural Eaters, Fitness and Health nuts usually get quite excited when a new company enters the land of healthy eating. They are eager to try the new products and go to great lengths to find them sometimes. Even sometimes when its an “older” company but nobody has ever really heard of them and all of a sudden people start talking about them, it the chaos ensues and people are frantically trying to find the products to taste-test them on their own. That happened recently on a fitness board that I frequent. Meet the company, Walden Farms. It’s been around since 1972 and I have seen it in grocery stores and other places for the past couple of years. With my goal for healthier eating, I was bound to come across it, because thats just what they claim their products are for.
On a quick glance, the company looks impressive, amazing… almost a little too good to be true.
No Calories, Fat, Carbs, Gluten or Sugar of any kind!
It’s right there on their website for the world to see. Those words are truly a dieters dream, as well as a diabetics dream! I mean, who doesn’t want to lose weight but still get to eat delicious foods at the same time. No calories? Wow! But is it too good to be true?
In one word, yes.
But I will let you be the judge of that.
From the company website:
Walden Farms irresistibly sweet calorie free specialties are prepared with real fruit extracts, concentrated natural flavors, rich cocoa and other natural ingredients, all sweetened with Splenda. Our savory specialties are made with hundreds of freshly ground herbs and spices, concentrated natural flavors and the finest aged imported and domestic vinegars.
The good news is, they wrote it right on their website. Splenda. Splenda is so darn bad for you, I don’t even want to get into it you can google all about the horrors of Splenda. Go ahead, its awful. I won’t lie, occasionally I do have something with Splenda in it – its in a lot of low cal, sugar free or no calorie products, but the more I read on it, the more I really do not wish to consume the product at all, and I’m working on that. But even if I overlook the fact that there is splenda in every single item they sell, there are other more problematic things to look at.
First they drag you in saying things like,
Save 330 calories a day, 10,000 calories a month and lose 34lbs a year!
That’s on their chocolate syrup they show dripping over a huge serving of vanilla ice cream. I’m pretty sure that ice cream is going to counteract that chocolate syrup - but again, not as problematic as the ingredients in some of their products.
I mean honestly, why would you want to eat a peanut “spread” that doesn’t even have peanuts in it? It’s FLAVORED to taste just like natural peanut butter. Uhm. No thanks, because I’m pretty sure the other stuff you put in there is simply awful – check out this next one.
Their strawberry spread features “strawberry flavor”, “natural flavors”, and cellulose gel (this sounds so amazingly disgusting just reading it made me feel sick!) in addition to the ever-present Splenda. Wouldn’t you rather just have real strawberry preserves? The natural sugar in the REAL strawberry preserves might be higher, but its NATURAL sugar… not artificially concocted stuff.
Several of the products have maltodextrine, cellulose gel, several types of vegetable gums and one more little tidbit I learned along the way – only the suggested SERVING size contains no calories, so if you use more, you’re getting some calories you might not realize were there!
In addition, I did some research on the reviews of the companies products. I found more negative reviews than I did positive (though there are some). The majority of the people said the food tastes “gross”, “inedible” “disgusting”, “tastes like battery acid”, “the texture is like eating paste (and that was for marshmallow fluff) and a bunch more descriptions and adjectives – some not worthy to even be said on my blog. There were a few compliments on some of the products, but for the most part, they seem to generally not taste good at all. Good to know. I won’t be buying any. Hungry girl doesn’t even like it!
The saddest part about all of this, is that companies like Walden Farms give other good, solid, natural products a bad name. Obviously you’ll do what you want, but this serves as a warning to what WF thinks is okay for us all to eat. I’m still reeling from that disgusting description of strawberry spread!