Uncovering the TRUTH about Walden Farms

Walden Farms BadDieters, 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.
They boast:

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!

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  1. Brenda says

    Sounds like you haven’t tried them. I am diabetic and am very grateful to Walden Farms for letting me have some things I wouldn’t normally be able to eat. No, not all of their products taste good….I don’t particularly like the salad dressings, with the exception of the balsalmic vinegarette. The peanut spread is pretty good, especially in cooking. The chocolate syrup has been a lifesaver as is the fruit spreads I have tried. I know aspartame is dangerous, but the sucralose (Splenda) is not near as bad for you. My doctor and my nutritionist both opt for it over Equal type sweeteners. As with anything, moderation and common sense should be applied. Anything overdone is not good.

    • says

      Brenda, I actually have bought several Walden Farms products. And even after I did and didn’t really like anything I tried (yes, salad dressing was one)…. I still did my homework and research. Honestly, it was a very, very fine split between those that actually liked the taste of the products, and those that don’t. And there are several products (the salad dressings) that most people don’t like.
      So yes, I did try the products. I did not like them. My husband is diabetic so I understand the need for items like this, but natural things are STILL better than the fake chemicals they put in that stuff.
      I am however, glad that you have found some items you enjoy. :)

    • Mike says

      Well one thing is for certain. Sugar is way worse for you than splenda. If you don’t believe me look up on Netflix on the “How it’s Made” show and find the episode where they make table sugar. 99% of table sugar is engineered man made chemicals. Hardly any of it actually comes from the sugar beet. Splenda is not as bad although it can be unhealthy. The best thing Walden farms could do is switch to Xylitol for their sweetener. This is recommended by dentists and is even found in some tooth pastes because it strengthens enamel. As far as weight loss goes walden farms is a good option over the high fructose corn syrup high sugar garbage. They are a bit overpriced in my opinion which is why Im looking up recipes on how to make their products myself without the unwanted chemicals.

      • Sharon says

        Splenda is made from sugar just processed more and more. Very nasty and unhealthy. We don’t use sugar alcohols like Xylitol either. This is recommended by conventionally trained dentists that usually recommend fluoride as well. Sugar alcohols are chemicals. Keeping it really natural in our home for over 30 years!! Healthy family too!! Staying away from most new food inventions.
        Wishing you folks good health as you stay away from chemicals!

    • Cam says

      My mom was a diabetic and finally stopped all the sugar free junk. She lost weight and her diabetes was under better control then before. I will not be using any of this stuff. My doctor told me that I could have the regular stuff in moderation which is working for me.

    • says

      I just finished writing a letter to Walden Farms with regards to their Sugar Free, Calorie Free Ketchup. I bought a bottle out of the bargain bin at a local grocery store a few weeks ago and loved it. The grocery store didn’t seem to be stocking the product anymore, so I went on Amazon, found it, and ordered six bottles. The minute I tasted some of the ketchup I ordered on Amazon, I gagged. Something was horribly wrong. I read the label and discovered the word SUCRALOSE tucked in discreetly at the end of the ingredients list. I still had the old bottle and checked the label. There was no Sucralose in the original bottle. Sucralose is spun hydrocarbons and an MD advised me years ago that ingesting Sucralose is tantamount to ingesting jet fuel. Walden Farms ruined a great product and I won’t be buying any of their products in the future.

        • Cheryl says

          Oops…..meant to say, “products”. just purchased Walden farms, chocolate Dip and Carmel syrup. Can only take a small amount at a time before it starts to taste like horrible chemicals. I only tried it because I’m on a no sugar low-carb diet. Won’t be purchasing it again. It tasted great at first, but now the tastes is just awful.
          I hate that Sucralose is allowed in our foods. When are these Food Companies going to get it? Stop with the chemicals. Americans are trying to be healthy so we can live out the fullness of out days. Tired of the death by diet foods! We deserve better!

  2. Destiney says

    hahaha just came across your blog I agree yuck! I jumped on board “$140.00 worth on board” when a friend raved about how fab they were, I will tell you what I do like… the list is short “the honey mustard mayo” the regular mayo was blah but I can stomach it when I add more mustard to the mix and the bacon ranch is ok if you add loads of cilantro to the blender 😀 what else there pancake syrup was … iffy but passable, no worse then the medifast and the chocolate syrup is also so so Ok so what I hated the most? The sweet onion dressing and french onion dip BY FAR I am at a loss of how to even eat it and I can fix almost anything… a Loss!!!!and the peanut spread here is the good news the peanut spread is ok as a sauce when you add it to the sesame dressing the bad news I have enough products to test crap like that out … ugh and I couldn’t eat the balsamic ” any of them and oh yes I have them all” as a dressing but I could use them as a marinade … my issue being they are sicky sweet. I have to say I don’t like it being advertised as family friendly I don’t want my kids eating it, Once I am done with this whole Ketosis thing I plan on picking my organic badge back up, If only fruitoise wasn’t sugar I would be a happy camper! Anyway just trying to find a way to use the Walden farm stuff I don’t know how to use lol so back to my online search!

  3. carly says

    I really liked both of the salad dressings Ive tried. The chocolate syrup was not very good. The barbque sauce was edible but no treat. Im still trying their stuff. For no calories some of the stuff is worth it.

  4. Carolyn says

    I don’t use the syrups and sauces, but I actually love the dressings…Ranch, Bacon Ranch, Ceasar, and Sweet Onion…on salad. I think they are a great alternative to high calorie salad dressing. They only downside is the cost. Still, I consider these dressings to be a significant factor in maintaining my 74 lb. weight loss.

  5. Coco says

    Thanks for the article! I am really into healthy eating and am trying to loose some weight myself. I wanted to try some of the WF products but when I found out they have a faux strawberry syrup that offended me! Since when did fruit get a bad name? Thats just messed up, things like peanut butter, maple syrup, and strawberries are great, clean, whole foods. I somehow feel like if i start eating WF products i will die sooner from all te preservatives and unessecary junk. And as for Splenda in general I don’t see a reason for anyone who is not diabetic to be consuming it.

    • says

      I agree. Honestly clean eating is a healthier way to lose weight and feel great then trying products designed to make there be less sugar in stuff. I understand the reason diabetic’s consume it, for some it is the only alternative, but the sheer amount of chemicals and other oddities in these products makes me steer clear.

      • trainer58 says

        This crap is horrible for you. Splenda is not good for you !! In large quantities it can cause all kinds of health problems down the road such as Gerd. My doctor told me to steer clear of this product. I personally think the taste of these products is discusting.

  6. tp says

    Salad dressing is horrible! I wondered why it tasted like Nutrasweet then I looked at the label! Threw it out immediately! Guess I’ll make my own!

    • says

      I’m with you. Nasty stuff. It is definitely a much better option to simply make your own, and I think people don’t realize how easy it actually is to make your own salad dressing.
      Sorry you had to taste that yucky stuff. LOL

  7. Carol says

    50 lbs lost and counting… I have liked certain items and not others. I like the salad dressings, they have been a life saver for me but I can’t stand the peanut spread. Everyone has to find what works for them and this works for me. I have had all my numbers (good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, etc) checked and they have come out fine. I am overweight with no health problems yet but a strong family history of Diabetes and Heart Disease. I am 44 and trying to avoid these problem as I age. I still have another 75 lbs to go to meet my goal and Walden farms is going to help me get there. I am not married to using only natural ingredients to get me there, instead I am willing to do what it takes.

    • says

      Congratulations on your weight loss so far. And good luck on the rest, I know how hard it is. If this works for you and it’s what you like, that’s fine, but my blog is really about using more natural ingredients which is why this entry exists. I’m a firm believer in freedom of choice though, so if it’s helping you, then keep at it!

  8. Gina Stewart says

    Absolutely VILE product. Unbelievable how a company can call that food! I brought together with friends, 12 bottles of the stuff costing nearly $100!
    Sometimes in an effort to loose weight we subject ourselves to all sort of torture. There is nothing more torturous than the taste of this product, all of which have been bined. VOM!

    • says

      I couldn’t agree more. My concern has always been more about the chemicals in the product that make it unhealthy. For some it is their only hope, and I understand that, but for people who don’t have health concerns, it is NOT the answer.
      Beyond the chemicals of course, the stuff tastes nasty.

  9. trainer58 says

    My son lost 35 lbs, not by eating artificial chemicals. He threw my Splenda in the garbage and replaced it with organic cane sugar. We are on a HEALTHY low fat diet. This includes exercise people ! I love junk food. I have changed my eating habits and lost 20 lbs thanks to my son. I use a lot of honey these days too. Not store bought, right from the hive, pure, raw, unfiltered. I also buy pure honey comb. Whn I get a sweet tooth, I just cut a chunk off and pop it in my mouth. Diebetics can eat honey off the comb. Unprocesed honey is so good for you ! I have honey from hives in Washington, tenn, Michigan, and Florida. I have been on the yo yo diets of fat free for years. In the end it doesn’t stay off. Healthy eating and exercise will maintain a healthy weight.

  10. Dannie says

    All of the comments are interesting and gives me something to consider. I steamed some apples this morning and instead of sugar added the Walden syrup. It was delicious

    • says

      This still remains one of my most popular articles, and was written over 5 years ago. I haven’t thought of Walden Farms since about that time period. I honestly feel like this is all a personal choice, but I was still allowed to voice my own opinions. I know for many it is a huge part of their weight loss journey, diabetic solution, etc. I believe everyone has a choice.

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