Kashi GOLEAN Energy Shake Mix

Kashi GOLEAN Energy Shake Mix

The Kashi line of food products are a familiar sight in US supermarkets. The original “Kashi” was a pilaf composed of 7 whole grains and sesame seed—a blend still utilized in the majority of cold/hot cereals, snack foods and frozen meals currently marketed by the company. Kashi’s marketing explicitly equates “natural” and high-fiber with “healthy.” As the company claims: “Everyone has the right to healthy food. Helping people make healthy changes is the reason we get up in the morning.”

Manufacturer Description: “At Kashi, we believe that everyone has the power to make positive, healthy lifestyle changes. But staying committed to healthy eating and exercise isn’t easy. That’s why we developed GOLEAN, an assortment of delicious, convenient food options, to be and easy part of your committment to a healthier, leaner you.

GOLEAN Shake Mix is a delicious way to start the day or snack on the go. Just mix with water or milk, or blend with your favorite fruit to create your own smoothie.

What makes GOLEAN effective? GOLEAN shakes are designed with our unique combination of protein and fiber to help you stay satisfied. And they have the great taste of all natural ingredients so you look forward to enjoying them.”

Product Label:

Serving Size: 60g
Servings Per Container: About 7
Amount/Serving
Calories 220
Calories from Fat 5
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 120mg
Potassium 520mg
Total Carbohydrate 32g
Fiber 7g
Sugars 23g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A 35%
Vitamin C 50%
Calcium 40%
Iron 25%
Vitamin D 35%
Vitamin E 50%
Vitamin K 25%
Thiamin 35%
Riboflavin 35%
Niacin 35%
Vitamin B6 35%
Folic Acid 30%
Vitamin B12 35%
Biotin 35%
Pantothenic Acid 35%
Phosphorus 40%
Iodine 35%
Magnesium 40%
Zinc 15%

Ingredients: Soy Protein Concentrate, Evaporated Cane Juice, Gum Acacia, Cocoa Treated With Alkali, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Calcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Chicory Root Fiber, Magnesium Phosphate, Uva Ursi (Bearberry Extract), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Grape Seed Extract, Panax Ginseng, Niacinamide, Alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Whey Caseinate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Molybdate, Vitamin K (Phytonadione), Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12

Comments: The GOLEAN shakes are a departure from the company formula: they contain none of the whole grains used in most of the other Kashi products. In fact, the majority of the carbs in the shake mix are from plain old sugar…and sugar is sugar, regardless of whether it comes from the whitest of crystals or “evaporated cane juice.” The shakes are high in fiber, but it comes from chicory root. Chicory root has been used as a coffee substitute for many years, and contains approx. 20% inulin: a soluble fiber and prebiotic (i.e., fiber that encourages the growth of beneficial, probiotic bacteria in the gut).

I tried the chocolate shake mix, which cost approx. $13 at the local drugstore. As it turns out, buying it over-the-counter is more expensive than ordering it direct from the company—which sells a pack of 4 canisters for $38.99 ($9.75/per unit). Online retailers such as Vitacost or Vitamin Shoppe also sell individual units for approx $11 each. Each canister contains about 7 servings.

There are sufficient gums and stabilizers in the mix to make a reasonably thick, smooth, shake-like drink when blended in water, but it tasted flat…it was much better blended into nonfat milk. Even so, it was more cocoa-flavored than “chocolate”: the taste was decent but not delicious. It was fairly satisfying, though. After drinking it, it kept me going for a good 3 hours—about right for a “meal” for me.

Nonetheless, as meal replacements go, GOLEAN is nothing special. The bulk of the carbs come from nutrient-free sugar and purified fiber, not whole grains. This is in contrast with some of the better meal replacement powders, such as iSatori’s Eat Smart, ProLab’s Naturally Lean Complex or Labrada Lean Body…GOLEAN is really just a high protein version of Slim Fast.

Here’s how I rate this product (out of 5 stars):

Taste:2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)
Quality:2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)
Efficacy:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Value:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Average:2.9 out of 5 stars (2.9 / 5)

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

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