Can You Use SlimFast Diet Products If You're Gluten-Free?

How to Know If SlimFast Products Are Safe for a Gluten-Free diet

Row of slimfast shake bottles on a store shelf

Zeyus Media/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 

SlimFast meal replacement shakes and shake mixes are gluten-free. Other SlimFast products, including chips, energy bars, and baked goods, are not gluten-free.

It's possible to do the SlimFast diet if you've decided to steer clear of gluten, or if you have a medical reason for not eating gluten, such as a diagnosis of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, you won't be able to indulge in SlimFast-branded products beyond the SlimFast shakes.

Must-Know Facts About SlimFast and Gluten

If you're at all familiar with SlimFast, you know it's a popular weight-loss system that works by replacing two meals a day with a ready-to-drink nutritional beverage. For the third meal, dieters on the SlimFast plan eat a "regular" 500-calorie meal. Slim-Fast also makes snacks for between-meal munching.

When followed exactly, the SlimFast plan can effectively help a person lose weight, thanks to a significant reduction in calories—about 1,200 per day—making it safe for most healthy people as a short-term route to shedding a few pounds.

The company that markets SlimFast, Unilever Inc., only labels a few products "gluten-free." Fortunately for those dieters who are interested in following the SlimFast diet plan, SlimFast gluten-free products include shakes.

Which SlimFast Products Are Gluten-Free?

According to SlimFast, the following products do not contain gluten:

  • Original Meal-Replacement Shakes in: Rich Chocolate Royale, French Vanilla, Strawberries & Cream, Cappuccino Delight, and Creamy Milk Chocolate
  • Original Meal-Replacement Shake Mixes in: Creamy Milk Chocolate, French Vanilla, Rich Chocolate Royale, and Strawberries & Cream
  • SlimFast Keto Shake Mixes in: Fudge Brownie Batter and Vanilla Cake Batter
  • SlimFast Diabetic Weight Loss Shake Mixes in: Chocolate Milkshake and Vanilla Milkshake
  • SlimFast Advanced Energy Shakes in: Mocha Cappuccino, Rich Chocolate, Vanilla, and Caramel Latte
  • SlimFast Advanced Energy Smoothie Mix in Mocha Cappuccino
  • SlimFast Advanced Nutrition Shakes in: Vanilla Cream, Creamy Chocolate, and Strawberries & Cream
  • SlimFast Advanced Nutrition Smoothie Mixes in: Mixed Berry Yogurt, Vanilla Cream, and Creamy Chocolate

If you're sensitive to milk or soy ingredients, note that all these shakes contain milk, and most contain soy. Some are lactose-free but contain other milk-based ingredients. Check the ingredients label for the product you're considering to see specific nutritional information.

Which SlimFast Products Might Not Be Gluten-Free?

SlimFast offers a wide array of snacks that fit into its diet plan, all of which are designed to substitute for a meal shake. These products include: cookies and bars in four different flavors, chips in two different flavors, and crisps and snack bites (basically small cookies) in three different flavors.

Out of these, the cookies, bars, crisps, and snack bites all contain gluten.

The chips, available in Sour Cream and Onion and Mesquite BBQ, do not contain gluten ingredients. However, all these snacks are manufactured on the same production lines as the products that contain gluten, according to a customer service representative. Therefore, this means they could have picked up traces of gluten and can't be labeled gluten-free.

Eating products that are made on the same lines as gluten-containing products may not be a problem for someone who's cutting out gluten for non-medical reasons, perhaps in hopes it will help with weight loss. But for someone who has celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, even a tiny bit of gluten can cause problems. Therefore, you should steer clear of all these products.

What To Look For

SlimFast has broadened its array of products to appeal to people with different weight-loss and health concerns. For example, its Keto line of shakes and other products is designed for those who are following a low-carb or ketogenic diet in an effort to lose weight, and its Diabetic Weight Loss line of shake mixes are balanced for people with type 2 diabetes who are trying to lose weight.

If you're looking to boost fiber in your diet, the SlimFast Advanced Energy line of shakes contains 5 grams of fiber in each serving. And, if you prefer high-protein meal substitutes, the SlimFast Advanced Nutrition shakes have twice as much protein as other SlimFast shakes.

A Word from Verywell

Even if you're avoiding gluten for non-health reasons, you can follow the SlimFast plan by using the meal replacement shakes and smoothies. If you're not particularly sensitive to trace gluten, you also can eat the potato-based chip products. Just make sure that your one regular meal of the day also is gluten-free.

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