Why does Nutrisystem have so much processed foods?

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Okay, bear with me. I am going to vent a little. Please don't flame me, and if you don't want to hear anything negative about the Nutrisystem food, then close this post..

So I am enjoying the program. I'm on the vegetarian plan because I enjoy eating healthy things. Before I started NS, I was primarily eating organic, whole foods. Just WAY too many of them..

Now, I know full well that Nutrisystem isn't an organic whole food diet. I figured I'd compromise for a few months and eat more processed foods than I'm used to in order to achieve my weight loss goal. I won't be eating foods with ingredient lists the length of my forearm forever. But, for now, I'll tolerate it..

However, after two weeks, I am noticing that some of the foods make me feel ill. Headachey and the whole deal. I went back in my food journal and realized that the days this is happening is the days I'm eating food with that Inulin stuff in it. I tried it a few years back and it made me ill then too..

I went through the list of foods before my next order goes out Tuesday. I removed everything that has 1) inulin, 2) sucralose, 3) high fructose corn syrup, and 4) partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Those are deal breaker foods for me..

Now I am left with only ten breakfasts, ten lunches, six dinners, and probably 5 desserts. Okay, fine, I get that, it's my choice..

But WHY?!! It's clear that they CAN make delicious food without all that crap in it. The meals I'm ordering are proof of that? WHY do they have to put that stuff in almost everything? Grrrr.....

Okay, I know that I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to this issue. I'm a health coach, afterall. It was just frustrating to have to go and take out so many food items because they'd added in something that isn't even necessary in the first place..

DEEP BREATH. Rant over. You are now returned to your regularly scheduled Applepiemommy...

Comments (18)

Your question was: Why does Nutrisystem have so much processed foods?.

So, FMI (for my information :-) which are the foods that you are ordering?? Would you mind sharing which ones fit into the less additives category? I am definitely interested to know..

Thanks, and I wish you luck. I hope you can reach your goal and retunr to your clean eating lifestyle.

I, for one, wouldn't judge someone who wants to only put healthy things in their body...

Comment #1

Okay, so here is what I CAN order..

By the way, I think the reason I got mad was because I really LIKED the other items! :P (Honestly, my favorite things are still on this list.).

Breakfast ITEMS.

Women's Vegetarian Custom Items.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal 3.

Apple Strudel Bar 2.

Blueberry Flavored Pancake Mix 2.

Cinnamon Bun Bar 3.

Crispy Rice Cereal 3.

Harvest Nut Bar 3.

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal 3.

NutriFlakes Cereal - 40% Bran Flakes 4.

Pancake Mix 2.

Whole Grain O's Cereal 3.

Lunch ITEMS.

Women's Vegetarian Custom Items.

Black Beans and Rice 4.

Black Bean Tortilla Soup 4.

Mexican-Style Tortilla Soup 4.

Pasta Parmesan with Broccoli 4.

Cheesy HomeStyle Potatoes 2.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar 2.

Chocolate Raspberry Bar 2.

Fudge Graham Bar 2.

Split Pea Soup 2.

Trail Mix Bar 2.

Dinner ITEMS.

Women's Vegetarian Custom Items.

Cheese Ravioli with Basil Tomato Sauce 3.

Italian Herb Flatbread Pizza 4.

Sloppy Joe 5.

Thick Crust Pizza 4.

Vegetable Fajita 5.

Vegetable Lasagna with Basil Tomato Sauce 4.

Vegetarian Chili 3.

Dessert ITEMS.

Women's Vegetarian Custom Items.

Almond Biscotti 2.

Buffalo Wing Pretzel Sticks 2.

Carrot Cake 2.

Chocolate Chip Cookie 2.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pudding 3.

Double Chocolate Almond Cookie 1.

Honey Mustard Pretzel Sticks 2.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie 2.

Peanut Butter Cookie 3.

Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies 3.

White Chocolate Chunk Cookie 3.

Chocolate Rainbow Delights 1.

Mint Chocolate Crunch Bar 1.

Nacho Crisps 1.

So, clearly, it's still a lot of food, thankfully...

Comment #2

No flaming, but you asked why they make foods with those products in them. Because out of all the available sweeteners out there, some of us prefer inulin and sucralose and would avoid products with other sweeteners (sugar, honey, maltitol, aspartame, etc.)..

BTW, inulin is a naturally occurring compound. You might have a reaction to it, but for most of us, there's nothing wrong it..

From Wikipedia:..

Comment #3

Thanks for the information - I found it very interesting and informative. I personally think the foods are great and if it's because of inulin, more power to it...

Comment #4

I agree. My favorite breakfast used to be the Pancakes, but then they reformulated them and added in worse ingredients and now I don't buy them anymore..

Comment #5

Well for me I am limited by my particular taste and it's fine with me. I don't need variety in any way. I picked out the ones I liked and also worked for my program. It's just a choice of what you are willing to eat. Too many people will not touch something unless it has a bit of sweetness to it, and that means artificial sweetners..

You seem like you have quite a BIG list of stuff to choose from actually..

Here's what I eat and I', thrilled with it.

B: Cluster Crunch cereal.

Low fat granola.

Rice Krispie Cereal.


Apple scone.

L: Tuna salad & Trail Mix Bar.

D: Flat bread Pizza.

Thick Crust Pizza.


Grilled Chicken breast.

Lasagna w/meat sauce.

Dessert: Choc. Chip Pudding.

Choc. Cake.

BBQ Soy chips.

I think it just come down to what you are willing to eat. I'm not trying to flame you but, honestly, you wouldn't expect them to stop all the meat just because you don't eat it right? Some order everything covered in sugar...some don't. I wouldn't say all those additives are unnecessary ...they just simply are there for the majority of Nutrisystem users...

Comment #6

I'm SO sorry for your restrictions APM...I thank my lucky stars every day that no single ingredient seems to adversely affect me...from salt to sucralose to peanuts - I'm a lucky girl. Good luck getting to goal, and implementing what you learned here to eating organic foods again!..

Comment #7

So I was thinking about this post, and I realized that the inulin (which I did know is a natural food) is probably a large part of why I, and others, aren't hungry on this diet..

And, yeah, it makes sense that if inulin keeps you full, and most people aren't as sensitive as I am to it, then they should use it. And, I really AM glad it's not in everything..

However, using Splenda (sucralose), high fructose corn syrup, and transfats is not necessary at all. But, that's cool. I can just avoid the stuff I don't wanna eat..

Thanks for not flaming me, guys!..

Comment #8

I agree with you. I was really looking at whole foods vs. additive for the past year or so but decided to use Nutrisystem in spite of the use of so many additives. One reason was because I need to lose a lot of weight and have a problem with portion control. And because it's low glycemic. I figure once I'm off the program I will go back to whole foods and hopefully can have better portion control having been on NS.

The only problem I've had with inulin is the gas but that seems to get better with time...

Comment #9

My thinking EXACTLY. Six months of more processed foods than I'd like is a better trade off healthwise than walking around with fifty extra pounds for ten more years. Once I hit goal then I'll transition back to whole grain pancakes and pasta because I'll be used to the portion sizes!..

Comment #10

Wow, that's a huge bummer. I'm sorry for your plight. I guess i'm kind of jaded by sweeteners because i'm a type 1 diabetic and have been eating artificial sweeteners forever and was basically introduced to them in the hospital after my diagnosis. I agree they're nasty and terrible, but I do enjoy the occasional sweet every now and then so I tolerate it...

Comment #11

Thanks for your post, as I think everyone should express their opinion/concerns without anyone feeling threatened or offended...and I've learned a lot from this discussion! I was eating whole foods, and as many organic foods as I could, pre-NS, and I also decided I was going to do this because of the portion control and low-GI properties of NS. I'm working now on adding in some of the things that I was eating like barley, steel cut oats, etc in the proper portions, and I still add chia seeds to my salads, use cinnamon wherever I can, and try to eat the superfoods often. So I think you can mix the two pretty well. So sorry you're sensitive to the inulin, but the foods you posted are my favorites, so maybe you can just have some variety by mixing your own whole/organic food in to a few meals a week. Best of luck to you!..

Comment #12

I am noticing that some of the foods make me feel ill. Headachey and the whole deal. I went back in my food journal and realized that the days this is happening is the days I'm eating food with that Inulin stuff in it. I tried it a few years back and it made me ill then too..

DEEP BREATH. Rant over. You are now returned to your regularly scheduled Applepiemommy. [/quote].

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants.[1] They belong to a class of fibers known as fructans. Inulin is used by some plants as a means of storing energy and is typically found in roots or rhizomes. Most plants that synthesize and store inulin do not store other materials such as starch..

Uses in Processed foods.

Inulin is increasingly used in processed foods because it has unusually adaptable characteristics. Its flavour ranges from bland to subtly sweet (approx. 10% sweetness of sugar/sucrose)[2]. It can be used to replace sugar, fat, and flour. This is particularly advantageous because inulin contains a quarter to a third of the food energy of sugar or other carbohydrates and a ninth to a sixth of the food energy of fat. While inulin is a versatile ingredient, it also has health benefits.

In terms of nutrition, it is considered a form of soluble fiber and is sometimes categorized as a prebiotic. Due to the body's limited ability to process polysaccharides, inulin has minimal increasing impact on blood sugar, andunlike fructoseis not insulemic and does not raise triglycerides,[5] making it considered suitable for diabetics and potentially helpful in managing blood sugar-related illnesses. The consumption of large quantities (in particular, by sensitive or unaccustomed individuals) can lead to gas and bloating, and products that contain inulin will sometimes include a warning to add it gradually to one's diet...

Comment #13

Hi Applepiemommy,.

I feel the same way as you do about eating clean and whole foods. I decided to go with Nutrisystem for duration of my weight loss becasue it's the only plan that works for me and the only one that I can afford. There are other whole food plans available such as but they are $129.00 a week but that includes ALL of the foods, there are no add ins. I would have loved to go that route but could not afford it. You can even buy organic meals on line from the but I couldn't afford them either. I'm almost at my personal goal and look forward to eating healthier whole foods.

They can be bought at Walmart for very resonable prices. I will go back to eating some of them when I am on maintenance. Annies organic products are also good clean foods and Target has a lot of good deals on her products (whole grain crackers, whole wheat mac and cheese, 100% fruit gummies and so on). Amy's has soups, burritos, bowls, entrees and much more. My hubby and I have been eating 95% of our fruits and veggies either organic or at least pesticide free for a long time now and we wash and soak the other 5% non-organic produce very well with a white vinegar spray or a store bought fruit and veggie wash to get the pesticides off of the outside.

Dr. Weil says to eat veggies that grow under the soil only in organic form such as potatoes, carrots, green onions and so on. Walmart also has great prices on these foods by Earthbound Farms and many more organic foods too. That is the only way we can afford to eat clean foods is buying them at Walmart. I also buy the 100% natural meats and I love the Boca and Morning Star products.

We do what we can, when we can.

So, you are not extreme in my opinion, you just care about your body and want to feel good. My feeling is we can either spend the extra money now on cleaner foods, or give it to the doctors later on down the line when our bodies have broken down from all of the toxins...

Comment #14

HeartofJoy, what kinds of links are those you posted? I just get pages of adds????..

Comment #15

I apologize, yes they are the websites that you wrote. I will go back and correct them on my post...

Comment #16

I apologize, I gave you the wrong info. I corrected it and it is right now...

Comment #17

I did not know about this. I once read somebody saying jokingly say that Nutrisystem foods has Fairy Dust sprinkled in it - I guess we know what that is now! I say hoorah!!!! I am loving losing weight and not being hungry all the time. Maybe that is an additive I should consider figuring out how to work into "regular food" in the future..

For people that want to eat really whole foods, following WW allows you to do that very easily. the problem some people have on that program is that they eat junk instead of good food. I did very well on it, lost 80 pounds (and regained 50 of it over the following 3 years!) but never really got over alot of the food cravings...

Comment #18

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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