What is the carbohydrate to protein ratio in the Medifast diet?
Someone recently emailed me asking “what is the carbohydrate to protein ratio in most medifast meals and also in the” lean and green food “that you are supposed to eat every day?” I didn’t know the answer to this question at the top of my head. So I set out to investigate it. What I found was that I was going to have to figure this out myself if I wanted a very precise answer. The company’s literature encourages a favorable ratio, and the foods appear to be designed very specifically to be low in carbohydrates and high in protein. But, for those who want more specific measurements than this, I’m going to look at some of the more popular medifast foods to really determine the protein to carbohydrate ratio in these articles.
The shakes: Probably the most popular food on this diet is smoothies. There are many different varieties of them. Some are meant to curb your appetite or speed up your metabolism. Others are designed for diabetics or women nearing menopause. Some are intended to improve heart or joint health. But, for the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on the 55 shakes, as I think they are the most popular. The Dutch chocolate flavor contains 13 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein. The ratio here is 1.18.
The bars: There are two main types of medifast bars: maintenance bars or crunchy bars. You are only supposed to consume one of the maintenance bars each day because they are higher in carbohydrates and sugars. So, I’m going to use the crispy bars because they are not limited. The crunchy chocolate flavor is actually the same as the 55 shakes with 13 carbs and 11 grams of protein. Again, the ratio is 1.18.
The Brownies: Medifast brownies are a relatively new addition to the menu. They are very popular and can be served hot. These are slightly higher in carbs at 15 grams. But they also have 11 protein. So the ratio here increases a bit to 1.36. By the way, oatmeal (apple cinnamon flavor) comes with exactly the same numbers.
The pudding: This is a bit higher in terms of carbs, but this is also true for protein, so it evens out. For the banana flavor, the carbohydrates weigh 15 while there are 14 grams of protein. This puts the ratio at 1.07 or around 1.1 like bars and shakes.
The soups: There are many varieties of soups, but I really like chili so that’s what I’m going to see here. This has the exact same numbers as the pudding, which is 15:14 and ultimately equates to around 1.07.
Now this is not an exhaustive list of all medifast foods, but it does include many of the most popular foods. And, the composition of your lean and green food will likely vary slightly, but I suspect there is a reason it gives you such specific lists on the recommended ounces of lean protein to include and how to choose low-glycemic vegetables.
So while some of the foods varied slightly, I hope this article has shown you that most foods limit carbs by around 15 while having at least 11 proteins. I’m certainly not an expert on math or diet, but it seems to me that the goal was to keep the ratio as close as possible. And, if you’ve been checking the nutrition labels on those grocery store diet foods, I think you’ll find that very few of them quite pull it off the way these examples used here have.