The company Walden Farms produces specialty food products that are lower in calories and contain less sugar and additives than normal. The different Walden Farms products include syrups, dressings, coffee creamers, fruit spreads, sauces, and much more. You can find Walden Farms products in stores all around the city you live in, primarily at grocery stores, and you can buy them online as well. The products are reasonably priced, costing no more than the normal products you will find at your grocery store. The company has been around since 1972, and they pride themselves on being the first brand to provide a reduced calorie salad dressing to the market over 40 years ago. They also pride themselves on specializing in calorie free foods that otherwise would break a diet.
Company Contact Information:
Walden Farms, Inc
1209 West St. Georges Ave
Linden, NJ 07036
Walden Farm Claims
The company prides themselves on being free of calories, gluten, sugar, or carbohydrates of any kind, which seems rather impressive when you are talking about dressings, sauces, and syrups. Most of these foods are seen as comfort foods and are not allowed on many diets to begin with. When asked if they were connected to any diet programs, they answered: “While Walden Farms is not connected with any particular diet program, millions who follow a weight management or health maintenance program enjoy our calorie free and carbohydrate free specialties.”
Many people are confused as to how their products actually taste good (more on that later), and when asked the company said, “We use Concentrated Natural Flavors. Walden Farms’ irresistibly sweet calorie free specialties are prepared with ingredients such as real fruit extracts, rich cocoa, and other natural ingredients, all sweetened with Splenda.” These ingredients apparently are the keys to making this food edible even when it’s void of ingredients that typically make foods more flavorful. When asked if the Walden Farms calorie free products work for weight loss, they claimed that people comment all the time about the weight they are losing from switching to their products. This was a very generalized answer, and they also said just by switching to the farms’ calorie free products you will save yourself 10,000 calories each month.
These are bold claims, especially if someone uses a lot of dressings, syrups, and sauces in the first place. I know if it were me, I would not want to substitute with Walden Farms because I do not consume 10,000 calories worth of salad dressing or sauces each month anyway. It really comes down to your taste palate as well, and if you are not a Splenda fan, you really might not enjoy these products. Let’s take a look below at some of the ingredients in their popular products.
Walden Farms Ingredients
Because there are a variety of products to look into, I will analyze the Walden Farms syrup, the Walden Farms dressing, and the mayonnaise. They do provide nutritional information on each item, which is extremely helpful for those looking to learn more before they purchase. You will notice a variety of ingredients in each product.
Maple Walnut Syrup
Triple filtered purified water, cellulose gel, maple flavor, sucralose, salt, sodium acid sulfate, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, caramel color, natural flavors, walnut flavors, and beta carotene.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Triple filtered purified water, white vinegar, cellulose gel, salt, natural flavors, onion powder, garlic powder, sour cream flavoring (non-dairy) lemon juice, white pepper, xanthan gum, lactic acid, parsley, cayenne pepper, food color, sucralose, and sodium benzoate.
Purified water, vegetable fiber, apple cider vinegar, salt, white vinegar, xanthan gum, food color, cellulose gel, lactic acid, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, paprika, sucralose, lemon flavor, beta carotene, FD&C, and yellow #5.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Walden Farms
The company says the “Walden Way” is to produce products that are healthy specialty foods, but how much of this can we buy into? Many times food products void of calories, sugar, gluten, and everything else can be chemically laden, so is this the case with Walden Farms? Many of the products have that artificial taste to them, and they are not “real food” by any means. The actual science behind the formulation of each product is not given out anywhere on the website, which was a letdown.
When looking into actual studies done on sucralose, there are many that explain how it breaks itself down in the body and what it actually is.
According to a study done by NCBI,
“Sucralose is a synthetic organochlorine sweetener (OC) that is a common ingredient in the world’s food supply. Sucralose interacts with chemosensors in the alimentary tract that play a role in sweet taste sensation and hormone secretion.”
In the study, they noted that cooking at high heat with sucralose was said to generate toxic compounds and is not recommended. At the end of it all, the study was really aiming to find out if sucralose messed with glucose and insulin levels in the body, and they found that it did.
Sugar is inevitable in many foods that we eat, and it is going to be hard to get away from altogether. When looking at different sugar substitutes and potential health controversies surrounding them, it was interesting to see the facts. Many sugar substitutes are linked to weight gain, cancer, and other health issues long term. The real question is, why do we keep consuming them? Just because something is free of calories or alters your blood sugar spike does not make it healthier overall. When looking at sucralose, it does alter glucose and insulin levels and it is known to be over 600 times sweeter than regular sugar.
The main concern in this study was regarding the fact that it belongs to a certain class of chemicals called organic chlorides. Some types are carcinogens, but they are not lethal by any means. They are chemicals nonetheless, and could negatively affect your health long term. Please note, there are many products from the Walden Farms line with sucralose in them, so it is not the best long term option for your health.
Word On The Street About Walden Farms
My largest concern when looking into products like this is the taste, especially since there is sucralose, also known as Splenda, in every single product. Many people really do not enjoy this strong artificial taste, and many times it is not good for you even though it is low in calories. There were several, if not the majority overall, of reviews that reported a very “chemical” ridden taste to the products, which was not appetizing to many.
“Made of crap and taste like s##t. I got all excited about it last year, made a thread about it. Some people loved it and some hated it, the taste was not to bad but wasn’t good (tried three flavors) and I couldn’t stop thinking I was putting something horrible in body in the name of “no calories”.”
Dani Girl said,
“I had no idea what it was so I Googled it was well. I’ve seen some of their products in supermarkets, but I am skeptical of anything that is “no calorie.” That sounds like another way of saying “chemical storm.” But talk to me when I’m cutting for a show and I might have a different opinion. That stuff might be good under strict cutting circumstances but I think otherwise, you’re best to stick with regular food.”
In regards to the syrup, Schlosser said,
“Pretty decent. I recommend making sure you have something with strong flavor to kill the sucralose aftertaste if you are not accustomed to artificial sweeteners. Sausage did a good job! Only other drawback is that it is difficult control when pouring. It likes to stick to itself instead of flowing. I might try thinning it a bit.”
The Bottom Line: Is Walden Farms Worth A Try?
Depends. The Walden calorie free line is a great idea, and it can be ordered and shipped from many places. This is completely up to you in regards to what flavors you prefer over others. Many people do not like the taste of Walden Farms’ products, and feel that they are one big bottle of chemicals. The peanut butter has been notorious for being literally not edible, which is a cause for concern. There are too many products in this line to mark all of them as “bad”, but a large majority of them have been said to taste terrible. They are not too expensive, which is nice, but they are not real food in terms of ingredients, so you are paying for a lot of processed ingredients. When it is all said and done, it might be a good investment every once and awhile, but these products are not ones I would replace regular dressings and sauces with all together. If anything, just tapering back on the consumption of those products is the best route to go when it is all said and done, and you won’t be compromising on flavor.