It’s been over a year since my first HLTH Code review. Back then, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I am happy to report that I’ve been having HLTH shakes ever since.
In this HLTH review, I will have a look at the keto-friendly meal replacement shakes formulated by Dr Bikman (metabolic scientist). In essence, these are keto friendly meal replacement shakes designed to make a difference in your health.
In order to do so, they add high amounts of nutrients at the right ratios, few key ingredients, as well as keep the net carbs low.
It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? So, let’s have a look at HLTH’s Complete Meal, and see if this is one of the best keto shakes you can buy; and ultimately it’s worth your money.
HLTH Code Review at a Glance
Flavours: Chocolate Macadamia, and Creamy Vanilla.
To sum up my experience during this HLTH Code review, I would highlight the taste of these keto shakes. I must also say, that after regularly consuming them for over a year, they really go well with me. I just wish they had more flavours available by now.
As a matter of fact, both were really nice surprises and nothing like what I expected. I believe them to be truly tasty, and I can hardly see anyone complaining about it.
Besides, it is good to see a fairly natural keto shake with good ingredients in a competitive price range.
Consequently, I struggle to find reasons not to like HLTH’s Complete Meal shakes; particularly for those who are already following a keto diet.
What I like
1. Delicious shakes, without any oiliness or unpleasant aftertaste. One of the main highlights is that both flavours were very tasty, even more than expected. Plus, they didn’t’ have the buttery of oily feel that most keto shakes have.
2. Quality ingredients. HLTH codes have a mix of quality ingredients, including whey protein, olive oil, apple cider vinegar… There’s no cheap ingredients or fillers.
3. 27g of protein per shake. For a keto shake, this is a lot. Plus, you will get protein from whey (fast), eggs (slow-absorption) and collagen!
4. Lack of artificial ingredients. There’s no colouring, preservatives or artificial sweeteners.
5. 50% of your daily vitamins and minerals per serving.
6. 18% subscription discount makes it competitive in price.
7. Affordable shipping to CAN and the EU.
What I dislike
1. Too rich in saturated fat content. Even if this might not be a big concern for ketoers, HLTH code shakes still provide you with too many sat fats (87% of your DV!).
2. Texture is a little too thin for my liking. This makes the shakes easy to drink, but fail to deliver the optimal consistency. Although, you can add less water to achieve this.
3. Just 2 flavours to choose from. They are great, but I would’ve liked to see more. Particularly 1+ years after launch.
1. Thicken the texture a little bit.
2. Add some more flavours.
Nutritionally, HLTH Complete Meal is a keto-friendly meal replacement shake with high quantities of protein (1-1 protein:fat ratio). This means that it is very low in carbohydrates (4g net) and that provides most of the energy you require from fats.
In theory, this is to keep your body into a ketogenic estate (low insulin levels) where you burn fats for fuel instead of carbs.
Keto-Friendly and not purely keto. According to Dr. Bikman (head of nutrition), this shake is not design solely for those following a keto diet. Instead, it’s aim is to keep the insulin levels low during the morning and afternoon, so everyone can benefit from more steady insulin levels.
Furthermore, all the shakes are without artificial sweeteners, incredibly high in micronutrients (50% of DV per shake), and fairly high in protein for a keto shake. It is also a soy-free shake and it has no gluten.
Complete Meal HLTH Nutrition Overview
|Contains All Micronutrients||Yes|
Protein Blend (whey protein isolate, grass fed collagen, egg whites), Healthy Fats Blend (coconut oil powder, olive oil powder, medium chain triglycerides powder, flaxseed powder, cocoa butter fat, grass fed ghee), cocoa powder, digestion resistant maltodextrin, digestion resistant dextrin, sodium caseinate, natural flavours, apple cider vinegar powder, sunflower lecithin, inulin, Redmond real salt, xanthan gum, Digestive Enzyme Blend (alpha and beta amylase, protease I, protease II, lipase, lactase hemicellulase, cellulase, invertase, diastase), monk fruit extract, stevia leaf extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Based on 400kcal serving:
- Total Carbs: 13g, 5% of DV.
- Sugars: 2g.
- Of which added: 0g.
- Fibre: 9g, 31% of DV.
Ironically, the carbs are the least and most important ingredient in the keto shakes. This is because you need to make sure to keep your net carbs (total carb minus fibre) as low as possible. Ideally, they should provide with less than 10% of your energy for you to stay in ketosis.
As such, HLTH only provides you with 4g of net carbs (mostly indirectly from other ingredients). Most of them are going to be insoluble fibres, like: digestion resistant maltodextrin, digestion resistant dextrin, and inulin. In fact, having high fibre shakes is great for you, since it helps you with digestion and maintaining a healthy microbiota.
Interestingly, there are no sugar alcohols in HLTH’s keto shake. This is very positive to see, since there are concerns over some sugar alcohols breaking your ketogenic estate.
Per 400kcal serving:
- Total Protein: 27g, 55% of DV.
- Source: whey protein concentrate, grass fed collagen, egg whites.
Again, this in another uncommon feature for ketogenic shakes. Most like to keep their protein medium-low due to a common misconception of protein increasing your blood glucose levels (hence, stopping ketosis process).
The truth is that the evidence for this is very weak, and most will still need the protein to sustain lean mass. However, it is true that the amount of protein in HLTH shakes is fairly high and might suit better a more active person.
Before moving on, it’s worth noting that HLTH shakes contain collagen (6.5g). In theory, this is to reinforce skin, joints and bone health; where this protein has key roles.
Per 400kcal serving:
- Total Fats: 27g, 35% of DV.
- Saturated Fats: 17.0g, 87% of DV.
- Omega-3s (ALA): ?g.
- Omega-6s: ?g.
As mentioned previously, HLTH is very rich on fats. Like many other keto shakes, most of the fats come from medium chain triglycerides and saturated fats from coconut (also has MCTs).
In most “normal” diets, the use of saturated fats is discouraged in favour of monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids. In fact, WHO recommends to substitute saturated fats for MUFA and PUFA alternatives.
However, people in keto shakes like to use MCTs (are a type of saturated fats) as their quick energy source. On top of that, the effects of saturated fats in cholesterol (and heart disease) vary from type to type. Plus, recent studies suggest that the effect of saturated fats in heart disease might be more complex than previously thought (not as harmful).
Thus, if you are consuming plenty of saturated fats, but the keto diet is providing you with a more healthy life-style than before (like help you lose weight); this will be more beneficial than harmful.
On another note, it is great to see that each HLTH shake provides you with 50% of most of your daily recommended vitamins and minerals.
Only a few, namely Calcium (31%), Potassium (9%), Phosphorus (32%) and Magnesium (26%) are below that mark. Even then, all (except for Potassium) are above what you would expect from 400kcal (20%).
Perhaps what’s more interesting than the micronutrient content is the addition of few “odd” ingredients.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. There are many proposed health benefits of apple cider vinegar, like: help with weight loss, improvement in insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, and benefits for dry skins. Vinegar also acts as preservative, killing bacteria found in food.
- Digestive Enzyme Blend. Another interesting feature is that it contains one of the most comprehensive enzyme blends to help you digesting food: alpha and beta amylase (breaks down starch), protease I and II (help with protein breakdown), lipase (lipids breakdown), hemicellulase and cellulase, invertase, and diastase.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus (probiotics).
HLTH Code shakes contain coconut oil, eggs and whey protein concentrate.
Firstly, I must admit that these are some of the tasiest and easiest to drink keto shakes that I’ve had.
Often, I’ve found myself with mild stomach pains after consuming keto shakes (maybe because I’m not used to the keto diet). However, this has never been the case with HLTH code Complete Meal.
Secondly, it’s worth noting that this is not as creamy or buttery as other similar products. In fact, it’s much thinner than I expected them to be; and they taste more like normal shakes than other keto drinks.
Lastly, give me more flavors!
|Best flavour||Chocolate Macadamia.|
|Taste||These are sweet shakes, despite not having much sugar. The Chocolate Macadamia was the best (9/10), with a fantastic chocolate milkshake like flavour. Creamy Vanilla was good too (8/10), with an extreme sweetness reminiscent to the best vanilla milkshakes.|
|Texture||Fairly thin, but with an OK consistency. It had no butteriness, and it does not stick to your mouth like other keto shakes do. However, personally, I would’ve preferred it a little thicker.|
|Easy to Mix||Mixes without any issues. 0 bits in the shake.|
|Satiety||Again, no problems here. Each shake will keep you going for about 3-4h.|
|Easy to Clean||Generally fairly easy, but you do get some powder on the lid.|
|Afterthoughts||Like previously mentioned, this is about subverted expectations. They taste more like thin sweet milkshakes; rather than fatty, buttery, creamy keto shakes. It results in a cleaner aftertaste, though.|
Pro-tip: Cool the shakes in the fridge for 20min for an extra refreshing shake.
More about HLTH Code
Learn about HLTH Code, Review
Behind HLTH code there’s one family: the Bikman’s. HLTH Code is the child of three brothers – Joel, Sam, and Benjamin- that have created this company to higher quality meal options to fellow Americans.
On one side, there’s Dr Benjamin Bikman. He’s in charge of the the nutritional aspect. In fact, he’s an accomplished molecular biologist that studies the roles of insulin and ketones in metabolic functions and disorders (obesity, type 2 diabetes, dementia).
I believe that fats and proteins are best in a one to one ratio. Fats help to digest the protein best and ensure we get all the nutritional goodness. That’s why I designed our shake to have equal amounts of fats and protein.Dr. Benjamin Bikman
On the other side, Joel Bikman acts as the CEO. He is has had a long career in nutrition companies; and this expertise is now allowing to create a HLTH Code.
Lastly, Sam Bikman came out of retirement to help out his brothers with the distribution. Him and the family are in charge of delivering the goods to you.
HLTH Code’s Mission
As mentioned above, the core of HLTH’s vision is to combat misnourishment and unhealthy diets by offering a healthy and delicious alternative.
Pricing & Shipping
According to HLTH Code, their shakes offer an affordable and convenient alternative to any meal you can buy. While this might be true, what’s the real cost of HLTH Complete Meal shakes, and how do they compare to other keto shakes?
HLTH Code offers Complete Meal in 15 meal bags only:
- 15 Meal bag (2.58lb) –> $4/400kcal; $59.95 per bag.
- With subscription (18%): 15 Meal bag –> $3.33/400kcal; $49.95 per bag.
You can now make it even cheaper using the code LATESTFUELS for 15% off!
So how does this compare to other keto shakes?
|Price ($)/400kcal||HLTH||Sated||Ample K|
As far as the shipping is concerned; this is where good news come. HLTH delivers to US (free), Canada ($20 flat fee) and Europe ($35).
This makes HLTH Code one of the best Soylent alternatives in Canada, and a viable option in Europe as a keto shake.
As for the shaker, there’s nothing especial about the it; besides that it does the job fine. In fact, it’s a solid enough shaker, that holds the liquid well, and should last you long.
That said, it is painful to pay $8 for it when you often get similar ones for free.
HLTH Code vs
Previously in the HLTH Code review, we have already glanced at how it fairs in terms of pricing against some of the best keto meal shakes. However, we should also look at the different ingredients, nutrition and taste of these meals.
So, is HLTH Complete Meal as tasty and nutritious when compared to the best keto drinks?
|Real Food based||Y||Y||N||Y|
From these 4, only HLTH and Sated shakes are complete. Both Ample K and Ambronite Keto Meal Shake fail to deliver some of the micronutrients. They do so, because they choose not to add any synthetic ingredients.
Besides, Sated offers two different versions; one naturally sweetened and one with sucralose.
HLTH Code Shakes vs
Sated Naturally Sweetened
When it comes to keto shakes, Sated is the reference. They offer a complete keto meal for $3, which includes all the essential oils and nutrients. Regarding taste, these are a little more oily (due to higher fat content), but have more flavours available. Plus, Sated also offers an RTD keto shake.
One of the staples in keto meal replacements; Ample K shines with its texture and taste. It’s fairly close, but I prefer Ample’s shakes in this regard. Nutritionally however, it’s sad to see that Ample lacks all some essential micronutrients. Thus, HLTH is better as far as nutrition is concerned.
Last but not least, Ambronite’s is the only vegan keto shake in this list. In fact, it is quite unusual, but still really good. It’s only available in Chocolate, but offers a much darker and buttery shake. Nonetheless, similarly to Ample K, it lacks few key micronutrients.
Besides these, there are many more keto or natural shakes that you can buy in the US. Orgain, 310 shakes, Garden of Life… there’s plenty more out there if you are interested in a different type of complete food. In fact, HLTH shakes are one of the best Shakeology alternatives for weight loss.
Another popular keto shake is Atkins. However, Atkins shakes are much worse (nutritionally and in taste) when compared to HLTH Code. Similarly, I would opt for HLTH shakes before the likes of Herbalife.
Surprisingly sweet, like a thin milkshake. Vanilla is a little sweeter and creamier; whereas the macadamia brings an interesting touch to the Chocolate flavoured shake.
No, unfortunately Complete Meal contains dairy and eggs.
Yes, both flavours are gluten free shakes.
Like many other keto shakes, HLTH is well suited to help you lose weight. When paired with calorie deficit, HLTH will be a very useful tool to keep you full and burn fat.
HLTH is made in the USA in a CGMP manufacturing plant.
Yes, there are no issues with this.
It only contains coconut oil.
Yes, without a doubt. You can benefit from the HLTH Code shakes even if you are not in keto. Have them in the morning to keep your insulin levels low, and keep burning fat.
Verdict – HLTH Code Review
Congrats! You have reached the end of this HLTH Code review. I hope you found some cool insights and help you making your mind. However, let’s do a small recap of this HLTH Complete meal shake review.
These keto friendly meal replacement shakes have few distinguishing features:
- Very nutritious formula (50% DV of vitamins and minerals), plus digestive enzymes and probiotics.
- High protein content (27g/serving), and only 4g of net carbs.
- 1 to 1 protein to fat ratio.
- Surprisingly good taste and pleasant texture, unlike many keto shakes.
Consequently, it comes to no surprise to me that 97% of the reviews would recommend HLTH.
First off, I would have to highlight the taste. It’s amazing. However, I would have expected them to release more flavors by now. I’ve been consuming them for over a year without any issues, but it’s time for some excitement.
Besides, if you are looking for a keto shake, this is a great option: somewhat affordable, very tasty and nutritionally sound. However, for those outside the keto diet; this shake could be too rich in fats. Particularly in saturated fats.
Nonetheless, it could also be a way for you to follow a low-carb diet and keep your insulin levels low.
As such, even though HLTH shakes can be great for anybody, I would especially recommend them for those looking for a low-carb or a keto meal replacement shake.
HLTH CodeFrom $3.33/400kcal
- Both shakes are super tasty
- No oily aftertaste
- Competitive price for keto
- Quality ingredients and no artificial sweeteners
- 27g of protein
- Too high in saturated fats
- Texture is a little too thin for my liking
- Only 2 flavours available
- Not vegan friendly