Baby formula and baby food have always been a hit with adults for a variety of reasons. While the baby food diet was a big fad with celebrities for its quick weight loss results, baby formula is considered a great alternative to protein powder and supplements. But is it really suitable for adults to drink baby formula? NO!
If you are wondering what could be wrong with consuming a completely safe and nutritious food, we are here to break it down for you. The worldwide baby formula shortage is a big reason for this, but there are plenty more as well. Here are seven reasons why adults eating baby formula is downright wrong.
- There is a worldwide formula shortage that has impacted many moms and babies.
- Not all moms can breastfeed and baby formula is essential for them.
- It lacks the fiber, protein, and essential nutrients needed for adults.
- Baby formula contains high amounts of fat that can be bad for adults.
- Baby formula is not a replacement for protein powders or supplements.
- Some formulas contain toxic ingredients.
- Some baby formulas are specially formulated for babies with unique dietary needs.
While these are just seven reasons why adults drinking baby formula is a bad idea, let’s discuss a little more in detail about baby formula, its ingredients, and why it is wrong for adults to consume them.
Is Drinking Baby Formula A Good Idea For Adults?
The simple answer to this is NO. While there is nothing wrong with adults drinking baby formula, (after all, it is food that is specially formulated for babies and is absolutely safe) it is still meant for babies.
A lot of mothers find it difficult to breastfeed. There could be multiple reasons for this, and while some can breastfeed, having the option of formula every once in a while is a big help. Infant formula is a great way to feed babies all the essential nutrients they need to meet their developmental needs. In fact, babies with special dietary needs rely solely on specially formulated baby formula for all their nutrition.
Statistics show that around 80% of babies receive their nutritional needs through breast milk. However, by six months, the majority of babies start consuming some formula. The number of babies receiving formula is even higher once they are a year old. This could be because of reasons like social dynamics, moms going back to work post-birth, or not having enough support to store or even produce breast milk later on.
This shows how much families (and especially moms) depend on baby formulas to feed their babies. The recent worldwide shortage of baby formula has made it very difficult for moms around the world to feed their babies. It has impacted many families and nothing can be worse than not being able to provide your tiny babies with the nutritional food that they need. This shortage especially affected low-income families because the cost went up as formulas become scarcer.
That’s why adults drinking formula is not a great idea. You are consuming something that you don’t need and something that you can easily substitute with adult food.
Adults Do Not Benefit From Drinking Baby Formula
Formula was developed as a substitute for breastmilk and is filled with all the nutritional benefits that a baby needs. However, it cannot provide the same benefits to adults. Here are some reasons why:
- Nutrition: Baby formula is fortified with minerals, vitamins, protein, and fats that are important for a baby’s development. This is one of the most common reasons why adults believe it can be beneficial for them as well. However, what we fail to understand is that a baby’s nutritional needs are very different from those of adults.
- Protein and High Fats: Baby formula contains high levels of protein which is important for muscle building. Usually, when people are following a strict exercise regime or trying to lose weight, they support their diet with protein supplements, and baby formula is considered a supplement thanks to the amount of protein in it. However, once again, to meet the protein requirements of an adult, you would have to consume a whole lot of baby formula!
Here is the catch. Along with protein, baby formula contains high levels of fat that are required for a baby’s brain development. If you drink baby formula as a protein supplement for your weight loss regime, the additional fat might make you gain weight instead. Also, all that extra fat may lead to high levels of cholesterol.
What harmful ingredients are in baby formula?
Some adults drink baby formula for their health benefits and nutritional content. However, something like baby formula that is supposed to be safe enough for tiny humans also contains some harmful ingredients that can do more damage than good. Some of the worst ones that you need to always keep an eye on while shopping for baby formula brands are:
Preservatives are one thing that has made a way into pretty much every food product out there. They increase the shelf life of products and prevent them from spoiling. Preservatives are artificial substances that can create toxins in the body when consumed. Some preservatives like beta carotene and ascorbic palmitate are known to have negative effects on the human body.
We are talking about baby milk here right?! Toxins like arsenic, cadmium, and lead have been detected in some baby formulas. Here are some alarming numbers:
- A study conducted by WHO showed that 80% of baby formula contains arsenic which is commonly known to cause cancer and heart disease.
- The Environmental Defense Fund revealed results that showed that 36% of baby formula contained lead. Lead is known to cause behavioral problems and lower IQs.
- Cadmium, a chemical used as a stabilizer in batteries, was also found in the formula.
Derived from seaweed, carrageenan is organic but can have adverse effects in the long term, like IBS, colon cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is outlawed by the European Union in infant formula, but sadly, in the U.S., it is used in both organic and conventional baby formulas. It works as a stabilizer and can be found in high levels in ready-made baby formula brands.
While adults drink baby formula for its nutritional benefits, let’s also take note of all the toxic ingredients they contain as well.
Which formulas are toxic
Moms usually resort to formula when they are not able to breastfeed their baby for some reason or don’t wish to breastfeed. Either way, formula milk is a great alternative and at the end of the day, the aim is to feed your baby and keep them healthy.
However, recently, some brands of formula products came under the scanner because of their toxic contents. They were causing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which is a serious inflammatory condition of the intestinal tissue that can be potentially deadly.
Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company are facing lawsuits from multiple parents after it was found that consuming baby formula products from these brands was leading babies to develop NEC. Some of the most common baby formula products from these companies are:
- Similac Special Care
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier
- Similac NeoSure
- Similac Alimentum
- Similac Alimentum Expert Care
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
- Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
- Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
- Similac Liquid Protein
Can adults eat baby food to lose weight?
An infamous celebrity diet trend, baby food was quite the rage a while back, and there are still people who believe in it. Once, designer Hedi Slimane credited her super-slim body to living on baby food!
Does baby food really help you lose weight? Honestly, yes. That’s because a jar or pouch of baby food contains anywhere between twenty and ninety calories, which is very few calories. If you are on a low-calorie diet, you can consume several jars of pureed fruits, vegetables, and other baby foods throughout the day. Baby food jars are small, so portion control is easy as well. Also, most baby foods aren’t seasoned, so if you are ready to give up on the basics of salt, sugar, and spices, then you can try baby food to lose weight.
Keep in mind that a diet of pureed baby foods is unlikely to meet your body’s nutritional requirements. If you are looking to slim down quickly using a baby food diet, remember that you will quickly gain back that weight once you go back to solid foods.
Weird facts about adults and baby formula
If it isn’t weird enough that some adults drink baby formula, here are some more weird facts:
- Adults drink Similac, a baby formula, as a protein supplement for their workout diets.
- The sweet taste of baby formula is what makes some adults drink baby formula.
- A lot of adults drink baby formula for the human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) present in it which helps develop the immune system and fight health conditions like arthritis and Crohn’s disease. However, there is no data backing this and not all baby formula brands have HMO in them.
- Some celebrities made the baby formula and baby food diet into a fad, and some adults survive on baby formula and food just to maintain their weight.
What do drug dealers use baby formula for?
Like most expensive products, baby formula also has a black market. It’s unfortunate but true. Stolen baby formula is resold for its intended purpose at a much higher price, but it is used by drug dealers who mix it with cocaine and heroin.
Drug dealers use baby formula as a cutting agent for drugs to dilute the product and make it last. It is one of the worst ways that adults can use baby formula.
Find A Substitute For Baby Formula
As an adult, if you are considering drinking baby formula as a protein or nutritional supplement, it is downright wrong. Most baby formulas are made with the sole purpose of nourishing and meeting a baby’s needs, and the massive shortage that we recently experienced makes it very clear that baby milk formula is meant for babies only. When adults consume baby formula, they are making this already expensive product more expensive for mothers and babies who need it to survive.
Simply put, adults should not be using baby formula as food or just because they like it. There are several adult milk formulas available on the market. If you are keen on using milk formulas, switch to the adult ones and let babies enjoy their food.