What are meal replacement shakes/bars?
These are processed, bottled products, that you drink instead of eating one of your main meals. These replacement shakes are often used to increase or reduce caloric intake, get enough vitamins and minerals in a convenient way, reduce the time you spend with eating for those you eat on the go, or for those who lack the appetite to eat enough.
Unfortunately today’s world is far too busy for most people to prepare their foods at home. Most people tend to eat out during the day as that’s the most convenient solution, and some of us take meal replacement shakes and bars with us to work so that we don’t have to eat the junk that surrounds us.
For some people it’s not about the lack of time, but more about some digestive issues (gastritis or Crohn’s disease) that reduces their appetite therefore they can’t eat enough to fuel their bodies. And some of us think that meal replacement shakes are a great way to quick fat loss.
Although they offer convenience, the majority of these meal replacement shakes/bars have some serious drawbacks. Just because they are advertised as being healthy and contains essential vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good choice. Some of these meal replacement bars/shakes have many different ingredients that are processed, and over 20 gr of added sugar per bottle.
So why most of these meal replacement shakes/bars are usually not good for you?
- The vitamins and minerals are synthetic: they are made, not derived from food, making them more difficult to absorb.
- Too much added sugar: these shakes contain lots of added sugars, sweeteners or a combination of both.
- Contain multiple artificial ingredients: including refined vegetable oils, shelf stabilizers, thickeners and preservatives, and colour and flavor enhancers.
- Most are low in protein and fiber: the protein usually comes from conventional dairy or processed protein powders, and these shakes don’t contain any real high-fiber foods therefore they might not make you feel full for long.
- They can make inflammation and digestion even worse: None of the synthetic products are beneficial for gut health and can lead to inflammation.
Likely they won’t help with weight loss: meal replacement programs for weight loss are neither healthy nor likely to work as a long lasting weight loss/maintenance because they leave you deprived, restricted, low on energy and full of cravings for food you enjoy eating.
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