Meal replacements are on the rise in popularity and there are even more to choose from. Meal replacements are commonly used for health improvement, weight loss and weight gain. More consumers are becoming health conscience and are looking for a quick alternative for a more nutritious meal. Unfortunately, not all of these replacements are healthy and most consumers can’t tell one from another.
What many people don’t understand, meal replacements function in different ways because they are manufactured for different purposes. Some are quite high in calories and nutrients while others are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. In order to understand the differences, we will break down the varieties so you will choose the one that works best for you.
Understanding How Meal Replacements Function:
All most all meal replacements have a specific purpose based on what a consumer is looking for. They can all have different nutrients and some are only designed for workout purposes.
If you are constantly busy and don’t have the time to sit down to a meal, a meal replacement is a good option vs a vending machine. These meal replacements should have an equal level of nutrients that are found in meals. They should consist of a good blend of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and micronutrients to replace what you are missing from a well-balanced meal. These shakes should also make you feel full for a longer period of time.
Using a meal replacement to improve your health, take into consideration what fits your specific needs.
If a diabetic is trying to lose weight while keeping their blood sugar level, they should look for a meal replacement that is low in carbohydrates but high in some nutrients and protein. Diabetics looking to lose weight should use replacements that will cut back on their calories and carbs but not on nutrients. In some cases, they will use a replacement as a snack to keep up their energy without spiking their blood sugar.
There are many meal replacements that are high in fiber and probiotics to maintain gastrointestinal health and still provide a feeling of fullness. People with gastrointestinal issues are looking for a more natural way to treat their issues.
People who are underweight will usually use a meal replacement as an added meal throughout the course of the day. These meal replacements are loaded with nutrients and are extremely convenient. They usually will not leave a feeling of fullness for a very long period of time because they are meant to be additives to normal meals.
There are people who suffer from a lack of nutrients in their bodies. They need meal replacements that are high in nutrients, low in calories, and have large amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is also very important to ensure they contain protein and fat to improve the absorption of nutrients into the body. They are generally used as a meal replacement but also can serve as a snack.
Probably the most popular meal replacements are for those looking to lose weight. Studies have shown meal replacements can be effective for losing weight but must be a part of a healthy, well- planned diet in order to work properly. These meal replacements should contain minimal fat but enough calories for energy. A meal replacement with only 100 calories will not work for replacing a meal. Your body needs more than 100 calories to function properly. You should choose a meal replacement that offers more than 300 calories, protein, some fat, carbohydrates, and micronutrients. Stay away from meal replacements that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates these replacements will make you feel hungry sooner because your body will work overtime to burn off the energy.
Another extremely popular meal replacement is for athletic training or workouts. Working out, your body needs more of everything and these replacements will provide a higher level of energy through calories. Intensive training requires meal replacements that are high in protein and carbohydrates to help in muscle repair and recovery from fatigue.
Many who workout or exercise daily will use a replacement as a snack for some extra calories. Stay away from empty calories because your body is using protein, carbs, and nutrients at a higher level. If you are not providing your diet the right amounts, your body will use up your reserves.
During athletic events, meal replacements should keep your carbohydrates high and provide a feeling of fullness. Stay away from replacements that are high in fiber because that will lead to bloating and gastric disorders. Digestion is also much slower during this kind of physical activity. You should consume something that digests quickly to keep stomach discomforts under control.
When in doubt, talk with a nutritionist or your doctor to help you choose the meal replacement that is best for your needs.