Meal replacement products

Manufacturers have discovered a lucrative market in meal replacement products as they find that between work and home life people have very little time to eat.

Almost every grocery store, drug store or even a convenient store, offers a large selection of meal replacement bars and drinks which are portable, convenient and relatively cost-efficient compared to a high-fat, high-carb meal with a low-fat, low-to moderate carbohydrate meal. They are meant to be a healthy answer to time and energy shortages seen in todayís lifestyle.

It all started with liquid meal replacements which were originally developed to meet the nutritional needs of people too sick or weak to eat.

Can meal replacements be taken on a regular basis?

Taken once in a while it is not harmful. It is not advisable to make a habit of it. Though they contain added vitamins and minerals, if used on a regular basis they donít provide the benefits of a varied diet.

Can a meal replacement energy bar help people lose weight?

Energy bars are packed with carbs such as sugar and starches. They provide quick energy but canít provide nearly as much substance as a regular meal and hence you donít stop eating more than you actually would.

There's no evidence that meal replacements can do more for you than carbohydrate rich foods like cereals, breads and other grain products and fruits and vegetables.

From where do meal replacement products dervive their protein?

Protein in meal replacement products come from whey, casein or albumin. Maltodextrin, brown rice or oat fiber provide carbohydrates. Their fat content comes from plant-based oils.

What would constitute safe intake of meal replacement products?

It is safe to consume meal replacement products if it is carefully taken with a planned diet regimen comprising lots of fruits and vegetable. It is advisable to take meal replacement products under the advice and guidance of your health experts.

Are there any Government directives on ingredients to be used in meal replacement products?

The law requires meal replacement products to provide the recommended amount of nutrients needed for good health and their composition must conform to certain standards defined by the Government. The directives are normally based on research looking at the nutritional needs of dieters Ė meal replacement products must contain between 200 and 400 calories, at least 25 percent protein and 23 vitamins and minerals.

Are meal replacement products same as low calorie diets?

They are not, as they are not designed to be the only source of nutrition.

What are the advantages of meal replacement products?

According to many studies, meal replacement products are good for short-term weight reduction programmes. Many people use it because it is convenient.

Is it possible to keep your weight in check even after you stop meal replacement intake?

Meal replacements are suitable for what kind of people?

Are meal replacement products suitable for people with diabetes?

Several studies have shown meal replacement products to be suitable for those with type 2 diabetes.

Does the diet have any side effects?