5 Reasons Why Meal-Replacement Shakes Are Not Good For You

Our body requires minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous; vitamins like vitamin A, C, B vitamins; proteins, dietary fiber, and much more to carry out the functions throughout the day and night. A balanced diet provides these essential nutrients to the body; however, shakes do not.

Certain unreliable and inaccurate sources have misled people to believe that replacing meals with shakes can aid them in weight loss. The general population aiming at losing those extra pounds will be pleased to follow this easy weight-loss meal replacement plan.

The claim may not be entirely false; shakes may help lose weight but it is not healthy and chances are that you will gain twice as much the weight lost once you stop having these shakes.

Let’s examine the reasons why it is not healthy to replace your meals with shakes.

5 Reasons Why Meal-Replacement Shakes Are Not Good For You

1. Lacks Nutrition

 Meal-Replacement Shakes Lack Nutrition

Meal-replacement shakes lack the nutrients that whole foods provide the body. Protein shakes may contain

only protein which means your body is missing out on other nutrients to support its functions.

Even though shakes may contain certain amounts of vitamins and other minerals, these are not obtained naturally. The nutrients are synthetically processed and added to the shakes, making them an unhealthy option.

The shakes are also low in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is important for the body for digesting food better, keeping you full for longer periods, preventing heart diseases and diabetes, and others. Therefore, replacing high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts with shakes will cause more harm than good.

2. Contains Too Much Added Sugar

Meal-Replacement Shakes Contain Too Much Added Sugar

Most meal-replacement shakes contain large amounts of added sugar, especially those that are labeled low-calorie shakes. They often contain added sugars, artificial sweeteners or even a combination of both. Added sugars have zero nutritional value and lots of added calories. Consuming lots of added sugars may lead to weight gain or even obesity, reducing heart health.1

Results of an animal study involving the effects of too much sugar show that too much added sugar may adversely affect learning and memory, anxiety levels, and mood.2

3. Includes Artificial Ingredients

Meal-Replacement Shakes Contain Artificial Ingredients

Replacing your meals with shakes means that you are replacing natural ingredients with artificial ones. Shakes contain various artificial ingredients that make them tastier. Some of the artificial ingredients include the following:

  • Refined vegetable oils like canola oil or corn oil are used in shakes. They may promote inflammation.
  • These shakes may contain shelf stabilizers like cellulose gel or carrageenan that may affect the digestive system.
  • Some shakes may contain thickeners and preservatives like maltodextrin. They may increase blood sugar levels due to their high glycemic index.
  • Some also contain artificial colors and flavors, including artificial sweeteners, that may lead to weight gain.

4. Aggravates Certain Digestive Issues

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As mentioned earlier, the nutritional value of shakes is very low. To add to the low nutritional value, they also contain ingredients that may harm the body. Added sugars are plenty in shakes and they may cause dental decay, inflammation, and fluctuations in moods.

Due to the presence of synthetic nutrients like vitamins and other minerals, the absorption of these may be difficult, especially for those with a sensitive digestive system.

Because of the lack of dietary fiber, replacing meals with shake will not aid in proper bowel movements and if you have an existing digestive issue, these shakes may make it worse.

5. Helps With Short-Term Weight Loss

Meal-Replacement Shakes Only Helps With Short-Term Weight Loss

If you plan to get in shape with meal-replacement shakes, you might want to rethink your decision. Meal-replacement shakes may have the ability to help you lose weight faster than other diets

that you may have tried, however, they do not last long. Having meal-replacement shakes in place of an actual meal may aid in weight loss, but only for a short period of time.

In addition, replacing meals with shakes may cause fatigue, hunger, and cravings that may lead you to eat more than usual, leading to weight gain.

Keeping these reasons in mind, we can conclude that replacing meals with shakes may not be the brightest way to lose weight or stay healthy. It may be harmless to replace one meal with shakes; however, replacing all would deprive your body of its essential nutrients. If you plan to try shakes, only do so after your doctor or dietitian has approved it.