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 the nutrients that whole foods provide the body. Protein shakes may contain
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
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
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