What’s a meal replacement? - Its benefits and concerns.
Have you ever heard of meal replacement? You tried? For what? Let’s see the TRUE benefits and concerns today.
According to the survey, the global meal replacement products market size was estimated at USD 16.10 billion in 2018 and is expanding rapidly. 📈 Especially, North America occupied the largest market share of over 45% in 2018. The U.S. has driven the majority of regional demand due to the presence of a majority of the health-conscious population and increasing prevalence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels among others. 🙄
So what happen next? Want to know its TRUE pros and cons?
What's a Meal Replacement?
In the US, the concept of "meal replacement" is not defined by the rules of the Food and Drug Administration for now.
Generally speaking, in the current food market, a meal replacement is a drink, bar, soup, powder, etc. intended as a substitute for a solid food meal.🍫🥤 In many cases, it contains 200-250 calories, 20+ vitamins and minerals per serving. For example, medically prescribed meal replacement drinks may include enough vitamins and minerals based on the nutritional daily needs.
Why do you need a meal replacement?
The reasons may vary. As I see the reviews, these are major reasons:
- To save food preparation time⏰
- To loose/keep weight easily🏋️♂️
- To control calories, protein, or other main nutrients per a meal✏️
- To reduce the cost for a meal💰
- Easy to carry and consume on the go (like in a car, office, gym etc)🚴♀️
It makes sense.🤔
Most meal replacements take just a few seconds to prepare, like mixing the powder with water or just opening the package of a bar. A busy lifestyle or other circumstances make it hard to prepare a full meal every day. What’s your case?
Select the meal replacement that fits you.
Just as everybody has different nutritional needs, not all meal replacements are created equal. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to replacing a meal.
Not for 3 meals a day, not 7days a week!
Meal replacements should not completely replace healthful, balanced diets. This is because it is difficult to get every nutrient from a single food source.
Some reported risks are here.
- Slow/disrupt a weight loss plan if people receive too much calories or other nutrients from the meal replacement
- Trigger blood sugar spikes if people eat the meal replacement that contains too much sugar
- Increase the risk of cancer or lead to problem in the kidneys and bones if people consume more than the daily requirement of protein frequently
Basically, meal replacements will help you save meal prep time and energize you easily with a lot of nutrients.
The only thing is that you don't rely too much on meal replacements for your balanced, healthy meal 100%. You can replace it for breakfast (not 3 meals a day) , meals after fasting when you don’t want to eat heavy food or meals when you don't have enough time to prepare healthy food by yourself.👍
Any regulation on meal replacements?
At this moment, "meal replacement" is not defined by the rules of the Food and Drug Administration. As nutritional supplements, protein shakes and any other meal replacement bar, powder are subject to fewer regulations than medication in the United States.
On the other hand, Canada and the EU have their own regulations and guidelines. For example, in the EU, the label for meal replacements should be an indication of the inadmissibility of use for more than three weeks without consulting a doctor.
Nothing is perfect as usual!
You've already know the benefits of meal replacement, so find the best one that fits you and be a smart meal replacement user!