Originally posted on blog.ambronite.com.
To eat, or not to eat…
Meal replacements are currently one of the most hotly contested topics in the world of wellness.
They’re touted by some as the food of the future. A convenient and healthy solution to our increasingly fast-paced, active modern lives.
Others opt to give them a wide berth – sometimes for reasons that are entirely valid, but often out of confusion or belief in widespread myths.
But who can blame them?
In a world rife with fitness fads and diet scams, you’d be forgiven for being a little skeptical over meal replacements and their efficacy in supporting a healthy, active lifestyle. You want to be at your best, and you don’t want to waste your hard earned money on something that doesn’t support that.
I totally get where you’re coming from. So today we’re aiming to clear the air a little, and we’re going to take a deep, deep dive into everything meal replacements.
We’re going to look at:
What meal replacements are, how they came to be, the potential benefits and drawbacks of different types, and perhaps most importantly – what to look for in a meal replacement that will really help you meet your fitness and lifestyle goals.
Ready to dig in superhero?
Let’s get to it!
First up, what exactly are meal replacements?
Let’s start at the bottom, with the basics.
The standard definition of a meal replacement is as follows:
A meal replacement is a drink, bar, soup, etc. intended as a substitute for a solid food meal, usually with controlled quantities of calories and nutrients. Some drinks are in the form of a health shake. Medically prescribed meal replacement drinks include the required vitamins and minerals.
In other words, they’re products that can be used as a quick, convenient substitution for some meals of the day. Or if you’re super hardcore, you might even opt to use meal replacements instead of conventional food altogether.
An interesting side note:
In the EU, meal replacements intended to supplement or replace normal meals are regulated. There are particular standards that need to be met regarding energy content, nutrients profiles, and information and advice on any packaging.
In the USA, the same regulations are not always in place, which as we’ll see in a later section, can potentially lead to a few issues with the quality of ingredients used…
How exactly did meal replacements come to be, I hear you ask? Time for a quick history lesson…