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What to Look for in Meal Replacement Shakes or Bars

While you are better off eating fresh, healthy foods, there are times when you simply do not have the time to whip up a well-balanced meal. Instead of turning to fast food, one satisfactory alternative could be a good protein shake or bar. According to registered dietitians, you need to consider the nutritional content of these items and ensure you are not getting ones that are high in added sugar, artificial sugar or sugar alcohols. Anything high is sugar causes a spike in blood sugar and then a quick drop, so you can feel very energic for a short period of time and then very tired shortly after.

When making your choice, look for shakes and bars that are high in protein, fibre, healthy fats and are low in sugar. You also want to opt for options that contain vitamins and minerals. A well-balanced bar or shake will include 300-400 calories, 15-30g of protein, 3+g of fibre and 10-15g of unsaturated fat. Good protein sources are whey, soy, hemp, brown rice and pea protein. Natural sugars are better, as in those from cane sugar, brown rice syrup or coconut palm sugar. Fats should be plant-based like those from nuts and seeds.

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