- 1 Reasons To Get A Meal Replacement
- 2 What To Look For In A Meal Replacement
- 3 Reviews Of The Best Meal Replacements 2019
- 3.1 1. Garden Of Life’s Meal Replacement Organic – Best Meal Replacement Shake To Buy In 2019
- 3.2 2. Fitness Lab High Protein Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Gain
- 3.3 3. SlimFast Advanced Nutrition Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Loss
- 3.4 4. Vega Essential Nutritional Shake Vanilla – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Easy Digest
- 3.5 5. Soylent Milk Replacement Powder – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Appetite Control
- 3.6 6. Designer Protein Plant Based Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Vegans
- 4 Meal Replacement Shakes and Protein Shakes
It’s “the best meal replacements” we’re discussing today. They have been around ever since we started to care more about our health.
But choosing a suitable meal replacement for yourself is not as easy as choosing a pair of flip-flops. There are factors other than colors, patterns, shapes and sizes. And yet, because finding a suitable match is difficult, it’s something you want to commit.
For that reason, I’m presenting you with “the best meal replacements,” selected by our team. It’s our joy to see you find a suitable product, so please leave a comment if you ever find our effort useful.
Reasons To Get A Meal Replacement
It is understandable to overlook meal replacements and prefer an actual meal made of actual food. Eating brings pleasure, which meal replacements can’t, and the pleasure of eating is important.
But since we are so busy, chances are we might be too busy to plan a healthy diet. With jobs, relationships and studies to better ourselves, “free time” is no longer infinite. We even count it by the hours, on the tip of our hands.
That is why, to many, eating has become merely an obligation to sustain life and therefore, less looked after.
Meal Replacements Save You Time
I’d like to spend a few words to honor all the housewives and househusbands out there for making a healthy, tasty and quick meal available to their life-long partners. Among the 3 criteria, it’s only possible to choose 2, and I bet quick and tasty are prioritized by most people.
Making a wholesome, delicious meal takes a lot of time prepping and cooking, and doing research online for the available recipes takes even more time.
With a meal replacement, there is no need to ask yourself the same old question “What to eat?”. Grab the canister, mix several spoonfuls with water and a nutritious drink is served.
Meal Replacements Is Your Meal-planner
Healthy meals are difficult to make, partly because it requires one to be somewhat expertise in the field of health and nutrition.
Specifically, one must have a profound understanding of nutrients, how the human body works and most importantly, how their own body works. This is in order to design the most appropriate diet for that person.
It is at this tough point that meal replacements come into play. Each meal replacement has their unique formula, diverse enough for you to select with ease. Even when your needs have changed over time, you can simply choose another product and stop commiting to the old one.
You don’t have to spend the effort to plan anymore, with the right meal replacement.
What To Look For In A Meal Replacement
Although the selections below are some of the best, your opinion and ours might still differ. It’s necessary for you, my beloved readers, to know the criteria that make a competent meal replacement.
The labels and the brands might look stunning, but that’s just the glitz and glamour decorated by skilled designers to catch the buyers’ eyes. It is not their job to decide what goes in the canister.
So before purchasing, be sure to read the nutritional values that are required to be listed. Then, decide if the product is for you by judging its nutritional content, to see if it is capable of making your diet more wholesome.
A wholesome diet is a diet that provides you necessary nutrients at the right amounts in one day.
And by “the right amounts”, I am referring to the Daily Value, set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The term is put under percentages, and according to its inventor, people should have roughly 100% of each nutrient per day, assuming they are on a 2000-calorie-per-day diet.
With that in mind, we still decided to select products low in carbs and fats. The reason behind this is we assumed that you are already getting these macros from your lunch and dinner. Maybe even from your snacks and midnight snacks.
We figured, it would be tough to get rid of these habits and that it’s better for you to have a product that fits snugly into your eating schedule.
To some people, it’s a common concern whether the foods are vegan or not.
I’d like to stress that vegetables can provide as many nutrients as meat of all types. Protein deficiency was previously an issue for vegans, but was later remedied using a diverse vegan diet. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that a vegan meal replacement can be included as a healthy, wholesome meal-substitution in a vegan diet.
Let’s talk flavors, one of the important concerns you should have. It will decide how clingy you can be to the product.
Some people strictly choose additive-free products over ones treated with chemicals for one understandable reason: natural things are better. It’s not wrong, but you’re missing out if you keep sticking to this kind of selection.
There are artificial sweeteners and natural flavorings.
Natural flavorings are approved by the PDA, containing sugar and the substances that make their unique smells (chocolate, vanilla, etc.).
Artificial sweeteners, on the other hand, are NOT SUGAR. They taste sweet, are bad for your health and its use should be minimized.
Products with natural flavorings might not be natural, but thanks to the added flavor, it can become the kind of addiction that keeps you stick to a healthy habit.
Reviews Of The Best Meal Replacements 2019
The selected products below are based on the team’s opinion, with reasons clearly stated, and it is you who gets to make the final decision. However, we would be honored if you could spend a few minutes to look into our thoughts. Enjoy the review and give comments if it’s helpful.
Here are our picks of the Best Meal Replacement Shakes in 2019:
- Garden Of Life’s Meal Replacement Organic – Best Meal Replacement Shake To Buy In 2019
- Fitness Lab High Protein Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Gain
- SlimFast Advanced Nutrition Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Loss
- Vega Essential Nutritional Shake Vanilla – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Easy Digest
- Soylent Milk Replacement Powder – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Appetite Control
- Designer Protein Plant Based Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Vegans
Top-rated Meal Replacement Shakes Comparison Chart
1. Garden Of Life’s Meal Replacement Organic – Best Meal Replacement Shake To Buy In 2019
If you’ve seen my article of the best protein shakes, Garden Of Life is the brand of health supplement that claimed the first place. Here’s why we fell in love with the brand:
Garden Of Life makes the definition of natural meal replacement “real” by utilizing organic, clean, non-GMO plants cultivated from their own farm, under strict supervision. Thus, they are one of the few manufacturers that use green energy to make their products, and we happen to be one big fans of green energy.
While taking a look on their website, we spotted Garden Of Life’s Meal Replacement. The product contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors or chemicals, but only the nutrients from 44 superfoods. What also caught our attention is the balanced amounts of nutrients: 20 grams of protein, only 1.5 grams of fat and about 7 out of 8 grams of carbs are fibers.
And because it’s a blend of organic plants, some people might find the texture and taste to be unpleasant. Similar to most products with unpleasant texture and taste, we advise you to blend this with a fruit smoothie to enhance the flavors.
Although it’s the best in our listing, the nutritional profile of the product is not the most impressive among all the products in this list. We chose it to be the best for the balanced nutrient ratio, the trusted brand, and of course, for it is vegan-friendly. If you are aiming for a certain goal, let’s say weight gain, we have plenty of selection below. With all respect, please read on.
2. Fitness Lab High Protein Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Gain
“Weight gain” has been seen as one of the most controversial topics, at least in our team. Some people would try not to gain weight, while to athletes and bodybuilders, it’s the most favored topic to discuss. Let’s find out why.
Weight gain is a broad term that refers to either gaining fat or muscles. For an obvious reason, gaining muscles is what most people are interested in.
Gaining muscles isn’t just for looks. With more muscles, your body is able to perform tougher physical exercises. Frankly, that ability is one of the reasons why athletes and bodybuilders love working out so much.
To gain muscle, one must take in a sufficient amount of proteins to build muscles and carbs to energize the body. The most important part? Exercising regularly. Without exercises, proteins don’t get the chance to be transformed into muscles but instead, excreted from the body.
Enough blabbering about muscle gain, here’s the perfect meal replacement we have picked out: Fitness Lab High Protein Replacement. It features 250 calories, 40 grams of proteins, 17 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, which is an ideal ratio for muscle gain. And yet, there are 24 minerals and vitamins in the product to make sure your body functions normally.
We recommend having one serving of this product blended with a fruit smoothie. Drink this before working out and you’ll feel the energy instantly.
3. SlimFast Advanced Nutrition Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Loss
Losing weight depends greatly on one’s diet and can be done in two scientific ways.
The first way is to lower the calorie intake. Calorie is a term used to calculate energy used and produced by our body. Calories come from macronutrients, and each macronutrient gives a different amount of calories:
- 1 gram of fats gives 4 calories
- 1 gram of proteins gives 4 calories
- 1 gram of carbs gives 9 calories
If fats and carbs are consumed too excessively, they will be stored as fat in our body. So, usually, to lose weight, people would cut back on fats and carbs.
The second way is commonly done after you’ve put on some fat: exercising. I’m not going to go into details, as we all know it’s not your plan… for now. However, here at Healthy Kitchen, we encourage people to live healthier, so try to exercise as well if you want to lose fat effectively.
Since this section is for weight loss, we understand you’re choosing a product that can help you lower the calorie intake. For this purpose, we recommend SlimFast Advanced Nutrition Replacement. It contains just 90 calories per serving while still offers decent amounts of vitamins and minerals.
There is one common concern among people with diets high in calories: the calorie level of this product. If you have been having a full meal for breakfast, switching from that to a 90-calorie drink might be too drastic and you might experience hunger several times before lunch. Well, that might just be craving, and it’s different from hunger.
Here’s a summary of what we found to be a fine line between the two terms on Mayoclinic: the time of occurence and the ability to pass through time. Craving happens even after you’re full, but it can disappear if you endure long enough. Try to distract yourself from it with everyday tasks and restrain yourself from grabbing a sweet treat in the fridge.
But if you experience “a rumbling stomach, headache or feeling of weakness”, that’s hunger. We suggest you have something healthy, fulfilling to eat like an apple, several sticks of carrots or a bowl of salad. Fiber is known to keep you full for longer, so try your best to stick to fibrous foods.
4. Vega Essential Nutritional Shake Vanilla – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Easy Digest
Sometimes, the problem with digestion is unavoidable. When that happens to you, we suggest you to be examined by doctors for the best treatment. But it’s not always about treatment in case your problem belongs to one of the most common digestive issues below.
First, let’s discuss lactose intolerance. Lactose is a protein found in milk, and to some people, it is indigestible and often results in a gassy stomach or even abdominal cramps and diarrheas.
It is rarely a disease to be born with, but is more commonly a dysfunction of the body as it grows older— the inability to produce lactose digestion enzyme, lactase. There is no complete cure and the only solution is to avoid foods rich in lactose— like dairy products, unless you want to take allergy treatments.
Celiac disease, or as widely known as gluten-sensitivity, comes next in line. It is “an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.” No cure is available and unless you want diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, anemia or other serious complications it might bring, going on a gluten-free diet is the only option.
If you, unfortunately, have either or both of them, Vega One Organic All-in-one Shake Plain Unsweetened is the meal replacement that suits you best. The ingredients are plant-based, assured to have no lactose or gluten components. There is also a decent amount of fibers (16% DV) and to ease and prevent unwanted constipation.
5. Soylent Milk Replacement Powder – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Appetite Control
Before you freak out about the 400 calories packed inside this meal replacement, we have legitimate reasons. First, I want to give a bit of insight into losing appetite.
If it is just a short-term experience, a change in diet is preferably the first option. Our body might lack crucial nutrients, and a new menu with diverse ingredients is able to confirm that.
However, having constant appetite loss is a different story. It is called Anorexia Nervosa, an eating disorder that stems from the fear of eating. People with Anorexia Nervosa are characterized as “having an intensely low body weight and a distorted perception of weight,” says Mayo Clinics. They are constantly aware of how much food they consume, and most of the time, they are reluctant to eat. This occurrence, if kept prolonged, can lead to serious issues.
If you belong to this group, we suggest you try Soylent Replacement Powder. Here’s how it might help you:
The first rule is to consume something with great flavor, and this powder has earned the reputation as the most delicious among countless reviewers. Well, at least Rhett and Link from Good Mythical Morning agree.
Secondly, indulge yourself with lots of calories, because your body is in extreme need of it. But still, drink with moderation. Our advice is, have this drink every morning to regain your appetite for food. At the same time, try to include vegetables and fruits in your diet because they are low in calories but are very satisfying. Once your appetite is back, switch to a healthier meal replacement.
As a plus, the 400 calories come from soy milk, a healthy source of carbs, fats, proteins, and micronutrients.
6. Designer Protein Plant Based Replacement – Best Meal Replacement Shake For Vegans
Although two out of five products previously reviewed are plant-based, we still decided to include Designer Protein Plant Based Replacement in our list, for its amino acid profile.
As mentioned earlier, nutrients from meat can always be substituted with nutrients from plants. But not all plant-based products are of good quality. Meat-eaters don’t usually have this concern because meat and most animal product can provide all amino acids. A handful of a few types of plants, on the other hand, don’t.
Therefore, despite the product being made from a single plant or multiple plants, it is advisable to check the amino acid profile. There are 21 amino acids, but 9 of them are more important because they can’t be produced by the human body. A good plant-based product must contain these nines.
With that made clear, we will now introduce the best vegan meal replacement of our choice: Designer Protein Plant Based Replacement. With 210 calories and good amounts of nutrients from organic vegetables, fruits, and brown rice, you don’t have to concern yourself with the weekly menus.
Meal Replacement Shakes and Protein Shakes
Choosing between a protein shake and a meal replacement can be puzzling. They are indeed different, yet not so different in certain aspects.
A meal replacement is powdered food that you can mix with water to have a quick, nutritious drink. It contains all the necessary nutrients and can be used to replace one meal of the day (breakfast is usually recommended).
Protein shake, on the other hand, isn’t designed to replace meals but was originally meant to serve as a nutritious snack. It’s a flavorful smoothie that not only tastes delicious but is also packed with plenty of proteins.
Despite its original purpose, people still attempt to replace one out of their three daily meals with a protein shake to lose weight, and under the right restrictions as well as indications from health professionals, this is possible and does LITTLE harm.
So, in short, the choice between the two products depends on you – your needs, to be more specific. If you need a protein shake review, have a look at ours.