Many replacement meal shake brands advertise that their products are nutritious. Are they really and did you check on the label that they are and what is in the shake? That is very important because if you replace regular meals with shakes you need to be sure that your body is still getting all the nutrition it needs on a daily basis. And the list of necessary nutrition is quite long. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21) you should daily get Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, B6, B12, Calcium, Iron, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin, Folate, Biotin, Pantothenic acid, Phosphorus, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Chloride in sufficient amounts.
Sometimes I read that replacement meals in the form of shakes are not healthy for you and I strongly believe that depends on which shakes you take. There may be shakes out there that are nutritious to a certain extend but do not contain all of the above listed nutrients so you have to be careful. Also, other dietary supplements that are advertized as ‘protein shakes’ (or pills for that matter), may contain necessary supplements but not all of them. Of course you can take those as supplements to regular healthy meals, but you should not use them to supplement not so healthy meals – and we all know what ‘not-so-healthy-meals’ are, right?
I carefully compared the required daily nutrients according to the FDA with the nutrients that are labeled on the Cambridge Diet shakes and I can honestly say that all the required nutrients are in those shakes. I have not checked any other shakes, but if you are using other shakes to replace meals please read the label to see if all the nutrients are in there.
So why are shakes useful if you are not using them as replacement meals? For their nutrition! Many among us do not always eat healthy meals or even skip meals for various reasons and that causes a lack of nutrients in their bodies. Starting with breakfast: It is commonly known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but because many people are not into eating right after getting up many breakfasts are skipped or taken at the fast food window. (I never get that by the way: How come all these people have time to wait in line at the drive thru but do not have time to have breakfast at home?). Lunch is the next one to skip because work gets in the way, or chores have to be done during that time. Not smart, people! Every engine – and the human body is a complex one – needs good fuel to run properly. So if you cannot find the time to have a healthy meal, a nutritious shake is one of the easiest and best replacement meals to take.
We have one client who is in her seventies and admits that she skipped meals in an effort to lose weight. First, she should of course never have skipped meals and neither should you, but it also did not help her to lose weight because she was fighting her hunger with fast food at the end of the day. Moreover, she was depriving herself from the necessary nutrients. Did she notice that? No, not really. After all, she is in her seventies and at that age some bodily functions are not at the same level as at a younger age, but she accepted it as part of getting older. Now that she is taking nutritious shakes regularly during the day she says she has much more energy, her skin looks better, her hair is growing (!) and so are her fingernails (!). I am not making this up people, this is coming from a real person. And what’s more, she cannot believe how easy these shakes are to use AND she has been losing several pounds per week since she started.
Written by Okke Alberda
Cambridge Diet Arizona