Woman drinking from one of her best meal replacements

Five Best Meal Replacements

An Easy Way to Get Your Daily Nutrients

Your body needs a set amount of calories, nutrients, and fats to keep functioning healthily. Almost all of these elements come from what you consume, but sometimes it isn’t easy to get an adequate amount from a regular diet. Eating three square meals a day can be challenging, and meal replacements can make up for those missing calories.

What is a Meal Replacement?

The phrase meal replacement typically refers to a product with a prescribed amount of calories and nutrients to make up for one meal. In addition to replacing a meal, these products may offer other benefits like weight loss, weight control, or enhancing performance in physical activities.

Most meal replacements have about 200-240 calories per serving, which align with the amount a small meal would contain. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to a person's well-being. Therefore, meal replacements were initially consumed by older adults or people with illnesses.

Over several decades, however, meal replacements have become associated with diets and convenient meal options. The broader population now consumes meal replacements to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or replace a traditional meal with something more convenient. Meal replacements have evolved to meet the needs of the general population and enhance nutritional intake for people with special dietary needs.

Top 5 Meal Replacements

Historically, a meal replacement was meant as a calorie and nutritional supplement for people with difficulty gaining weight. However, meal replacements can also help you lose weight or consume more nutrient-dense calories. If you’re interested in a meal replacement, the following are a few top-rated options.

1. Huel Powder v3.0

People searching for a delicious meal replacement powder will find what they’re looking for with Huel Powder v3.0. This plant-based meal replacement comes in 10 different flavors and contains nutrients that promote energy and growth. Huel Powder v3.0 is made from the following plants:

  • Coconut.
  • Flaxseed.
  • Sunflower seeds.
  • Pea protein.
  • Oats.
  • Brown rice.

This meal replacement is intended to boost calorie intake and cellular development, so it’s not ideal for people trying to meet weight loss goals. Active individuals, athletes, and people with busy lifestyles would benefit from this meal replacement powder.

2. Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake

Many older adults can become malnourished due to a lack of eating or health problems. Malnourishment may result in a higher mortality rate and frailty. To prevent this, older adults may require a meal replacement or supplement. Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake is a meal replacement shake convenient for older adults who need to boost their calorie intake.

Unlike powdered meal replacements, Ensure Plus Nutrition comes ready to drink. This meal replacement shake has vital nutrients that older adults need. One can of Ensure Plus contains:

  • 16 grams of protein.
  • 27 vitamins and minerals.
  • 350 calories.

Because older adults may need more calories than healthy individuals, Ensure Plus is most effective when used as a snack or in addition to an actual meal. Furthermore, a consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended before starting any meal replacement for older adults.

3. Core Bars

Meal replacement bars are condensed solid food packed with nutrients. Core Bars are meal replacers that combine the flavor of a dessert with the no-nonsense of a well-balanced meal. For example, its Peanut Butter Crunch flavor contains a whopping ten grams of protein and only one gram of added sugar. This bar also provides the following:

  • Immunity support.
  • Probiotics.
  • Prebiotics.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Zinc.

Although Core Bars make excellent meal replacements, they’re not for everyone. These bars are not advised for people who are allergic to nuts or older adults with chewing problems.

4. WonderSlim Meal Smoothie

People trying to lose weight may find success through meal replacement smoothies. Meal replacement smoothies are typically thicker than powdered meal replacement drinks, making these smoothies more satisfying than other products. WonderSlim Meal Smoothie is a meal replacement smoothie that tastes decadent but without unnecessary calories.

WonderSlim’s smooth and creamy texture allows flavors to sit on the tongue, leading to fewer food cravings and hunger after consuming the product. This smoothie also boasts the following:

  • 15 grams of protein.
  • 24 vitamins and minerals.
  • Seven carbohydrates.

While WonderSlim is technically a meal replacement, it’s formulated for weight loss. Individuals trying to boost caloric intake should steer clear of WonderSlim.

5. Ample Meal Replacement Shake

Ample is a complete and tasty meal replacement. Made from real-food ingredients, each shake contains 400 calories that also include:

  • Antioxidants.
  • Healthy fats.
  • Prebiotic fiber.
  • Electrolytes.

Ample meal replacement shakes are gluten-free and without any artificial flavors. What sets Ample apart from other meal replacements, however, is its high-quality and diverse ingredients and high-calorie count. Luxury meal replacement ingredients like macadamia nut oil, for example, are rarely found in other meal replacements. That said, Ample products are some of the most expensive meal replacements on the market.

Which Meal Replacement is Suitable for You?

Data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that U.S. residents spend more than 50% of their food budget on convenient foods like meal replacement bars and smoothies. Meal replacement products are an easy on-the-go alternative to a sit-down meal. In a busy world, meal replacement products are a growing trend.

Determining the right meal replacement for you depends on what your needs are. Are you looking to lose or gain weight? Do you have dietary restrictions to consider? With so many meal replacement options on the market, you’re likely to find the right one with some research and help from your healthcare provider.

Article Resources