Diabetes has become a growing matter of concern as the number of
diabetics is increasing at an alarming rate. According to the World Health
Organization (WHO), more than 90% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight
or obese. Thus, meal replacement can help diabetics cut down those excess
kilos, and reduce the calorie intake. Know about the foods or beverages
diabetics can opt for as a part of their meal.
Tackling diabetes is the need of the hour. When speaking about diabetes,
the motto is to keep the blood sugar within the normal range. This is so
because; high blood glucose poses numerous health risks like blurry vision,
nerve damage, and kidney disease. So, it is a good choice for diabetics to try
and opt for meal replacements to keep their weight and sugar in control.
Diabetes and meal replacement
Since being overweight is one of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Adhering to a well-balanced diet can help you lose oodles of weight. Here, meal
replacement bars and shakes can help people lose weight by reducing calorie
intake. Along with sticking to the lifestyle changes and taking medication,
people with diabetes must keep a watchful eye on their blood glucose levels and
the foods they eat throughout each day. Whether you’re watching your weight or
looking for a quick diabetes-friendly meal on the go, a meal replacement shake
may do the trick for the patients with diabetes.
All you need to know about meal replacement?
Meal replacements can be defined as beverages or foods that one can
consume in place of are also as part of the meal. They can help provide
diabetics with a specific amount of calories, macronutrients (carbohydrate,
protein, and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Moreover, some
meal replacements are also loaded with ingredients like a special type of
carbohydrates, probiotics or herbs. Likewise, ready-to-drink shakes and powders,
bars and pre-packaged meals are also considered as meal replacements.
Advantages of meal replacement for the diabetics
It is no brainer that weight loss is often a primary goal for
those who have diabetes or who are at an increased risk of it. One successful
strategy to help with weight loss is the use of meal replacements because
shakes or bars that are available in different formulas provide varying amounts
of macronutrients that can be helpful in controlling blood glucose and
appetite. Several studies suggest that the use of meal replacements can
definitively lead to weight loss, especially when compared to more conventional
methods of losing weight.
Meal replacements can be helpful in improving diabetes control by aiding
weight loss. Improved blood glucose levels generally go along with losing
weight. Having a meal replacement in the morning is a way to easily fit
balanced nutrition into your schedule and get you on the right track to better
blood sugars. Meal replacements can be used to replace one or two meals
per day. Not only this, it can be used in addition to a meal if your goal is to
gain weight or if you need to improve your nutritional status due to a recent
illness, for example. You may also eat one between meals to boost the calorie
Facts about meal replacement
· The amount of
carbohydrate in meal replacements tends to vary widely. It is imperative to
read the nutrition facts label for the total number of carbohydrate grams to
choose one that fits closely to your expectations and goals.
that some meal replacements that are jam-packed with sugar alcohols or types of
carbohydrates aren’t completely digested.
· Also, see
to it that you go through the nutrition facts label and the ingredient list, before
opting for a shake. This is so because the number of different shakes in the
market may vary in protein, carbohydrate and calorie content, and some shakes
even carry fiber. A shake that contains protein in a higher percentage can help
promote satiety or the feeling of fullness. It can also prevent blood sugar
spikes by slowing the release of sugar into the blood, thus promoting a slow
and steady rise in blood sugar. Fiber acts similarly to protein in this
Take-home message: Different people will tolerate different levels of protein, calories, carbohydrates, and fiber. What may suit one person may not work for others. If you want to try a meal replacer, either in place of a meal or as a snack, then it’s essential to first consult the dietician who can help you choose the one that is best for you as not all meal replacements are the same.
By Dr Pradeep Gadge, A Leading Diabetologist, Gadge Diabetes Centre