Meal replacement shakes can be real allies when it comes to having an ideal weight and balanced diet. They are a great solution for busy people, helping them have a nutritious meal, even if they are on the run, preventing them from choosing fast-food or other unhealthy foods. These shakes represent a cocktail of fibers, vitamins, minerals and very few fats, which will help your body replenish its energy sources, keep you well fed, without putting your health and weight to a risk. Still, there are some details you should know about meal replacement shakes. There are some ingredients they should have, for increased nutritional value, and some ingredients you should avoid, to prevent the shakes from turning against your well-being.
Ingredients that your shake should contain
The most important aspect of a good-quality shake is to contain natural ingredients and no chemical substances, like sweeteners, flavors, colorings and so on. Probably you won’t get the same taste, as in the case of a shake with added sugar content, but you can be sure this is the healthiest thing you can give your organism. So here are some of the ingredients that will not only promote a balanced weight, but they also contribute to their high content of minerals and vitamins.
Very precious, avocados are the perfect source of healthy fats, from the vegetal world. Filled with minerals and vitamins, will not only give your shake a pleasant creamy look but will also keep your belly full for quite a while.
Berries, regardless of their type, are the best choice when you need to add tasty flavors and even color to your shake. Not to mention that they are always packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and a lot of fibers for proper digestion.
- Cayenne pepper
Peppers are well-known for their ability to control weight, by removing any extra fats, due to a substance they contain, called capsaicin. Also, the Cayenne pepper is great for controlling appetite, keeping you safe from any cravings.
- Chia seeds
Chia seeds are very much used both in healthy nutrition, but also in weight loss diets as well. The seeds absorb a large amount of liquids, giving you that full stomach feeling. They are also great for the fibers and a high number of nutrients.
This spice is not only incredibly tasty, but it has amazing properties on lowering blood sugar levels. Thus, it helps prevent fatty storages and works on getting rid of the existent ones, especially belly fat.
- Coconut oil
Organic coconut oil is the perfect source for healthy fats. The biggest advantage of this oil is that your body will use it immediately as fuel, to give you the much-needed energy, without depositing it, as in the case of other fats.
- Greek yogurt
This type of yogurt is much appreciated for its nutritional values. It is high in proteins, comparative with the rest of yogurt assortments, and you can even choose the full-fat version. That is as long as you stay away from flavored yogurts and always take the plain one.
- Green leaves
Spinach, lettuce, dandelion, all these leaves will make your shake perfect. They have very little calories but are rich in fibers and precious phytonutrients. You don’t have to use them all at once, but switch them, to enjoy more diversity.
- Fruit pulp
Here we make reference to that thick paste you obtain after using a juicer. Many people dispose it, but it is packed with fibers and vitamins. So next time put it in your shake and enjoy all the great benefits of fruits.
The plant is the best natural sweetener you can use. So instead of making your shake unhealthy by adding sugar, make it sweeter by adding stevia.
- The right liquids
Most people when they think about shakes, they think of milk as well. But to avoid adding too many calories to your meal replacement shake, it is better is you just use plain water, herbal tea or even ice, if it is too hot outside.
Ingredients that should not be in your shake and must be avoided
Not all ingredients will offer you that healthy meal you are looking for. So be careful about what you consume, especially the following things.
- Fruits and vegetables out of cans
You should definitely avoid these, as they often contain preservatives, chemicals and a large amount of sugar. Not to mention that they have a low nutritional value.
- Dairy products
Besides the previously mentioned Greek yogurt and raw milk, other dairy products are caloric bombs, having a high content of fats and sugars.
- Fruit juice
If fruit pulp was okay, fruits juice is not really. You can enjoy small quantities, but only if you squeeze it fresh yourself. The varieties you find in stores are far from being healthy, because they all contain a large dose of sugar.
Sweeteners, of all kinds, will only add weight on. Stevia is the only one you can use safely, as it has very small quantities of calories. In subtle amounts, you can enjoy honey and maple syrup. Although, be careful not to overdo it, as they might jeopardize your diet.
- Too many sweet fruits
Fruits are great for vitamin intake, but they are also a natural source of fructose, a naturally occurring sugar. Also, if you add too many fruits to your shake, you will not only have a beverage with many calories, but the fruit juices may contain more fructose that than you need to in one serving. Stick to berries and avocado. Use in small quantities for the likes of pineapple, bananas, apples, mango, and other sweet fruit.