Meal replacement products provide controlled amounts of calories and carbohydrates in the form of a shake, bar, powdered drink or pudding. Often taken for their convenience, meal replacement products can be used when there is no time to prepare a meal or as a quick snack. Since the serving size is known, meal replacements eliminate the need to weigh or measure foods. During times of poor appetite, it may also be helpful to use meal replacement products to help control glucose levels.
Due to the variety of available options, it is important to choose a meal replacement that provides balanced nutrition and tastes good. When evaluating a product, aim for one that contains per serving:
- 200-250 calories
- 15-35 grams of carbohydrates
- 10-15 grams of protein
- less than 8 g of fat
- at least 3g of fiber
- less than 300mg of sodium
- 0 g Trans fat
Try to avoid:
- Added stimulants such as caffeine
- Refined sugars such as sugar, glucose, sucrose (especially when they are listed first or second in the list of ingredients)
Most meal replacement products are available in your local drugstore and/or grocery store. It is a good idea to let your health care provider or dietitian know that you are using meal replacement products in case your diabetes medicines need to be altered. To see a listing of meal replacement products, visit our Canadian Diabetes Product Directory.