By Dr Pradeep Gadge, A Leading Diabetologist, Gadge Diabetes Centre
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 intake.
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.
- Remember 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 respect.
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.