Doctors weigh in on diet shakes and meal replacement bars

Reading brand labels is a must for meal replacement bars and shakes - not all are made alike.

(WKBN)
(WKBN)

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Meal replacement bars and shakes have been in the spotlight lately. A company called Soylent recently issued a product recall on some of its meal replacement bars after some customers got sick.

Meal replacement bars and shakes can be a quick solution on a busy morning, but are they good for you? Manufacturers claim they offer nutritional value with convenience but doctors say they are not enough.

Dr. Sevilla, with the Family Practice Center of Salem, says the bars and shakes can be beneficial if they are replacing unhealthy snacks, but shouldn’t be used to replace all meals. He says they should just be one piece of the weight loss puzzle.

“Get good sleep. Try to limit your caffeine. A good diet and exercise program, and then add on one of these nutritional supplements as well,” Sevilla says.

He adds your body needs more than just three bars or shakes a day. He tells patients that the key to successful weight loss is a balanced diet.

Not all replacement bars and shakes are made alike, so reading products labels is a must before selecting a brand for formulation.

“A lot of these supplements have things like caffeine in them, and that can do things like raise your blood pressure, raise your heart rate,” Sevilla says. “If you have heart problems or lung problems – that can impact things like that, too.”

He also says many of the bars can have a lot of sugar in them, which can also interfere with diabetes. He suggests talking with a doctor before starting any type of diet supplement.

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