Is it OK to substitute one meal with a replacement drink? I'm looking for a high-protein, low-carb meal replacement drink that doesn't have soy in it and actually tastes good — any suggestions? I eat breakfast and either lunch or dinner. I am just not hungry in the morning, but understand I still need to eat.

Amy Campbell


Yes, meal replacement drinks can certainly be an option for you. Meal replacements are often used to help lose weight, but they are also useful in the event that one, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to eat a meal. A meal-replacement shake can provide the necessary nutrients and calories that one needs without having to consume actual food. In addition, it’s generally advised that people with diabetes avoid skipping meals, especially if they take diabetes medication that put them at risk for low blood glucose. There are many types of meal replacements available. Here are some criteria that may be useful for you as you decide which type of meal replacement to purchase. Choose a product that, per serving, contains: • About 180-250 calories • 15-35 grams of carbohydrate • About 15 grams of protein • 3-6 grams of fiber • 0 grams of trans fat • No more than 300 mg of sodium A quality meal replacement should provide about 25% of your daily vitamin and mineral requirements, as well. Some meal replacements are designed especially for people with diabetes; these tend to contain about 15 grams of carb per serving, and may also contain a more slowly-digested type of carb that can help limit “spikes” in blood glucose. Avoid meal replacements that are mostly protein (e.g., protein powders). They provide too much protein and not enough of other important nutrients needed for overall health.

November 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm