We know about why artificial sweeteners can be harmful, but have you ever thought about why we always encourage leaving good old fashioned sugar out of meal replacement shakes?
Recently we have linked sugar consumption to obesity, weight gain and diabetes, so it is very obvious that taking in a high level of sugar contributes to gaining weight. Many people have claimed that they have lost weight after removing sugar from their diet. Sugar has no real nutritional value, but it do provide calories in food, meaning consuming sugar is nothing more than consuming empty calories. Other than the fact that they make food taste good, sugar adds no value. It just brings more calories to a meal, which means you are consuming more calories in each bite than you would be with a food that has little or no sugar.
Sugar, including artificial, lead to big spikes in blood glucose levels, which makes your body secrete more insulin, and this makes gluclose levels fall, so that spike is followed by a quick drop, This is why you crave more sweet foods and therefore, tend to consume more. Meal replacement shakes are targeted to curb your appetite, so the presence of sugar is very counterproductive.
In fact, studies have shown that it’s the sugar intake rather than fat that make you crave more food and cause you to gain weight. There was a study on 100 high school students as they drank chocolate-flavored milkshakes that were the same in calories yet high in sugar, low in fat, or low in sugar and high in fat.
In both groups, the shakes appealed to the brain’s pleasure centers, but the sugary shakes showed to be more effective at triggering the network that causes compulsive eating.
This could be why diets that are high in fat and protein but low in sugar, like the Atkins and Paleo diets, have better results when it comes to overall weight loss. Because the brain prefers sweet flavors to fat, diets that eliminate sugar are easier to stick with because the foods that we are consuming do not cause us to crave more.
The goal of meal replacement shakes is to lose weight and get essential nutrients. When you have sugar or even worse artificial sugars in those meal replacement shakes, you are basically taking a giant step backwards in your weight-loss journey and a big step farther away from your goals. We suggest that when it comes to meal replacement shakes, stick with the good stuff and leave sugar for the fast food restaurants and candy stores. If you do, the results you achieve will be sweet enough!