2018's Top Meal Replacement Shakes | DietShake-Reviews

Our Top Meal Replacement Shakes of 2018

#1

310 Shake®

Per Serving1 Our Rating
Calories: 90 10/10
Sugar: 0g 10/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 1g 9.0/10
Carbs: 7g 9.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 5g 8.0/10
Protein: 15g 7.5/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $2.43 7.5/10
Our Rating:
9.3/10
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310 ShakeRating Details

Per Serving1 Our Rating
Calories: 90 10/10
Sugar: 0g 10/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 1g 9.0/10
Carbs: 7g 9.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 5g 8.0/10
Protein: 15g 7.5/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $2.43 7.5/10

1Nutritional information from https://310nutrition.com/products/shake_vanilla. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $68.00 for 310 Vanilla with 28 servings per package. Accessed 5/22/17.

#2

Vega One®

Per Serving2 Our Rating
Calories: 160 7.0/10
Sugar: 1g 10/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 5g 5.0/10
Carbs: 10g 8.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 6g 8.5/10
Protein: 20g 9.0/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $3.50 5.5/10
Our Rating:
8.6/10
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Vega OneRating Details

Per Serving2 Our Rating
Calories: 160 7.0/10
Sugar: 1g 10/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 5g 5.0/10
Carbs: 10g 8.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 6g 8.5/10
Protein: 20g 9.0/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $3.50 5.5/10

2Nutritional information from https://myvega.com/products/categories/powders/vega-one-shake?option_Flavor=French%20Vanilla. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $69.99 for Vega One with 20 servings per package. Accessed 7/22/17.

#3

Thrive®

Per Serving3 Our Rating
Calories: 110 9.0/10
Sugar: 2g 9.5/10
Cholesterol: 4.5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 2g 8.0/10
Carbs: 9g 9.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 5g 8.0/10
Protein: 15g 7.5/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $2.55 7.5/10
Our Rating:
8.5/10
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ThriveRating Details

Per Serving3 Our Rating
Calories: 110 9.0/10
Sugar: 2g 9.5/10
Cholesterol: 4.5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 2g 8.0/10
Carbs: 9g 9.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 5g 8.0/10
Protein: 15g 7.5/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $2.55 7.5/10

3Nutritional information from https://media.le-vel.com/Documents/THRV002.pdf. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $40.80 for Thrive Vanilla Lifestyle Mix with 16 servings per package. Accessed 5/22/17.

#4

Shakeology®

Per Serving4 Our Rating
Calories: 130 8.5/10
Sugar: 7g 7.5/10
Cholesterol: 5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 2g 8.0/10
Carbs: 14g 8.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 3g 6.5/10
Protein: 16g 8.0/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $4.33 4.0/10
Our Rating:
8.3/10
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ShakeologyRating Details

Per Serving4 Our Rating
Calories: 130 8.5/10
Sugar: 7g 7.5/10
Cholesterol: 5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 2g 8.0/10
Carbs: 14g 8.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 3g 6.5/10
Protein: 16g 8.0/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $4.33 4.0/10

4Nutrition information taken from http://www.shakeology.com/shake-flavors#vanilla. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $129.95 for the Vanilla Shakeology® with 30 servings per package. Accessed 2/1/17

#5

Orgain®

Per Serving5 Our Rating
Calories: 220 5.5/10
Sugar: 1g 10/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 5g 5.0/10
Carbs: 24g 6.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 8g 10/10
Protein: 20g 9/10
Probiotics: No 4/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $3.12 6.5/10
Our Rating:
8.0/10
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OrgainRating Details

Per Serving5 Our Rating
Calories: 220 5.5/10
Sugar: 1g 10/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 5g 5.0/10
Carbs: 24g 6.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 8g 10/10
Protein: 20g 9/10
Probiotics: No 4/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $3.12 6.5/10

5Nutrition information taken from http://shop.orgain.com/Organic-Meal-Powder--Plant-Based-Vanilla-Bean/p/ORN-003377&c=Orgain@MealPowders. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $49.99 for Plant Based Vanilla Bean with 16 servings per package. Accessed 6/23/17.

Per Serving6 Our Rating
Calories: 100 9.5/10
Sugar: 4g 6/10
Cholesterol: 3mg 9.5/10
Fat: 1g 9.0/10
Carbs: 7g 9.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 2g 5.5/10
Protein: 17g 8.0/10
Probiotics: No 4/10
Superfoods: No 4/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $1.93 8.5/10
Our Rating:
7.8/10
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LadyBoss LEANRating Details

Per Serving6 Our Rating
Calories: 100 9.5/10
Sugar: 4g 6/10
Cholesterol: 3mg 9.5/10
Fat: 1g 9.0/10
Carbs: 7g 9.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 2g 5.5/10
Protein: 17g 8.0/10
Probiotics: No 4/10
Superfoods: No 4/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $1.93 8.5/10

6Nutritional information from https://ladyboss.com/lean. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $57.95 for LadyBoss LEAN Protein Shake with 30 servings per package. Accessed 9/5/18

#7

Arbonne®

Per Serving7 Our Rating
Calories: 160 7.0/10
Sugar: 9g 6.5/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 3g 7.0/10
Carbs: 14g 8.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 1g 5.0/10
Protein: 20g 9.0/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $2.53 5.5/10
Our Rating:
7.7/10
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ArbonneRating Details

Per Serving7 Our Rating
Calories: 160 7.0/10
Sugar: 9g 6.5/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 3g 7.0/10
Carbs: 14g 8.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 1g 5.0/10
Protein: 20g 9.0/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: Yes 10/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $2.53 5.5/10

7Nutrition information taken from http://www.arbonne.com/pws/homeoffice/store/amus/product/Vanilla-Protein-Shake-Mix-Powder-2070,1476,274.aspx. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $76.00 for Vanilla Protein Shake Mix with 30 servings per package. Accessed 5/19/17.

Per Serving8 Our Rating
Calories: 100 9.5/10
Sugar: 0g 10/10
Cholesterol: 15mg 8.5/10
Fat: 0g 10/10
Carbs: 3g 10/10
Dietary Fiber: 1g 5.0/10
Protein: 22g 9.5/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $1.25 10/10
Our Rating:
7.4/10
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Quest ProteinRating Details

Per Serving8 Our Rating
Calories: 100 9.5/10
Sugar: 0g 10/10
Cholesterol: 15mg 8.5/10
Fat: 0g 10/10
Carbs: 3g 10/10
Dietary Fiber: 1g 5.0/10
Protein: 22g 9.5/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $1.25 10/10

8Nutrition information taken from http://www.questnutrition.com/protein-powders/vanilla-milkshake-2lb-canister. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $39.99 for Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder® with 32 servings per package. Accessed 5/19/17. Controversial Ingredients: Sucralose and Carrageenan

#9

Atkins®

Per Serving9 Our Rating
Calories: 100 9.5/10
Sugar: 1g 10/10
Cholesterol: 5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 3g 7.0/10
Carbs: 7g 9.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 5g 8.0/10
Protein: 15g 7.5/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $0.70 10/10
Our Rating:
7.3/10
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AtkinsRating Details

Per Serving9 Our Rating
Calories: 100 9.5/10
Sugar: 1g 10/10
Cholesterol: 5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 3g 7.0/10
Carbs: 7g 9.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 5g 8.0/10
Protein: 15g 7.5/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $0.70 10/10

9Nutritional information from https://www.atkins.com/products/atkins-shakes/shakes/vanilla-protein-powder. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $13.98 for Vanilla Protein Powder with 20 servings per package. Accessed 12/03/18.

#10

Isagenix®

Per Serving10 Our Rating
Calories: 240 4.0/10
Sugar: 11g 6.0/10
Cholesterol: 45mg 5.5/10
Fat: 5g 5.0/10
Carbs: 24g 6.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 8g 10/10
Protein: 24g 10/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $3.71 5.0/10
Our Rating:
7.1/10
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IsagenixRating Details

Per Serving10 Our Rating
Calories: 240 4.0/10
Sugar: 11g 6.0/10
Cholesterol: 45mg 5.5/10
Fat: 5g 5.0/10
Carbs: 24g 6.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 8g 10/10
Protein: 24g 10/10
Probiotics: Yes 10/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $3.71 5.0/10

10Nutrition information taken from http://www.isagenix.com/~/media/product/isalean-shake/isalean-shake-fact-panels/us-en-fact-panel-isalean-shake-can-creamy-french-vanilla.pdf. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $51.95 for French Vanilla Isagenix® with 14 servings per package. Accessed 2/1/17

Per Serving11 Our Rating
Calories: 200 5.5/10
Sugar: 3g 9.0/10
Cholesterol: 60mg 4.0/10
Fat: 3g 7.0/10
Carbs: 17g 7.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 8g 10/10
Protein: 25g 10/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $2.50 7.5/10
Our Rating:
6.9/10
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Total Lean GNCRating Details

Per Serving11 Our Rating
Calories: 200 5.5/10
Sugar: 3g 9.0/10
Cholesterol: 60mg 4.0/10
Fat: 3g 7.0/10
Carbs: 17g 7.5/10
Dietary Fiber: 8g 10/10
Protein: 25g 10/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: No 10/10
Price: $2.50 7.5/10

11Nutrition information taken from http://www.gnc.com/total_lean/GNCTotalLeanLeanShake25.html?cgid=total_lean#start=2. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $39.99 for the Vanilla GNC | Total Lean® with 16 servings per package. Accessed 4/21/17

#12

Medifast®

Per Serving12 Our Rating
Calories: 110 9.0/10
Sugar: 7g 7.5/10
Cholesterol: 5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 1g 9.0/10
Carbs: 13g 8.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 4g 7.0/10
Protein: 14g 7.5/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $2.79 7.0/10
Our Rating:
6.7/10
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MedifastRating Details

Per Serving12 Our Rating
Calories: 110 9.0/10
Sugar: 7g 7.5/10
Cholesterol: 5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 1g 9.0/10
Carbs: 13g 8.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 4g 7.0/10
Protein: 14g 7.5/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $2.79 7.0/10

12Nutritional information from http://www.medifast1.com/Products/medifast-diet-plans/meals/shakes/prd~52500.jsp. Price per serving calculated from a package price of $19.50 for French Vanilla Shake with 7 servings per package. Accessed 5/22/17. Controversial Ingredients: Fructose, Acesulfame Potassium, and Carrageenan.

#13

Herbalife®

Per Serving13 Our Rating
Calories: 90 10/10
Sugar: 9g 6.5/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 1g 9.0/10
Carbs: 13g 8.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 3g 6.5/10
Protein: 9g 6.0/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: Varies 4.0/10
Our Rating:
6.3/10
See Rating Details

HerbalifeRating Details

Per Serving13 Our Rating
Calories: 90 10/10
Sugar: 9g 6.5/10
Cholesterol: 0mg 10/10
Fat: 1g 9.0/10
Carbs: 13g 8.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 3g 6.5/10
Protein: 9g 6.0/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: Varies 4.0/10

13Nutrition information taken from http://az31823.vo.msecnd.net/content/en-us/pdf/catalog/1213_formula1_nongm_vanilla_label_us.pdf. Price per serving for Vanilla Herbalife® varies depending on distributor, not sold online. Accessed 3/1/17. Controversial Ingredients: Fructose and Carrageenan.

#14

Slimfast®

Per Serving14 Our Rating
Calories: 110 9.0/10
Sugar: 11g 6.0/10
Cholesterol: 5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 3.5g 6.5/10
Carbs: 18g 7.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 4g 7.0/10
Protein: 2g 4.0/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $1.24 10/10
Our Rating:
6.3/10
See Rating Details

SlimfastRating Details

Per Serving14 Our Rating
Calories: 110 9.0/10
Sugar: 11g 6.0/10
Cholesterol: 5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 3.5g 6.5/10
Carbs: 18g 7.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 4g 7.0/10
Protein: 2g 4.0/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: Yes 4.0/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $1.24 10/10

14Nutritional information from https://slimfast.com/original/#shake-mixes. Accessed 5/19/17. Controversial Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Acesulfame Potassium, Aspartame, and Carrageenan.

#15

Ensure®

Per Serving15 Our Rating
Calories: 220 5.5/10
Sugar: 15g 4.0/10
Cholesterol: 4.5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 6g 4.0/10
Carbs: 32g 4.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 0g 4.0/10
Protein: 9g 6.0/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $2.25 7.5/10
Our Rating:
5.5/10
See Rating Details

EnsureRating Details

Per Serving15 Our Rating
Calories: 220 5.5/10
Sugar: 15g 4.0/10
Cholesterol: 4.5mg 9.5/10
Fat: 6g 4.0/10
Carbs: 32g 4.0/10
Dietary Fiber: 0g 4.0/10
Protein: 9g 6.0/10
Probiotics: No 4.0/10
Superfoods: No 4.0/10
Artifical Sweeteners: No 10/10
Controversial Ingredients: Yes 4.0/10
Price: $2.25 7.5/10

15Nutritional information from https://ensure.com/nutrition-products/ensure-original/vanilla-shake. Accessed 5/22/17. Maltodextrin, Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium, and Carrageenan.

Nutrition Content

Learn the impact nutritional content has on health & weight loss.

Calories

When aiming to lose weight, remember that you have to burn off more calories than you take in each day to see any progress. Therefore, when choosing a meal replacement shake, the amount of calories per serving is very important, because every calorie counts. And many diet shake reviews show that shakes with a low amount of calories work best.

Some people like to add other healthy ingredients into their shakes like fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, nut butter, seeds, etc., and this will also add more calories into each shake. That’s okay, as long as the shake that you chose already has a low amount of calories per serving.

Ideally, a meal replacement shake that is around 100 calories will give you plenty of leeway to add in other ingredients, instead of just taking it with water. And if you have a very hefty weight goal and therefore need to take the shake with just water, it will help you get to your goal weight faster.

Sugar

Though many companies add sugar into their shakes to make them taste good, this is not an ingredient you want in a meal replacement shake. Ideally, the less sugar the better. Sugar is not only bad for your health but it can greatly contribute to weight gain. When you eat a lot of sugar it raises the insulin levels in your blood, which first shuts down your fat burning processes and then causes that excess sugar to be converted into fat and stored in your body.

After this process occurs, even more goes wrong! Basically your brain isn’t able to see that the body has stored all the fat, and causes an increase in appetite, prompting you to eat again! For this reason, and also because sugary foods don’t make you feel as full as other more substantial foods, you end up eating more calories than necessary. Sugar is also void of nutrients and highly addictive.

On another note, artificial sweeteners act much like regular sugar in your body, and many are not made from natural ingredients but instead are chemicals. There is much controversy surrounding the use of chemical sweeteners and how they may affect your health. It is best to steer clear of them completely. Only choose meal replacement shakes with no to very low sugar from only natural sugar alternatives like Stevia.

Cholesterol

Having high cholesterol – specifically “bad” LDL cholesterol – is a serious problem for your health, yet many Americans have this problem. When you have higher cholesterol, you are at a bigger risk for having a heart attack or stroke. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you follow a low cholesterol diet, so when looking for a meal replacement shake, it is best to choose one that has no cholesterol at all. Of course, the lower the amount, the better.

Using a meal replacement shake to replace a meal that would have contained animal protein is a great way to help lower your cholesterol in general. But you have to make sure you have the right type of diet shake as they contain varying amounts of cholesterol. Shakes that contain whey protein often contain cholesterol, whereas shakes made from plant proteins do not and are much healthier for you. Diet shake reviews reveal that plant–based meal replacement shakes are on the rise with more people being interested in their overall health benefits.

Fat

When it comes to meal replacement shakes, low fat is best, because it contributes to the overall amount of calories in the shake. But fat is not bad for you, it just depends on the type of fat. The two main types of fat are saturated and unsaturated, and saturated is the one you want to stay away from. Saturated fat can stick to the sides of your arteries, clogging them and leading to high blood pressure.

In general, most saturated fats come from animal sources, whereas most unsaturated fats come from vegetable sources – another reason to choose a plant-based protein powder over a whey-based one.

Hydrogenated or trans fats are another type of fat to stay away from, as they are considered the worst type for your health. This type of manufactured fat is used in processed foods, and you should definitely stay away from it in your meal replacement shakes. Trans fats raise the risk of heart disease by raising levels of bad LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of good HDL cholesterol in the blood.

Carbs

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients along with protein and fats, meaning it’s one of the three main ways that your body obtains energy or calories. The body cannot produce macronutrients on its own, so it’s very important that you get them through a well-balanced diet.

There are two types of carbs: simple and complex. Simple carbs are the bad carbs that you want to try to stay away from. They are digested and absorbed more quickly and easily than complex carbs, and offer little to no nutritional value. They are higher in sugar, and lower in fiber, making them contribute to weight gain. Simple carbohydrates to limit in your diet include soda, candy, artificial syrups, sugar, white rice, white bread, and white paste, pastries and desserts.

In contrast, complex carbs include whole grain breads and cereals, beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, potatoes and corn. These foods keep you full for longer due to the high amount of fiber, which is necessary for proper body functioning and also weight loss.

Those looking to lose weight should look for a meal replacement shake with a good amount of fiber, at least 5g, and a low amount of overall carbs, somewhere between 6-10g. Diet shake reviews showed that those that followed this strategy had the most success overall.

Fruits, vegetables and dairy, though technically simple carbohydrates, act like complex carbs because of the high fiber content, so should be consumed daily. A plant-based protein powder and one that includes vegetables or a “greens” blend will also have more fiber.

Dietary Fiber

Found mainly in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes, dietary fiber helps keep your body regular, also helping it remove toxins by relieving constipation. Fiber normalizes bowl movements and helps to maintain bowel health.

Since high-fiber foods are more filling than low-fiber ones, fiber helps control weight by helping you eat less and stay full and satisfied for longer after eating. High fiber foods also tend to have less calories, therefore also contributing to weight loss. Fiber also has many health benefits including helping to lower cholesterol levels, and control blood sugar levels.

Finding a meal replacement shake with a good amount of fiber (at least 5g) is a great way to ensure you get the necessary amount you need each day. A good recommendation for the amount of fiber you should get in total is 25 grams for women (up to age 50) and 21 grams for woman (51 and older). For men, 38 grams a day (up to age 50) or 30 grams a day (51 and older) is best.

Protein

Proteins are long chains of amino acids that are absolutely essential for a healthy diet. Without enough varied protein sources in your diet, you may become deficient in some amino acids. The result of this could include low energy, inability to build muscle, trouble concentrating, mood problems, unstable blood sugar levels, and trouble maintaining or losing weight.

Protein is necessary in order to help repair the damage to muscle tissue that happens when building muscle in the body. This is why it is recommended to consume a high protein diet shake before or after physical activity, and the diet shake reviews we looked at proved that doing this led to great results.

Protein also helps you manage your weight by making you feel full and preventing overeating. Compared to carbohydrates or fats, high protein foods give you increased satiety. Meal replacement shakes are a convenient and effective way to get the protein that you need each day in order to help you stay healthy, lose weight and get in shape. Look for a diet shake that has 15-20g of protein, in order for it to be enough to boost metabolism in the body and help you lose pounds.

Probiotics

Probiotics – or healthy bacteria that your gut needs in order to perform optimally and keep you healthy – are not a common ingredient in meal replacement shakes, however the best shakes will include them.

Probiotics ensure that your digestive system is running smoothly and that your body is healthy, since 80% of your immune system lives in your gut.

Many things in our environments can and do damage our healthy gut flora, so it’s important to replenish them. Some things that can destroy good bacteria include antibiotics; sugar/fructose, medications including painkillers, laxatives, aspirin, antacids; pesticide and herbicide use; artificial food coloring, and more.

If your gut is not healthy you may experience the following symptoms: gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, headaches and fatigue. You may also experience sugar cravings and cravings for refined carbohydrate foods. In this way, probiotics can help you get your body back on track and lose weight.

Look for a shake that has around 1 billion CFU of beneficial probiotics included in each shake serving to give you the daily amount you need.

Superfoods

While some meal replacement shakes contain a necessary vitamin and mineral blend, only the best meal replacement shakes will also include a proprietary superfood blend.

This is important because a meal replacement shake is literally replacing your meal, and you want to make sure that you are getting as many nutrients from that meal as possible.

In general, superfoods are amazing for your overall health, vitality and energy, but they can also help with your weight loss efforts. Here are just a few examples of superfoods and how they benefit you:

  • Spinach: Contains tons of beneficial nutrients including iron, potassium (which helps with bloating), fiber, and protein.
  • Kale: Extremely low in calories, kale contains fiber, protein, and a great amount of iron and calcium.
  • Pomegranate: Packed with folate, antioxidants and fiber.

Some superfoods can also help to speed up your metabolism, further aiding in weight loss. Look for a meal replacement shake that has at least 10 superfoods or more.

Artificial Sweeteners

Many people think that a way to avoid having too much real sugar and aid in their weight loss efforts is to have artificial sweeteners instead – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a Harvard health publication article showed that artificial sweeteners may do just the opposite, potentially causing people to gain weight.

Many studies show that artificial sweeteners do not activate satiety signals in your body, so your body can’t determine if it has enough calories. The “fake” sweeteners therefore increase the motivation to eat.

Artificial sweeteners to steer clear of include:

  • Sucralose
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K)
  • Maltodextrin
  • Saccharin
  • Neotame

There is a reason why Whole Foods banned artificial sweeteners from all of their products – many studies have revealed that they can potentially be bad for your health and we recommend you stay away from them in your meal replacement shakes.

Controversial Ingredients

Many meal replacement shakes also contain controversial (potentially bad for you) ingredients. One of these ingredients is carrageenan – a thickening agent found in many foods including non-dairy milks, yogurt, ice cream and protein powders.

Carrageenan has been the focus of much research over recent years, in an effort to uncover whether this food additive could potentially be harmful…and studies show that it might be.

According to the Cornucopia Institute, people who were having GI problems including bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation and more found relief after removing carrageenan from their diets.

And over time, excess inflammation in the body can potentially lead to weight gain – so this isn’t good news for your health or your waistline.

The USDA may decide to remove carrageenan from all organic foods in the near future – another reason why you don’t want this ingredient in your meal replacement shakes.

Price

When it comes to the price of meal replacement shakes, the most important thing to remember is that you will be replacing meals that would cost you more money than the shakes will. If you estimate the cost of an average meal at around $6.00 (more if you eat out frequently), then you can easily see how a shake costs less.

What is a good cost for a meal replacement shake? It depends on what you want. Remember that you will pay more for higher quality ingredients in your shake. And if you want it to work for you, you should go for the shake with the best results based on diet shake reviews, as you anticipate the price. It is true that you get what you pay for. At the same time, you can get a value on certain shakes.

Many meal replacement shakes are in the range of $1.50 - $3.50 per serving. Whereas $1.50 is on the very low end and you should question the quality, $3.50 is on the high end, and you should question the price. Somewhere in the middle is a great value if it is a high quality shake.