According to the CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report, 89 percent of people with diagnosed diabetes are clinically overweight or obese.
Clinicians know that overweight and obesity contributes to insulin resistance, in addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and more.
It is understood that weight loss should be a major therapeutic goal for all those who are overweight and concerned about their blood glucose levels.
In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) nutrition recommendations for diabetes acknowledge that meal replacement products — when used once or twice a day to replace usual meals — may result in significant weight loss (Craig, 2013).
Meal-replacement shakes offer a number of advantages compared to self-selective weight loss diets. Some of the benefits of these products are:
1. THEY PROVIDE A PRE-MEASURED AMOUNT OF FOOD AND ARE EASY TO PREPARE
Simple ready-to-mix shakes help your clients avoid devoting extra time and energy planning and preparing meals
Meal replacements, such as Almased, have a known calorie level, eliminating the need for measuring or estimating portion sizes.
And since we all like ease and convenience, ready-to-mix and ready-to-drink products are a must-have for those who are busy or on-the-go all the time.
2. THEY PROVIDE NUTRIENTS THAT MAY BE NEEDED
When your clients cut back on calories, it’s likely that they’ll have nutrient gaps. Since shakes are typically fortified with nutrients, they can make up for some of the nutritional “falls from grace” caused by the act of eating less.
The best meal-replacement and weight-loss formulas feature protein, in addition to other nutrients.
In fact, one serving of Almased supplies 27 grams of protein, in addition to amino acids, bioactive peptides, vitamins and minerals. Featuring an ideal 2:1 protein to carb ratio, it has no artificial fillers, flavors, added sugars, preservatives, or stimulants.
3. THEY REDUCE TEMPTATION
They reduce temptation to eat highly processed, high-calorie foods since your exposure to them is reduced — for example, less trips to restaurants and fast-food eateries.
As to those processed foods, most are loaded with refined carbs and artificial ingredients, in addition to being nutritionally bankrupt.
The fact that convenience foods are high in sugar, salt and saturated fat is of concern, alone, in addition to the fact that these ingredients activate the pleasure centers of the brain, which in turn encourages overeating.
4. THEY CAN TRIGGER SENSORY-SPECIFIC SATIETY
They trigger sensory-specific satiety, further decreasing caloric intake. As you know, sensory-specific satiety refers to the decreasing pleasure of tasting, smelling, or eating the same food or beverage until full or satisfied.
Hypothalamus-controlled sensory specific satiety refers to the tendency to feel full and stop eating when flavors are relatively limited and to keep feeling hungry when flavors are extremely varied.
This works for us when we eat simple, wholesome foods and meal replacements — like Almased — because we can feel full sooner. It works against us when we eat junk food, food which is engineered to be addictive.
Almased unique ability to provide satiety has been demonstrated in published research, including a study that came out in 2008. In a group of overweight but otherwise healthy adults, responses to a breakfast with Almased were compared to responses following either a high-carbohydrate meal or a glucose drink (Berg, 2008).
Researchers showed that Almased's metabolic effects include reducing hunger and appetite, in addition to helping the body feel fuller.
Compared with the high-carb meal or glucose drink, plasma ghrelin decreased significantly after Almased ingestion and remained at this level even two hours after intake of Almased. Cortisol, leptin and serotonin showed similarly favorable responses.
In addition, postprandial insulin, as well as ghrelin response, after consumption of Almased, compared with the other meals, suggests the ability of Almased to be a beneficial influence in “programming the appetite regulatory system.”
The authors noted that “this may explain the specific benefit of [Almased] for weight control and insulin resistance after regular intake in subjects with increased metabolic risk.”
In 2912, a group of scientists (König) tested Almased in a group of 11 overweight or obese men with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.
In this trial, which is referred to as “The Breakfast Study,” after an overnight fast participants received either Almased as a meal replacement or a standard breakfast. Four hours after the intervention, all subjects ate a standard lunch.
The levels of ghrelin were greatly decreased in the two hours after breakfast in the supplemented group.
König and his team saw these benefits even up to several hours after breakfast, in fact until after lunch, what is known as the “second meal effect.”
The authors hypothesized that the significantly greater decrease in ghrelin levels, along with a trend towards higher peptide-YY concentrations, in the post-prandial period probably contributed to the greater and longer satiety found after the Almased meal replacement.
Craig J. Meal replacement shakes and nutrition bars: Do they help individuals with diabetes lose weight? Diabetes Spectrum. 2013;26(3):179–182.
Berg A, König D, Deibert P, et al. Favorable metabolic properties of a soy-honey-yoghurt product for meal replacement in overweight subjects with atherogenic risk. Atherosclerosis Supplements. 2008; 9(1):253.
König D, Muser K, Berg A, Deibert P. Fuel selection and appetite-regulating hormones after intake of a soy protein-based meal replacement. Nutrition. 2012 Jan;28(1):35-9.