There are a large number of reasons why meal replacement shakes have achieved such enormous popularity; they are quick and easy to make, which is ideal for those of us with hectic work lives.
They tend to be designed with a protein base and are therefore low in carbohydrates and fat, which is ideal for weight loss.
Finally, a lot of them taste good! It can be difficult to choose the right shake for you, so here’s a helpful list of the best shakes you can buy.
What Are The Best Low Carb Meal Replacement Shakes
But unlike other whey protein shakes, PuraWhey comes only from grass-fed cows, making it a more ethical choice.
This does impact on price, however, and the company also recommend that you use their entire range of products in conjunction with one another for the best possible effects, with a kit coming in at around $300.
Even a canister of YES on its own will cost around $90, making this a top-end investment, although it does have good reviews online.
It’s a high protein shake, derived from milk and soy supplements and containing Glutamine, which is an essential amino acid that is not just good for you, but promotes muscle growth, so you might find that you tone up at the same time as shedding a few pounds.
It’s also the cheapest available protein shake on the market, at roughly $1 per serving.
Ideal Protein is made with skim milk, which reduces the price of production, making this another reasonably-priced option, but also means it is extremely low in fat and sugar.
It’s almost as low in carbs as PhD Whey, with 6g per serving, but the reason it’s not the best low carb meal replacement shake is due to its high price point, with 30 servings costing around $80.
It contains a cocoa extract which provides a caffeine-like stimulant if you’re struggling during the day, but this means that this particular meal replacement shake should be avoided late in the day, as it could affect your sleep.
- Lowest Carbs – PhD Diet Whey (5.5g per large serving)
- Best Value – PhD Diet Whey ($20-$25 for 20 servings)
- Best For Battling Hunger – PhD Diet Whey
The Best Low-Calorie Meal Replacement Shakes
One serving only contains 90 calories and is extremely low in fat.
A lot of shakes attract criticism for causing gut inflammation, or for not suppressing hunger, but 18 Shake is high in Maltodextrin fiber, which is good for the stomach but also prevents hunger as the fiber isn’t digested.
18 Shake doesn’t come cheap, with a $60 price tag affording only two weeks of shakes, but it has received rave reviews online, so may well be worth it.
Isagenix has more calories and is higher in carbs than the other two shakes on this list, but it has proven extremely effective in reducing hunger through the day, due in part to one serving containing a third of your daily fiber.
It is also rich in vitamins A and D, meaning that you won’t have to look around for vitamin supplements or worry about eating an extra meal in a day.
However, the inclusion of Xanthan gum on the ingredients list means that those of you who suffer from frequent bloating should proceed with caution, as too much of this can cause stomach inflammation.
It’s made with soy protein and skimmed milk rather than whey protein, and is packed with vitamins A, C, D, E, and B12, making it an exceptionally healthy option.
This, combined with the reasonable price of $1.50-$2 per serving, means that this is our pick of the best low-calorie meal replacement shakes for 2017.
The slight drawback though, is that it’s a UK product, and difficult to get hold of in the US.
- Lowest Calories – 18 Shake (90 calories per serving)
- Healthiest Option – SlimFast Vitality
- Best Value – SlimFast Vitality – $1.50-$2 per serving
Keeping in Good Health
A lot of whey protein-based shakes don’t contain enough sugar, vitamins or minerals to sustain us properly, so it is important to check the ingredients list carefully regarding Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) before making a decision that suits your schedule.
Bearing this in mind, our top shake of 2017 overall is SlimFast Vitality, due to its vitamin-rich ingredients list.
Increasingly, new products are being introduced which claim to be able to completely replace meals, meaning that three shakes a day would provide the body with the correct balance of nutrients and vitamins to keep you healthy.
While several of these are currently in development, Huel (a mashup of “Human” and “Fuel”) has become hugely popular in the US over the last year and a half.
It is similarly vitamin-rich to SlimFast Advanced Vitality, but it is much higher in calories, carbs, fat, and protein, as it’s geared towards replacing all meals in a day and thus providing 100% of your RDI of all essential parts of your diet.
It was created by a UK-based nutritionist, and is also vegan, making it incredibly attractive in this day and age.
At 500 calories a serving, the principle is that you can have two or three servings in a day, and not need to eat anything else.
The future of meal replacement shakes may well lie in this “total replacement” concept, and judging by the reviews, is certainly worth your consideration if you’re leading a rushed and hectic life.