Ultimate Guide To Vegan Meal Replacements

Nowadays, there is an increasing number of people who decide on adopting the veganism lifestyle. Reasons vary between protecting animal rights, going green to protect the environment or to have better health. Some people have to switch to veganism due to medical conditions that force them to stop ingesting meat or dairy products. Other people simply start taking interest in veganism to simply follow in the footsteps of many health advocates and celebrities who look and feel awesome without the need to consume meat.

Many people around the world nowadays have started taking a stand against the exploitation of animals; some believe that killing and eating animals is morally wrong, to begin with, while others have chosen veganism as a way of fighting against factory farming because they find it to be extremely cruel and inhumane in many ways.

On the other hand, other people decide to go green as a way of reducing their impact (or carbon footprint) on the environment; these people might not follow a vegan diet entirely, but their efforts are still applauded. However, many people also realize that going vegan will have a great impact on their skin, hair, and overall health. Whether you are contemplating this new lifestyle or you are looking for new ideas for meals, we have put together an extensive guide to vegan meal replacements that will definitely give you all the needed nutrients for your body.

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IMAGE: PEXELS

Benefits Of Veganism And Shakes

Steering away from animal products has been linked directly to a reduced risk of many possible serious conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, heart conditions and attacks, and many types of cancers. However, veganism in itself isn’t necessarily healthy; it still depends on your eating habits and the type of food you decide to consume. People who switch to veganism for a healthier lifestyle, choose to follow a plant-based diet or a whole-food plant-based diet which helps in losing stored fats, improving the digestive system, and treating some chronic conditions. Here are some of the most important benefits that are backed by science:

  • It’s More Nutritious
    This might shock many people but by steering away from animal products, you will be able to eat more nourishing food options. Replacing meat and dairy with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds will amount to increasing the number of beneficial nutrients. Scientific research and studies have concluded that switching to a whole-foods diet leads to a rise in antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and many vitamins.
  • Shakes Aid in Losing Weight
    In many observational studies, people who tend to follow whole-foods plant-based diets have been found to have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than meat-eaters. People who aren’t interested in veganism can still benefit from it as it has been proven to be one of the best diets that are highly effective in shedding excess fats. On top of that, skipping meals to get all the nutrients your body needs through just a shake changes the whole game.

    Meal replacement shakes should contain a minimum of 200 calories to be as efficient as a meal replacement option. Getting everything that your body needs with only 200 calories can help greatly in making your weight-loss journey a lot shorter and faster. Veganism is also great in helping people who struggle with high insulin resistance or PCOs as it might be harder for them to lose weight due to their conditions.

  • Lower Risk of Chronic Conditions
    Many people who suffer from type 2 diabetes and declining kidney health could benefit greatly from switching to veganism. Studies have reported that not only do vegans have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but they also have lower blood sugar levels and high insulin sensitivity due to the type of foods they consume.

An Overview On Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes

There are endless reasons that push people to take interest in skipping regular meals in favor of shakes. Meal replacement shakes are easy to make and ingest, and they are also portable and easy to carry. This makes them the perfect choice that you can pack with you on your way out, whether you are going to the office or planning to spend your day away from home.

This way, you don’t have to spend your time outside looking for and failing to find healthy vegan options. Other than convenience and sustainability, replacing meals with shakes also facilitates in speeding up weight loss journeys.

Unlike protein shakes, vegan meal replacement shakes are made with the thought of replacing the meal taken into consideration, so they tend to provide all of the nutrients your body needs from meals. They must contain enough protein, fiber, fat, and other needed nutrients to qualify as an effective meal replacement option. Usually, shakes should contain from 200 and up to 300 calories along with needed minerals, essential vitamins, and antioxidants.

When most people begin transitioning to veganism, they often find themselves confused and worried that they are not meeting the daily nutritional requirements for their bodies. Some people feel that their bodies have gone weaker which forces them to switch back to their old diets. That’s when vegan meal replacement shakes come to the rescue, as they can easily provide you with everything that you need without having to calculate your protein intake or track the vitamins you ingest.

Vegans Aren’t The Only People Who Enjoy Shakes

Vegan meal replacement shakes don’t only offer great benefits for vegans but other people who struggle with lactose intolerance have enjoyed these shakes for different reasons. You can check different vegan shakes guides to ensure you’re getting the safest and most effective shake. These replacement shakes are also a convenient and effective way to control and lessen your calorie intake.

It ensures your body receives all the required micro and macronutrients needed to have a healthy body. Whey protein is the number one protein supplement as it offers the nine needed amino acids in one serving without having to mix and match different supplements. This has led many lactose-intolerant people to struggle with finding another protein supplement that will work as a replacement for whey protein.

Vegan replacement meal shakes rely on alternative protein sources such as pea protein, soy protein, and brown rice protein. Fortunately, these plant-based proteins were found to include the needed amino acids. Soy protein and hemp protein, specifically, contain all the 9 amino acids that are essential for the body. Here are some of the other nutrients that should be in your shake.

  • Vitamin B12: This vitamin is considered to be the most challenging to consume in veganism. The lack of B12 affects the body dramatically; it causes fatigue, drowsiness, and decreased levels of energy. Vegans must ensure that they supplement their diets with B12; you can easily add your daily recommended dosage, which is about 2.4 milligrams for most adults, to your shake so that you make sure that you don’t forget.
  • Essential Fatty Acids: Make sure that your shake has enough fatty acids that come from leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, or collards. The lack of these acids shouldn’t be taken lightly, as they can lead to brain health issues including depression, mood swings, and cognitive impairment.
  • Iron: Iron deficiency is nearly the most common deficiency even among meat-eaters. That goes back to the fact that you have to be careful with the types of food you are eating in the same meal. Some types of food make it harder for your body to absorb its needed intake of iron. Iron sources usually include meat and egg yolks, which you wouldn’t be able to consume if you strictly follow a vegan diet, That said, both options are associated with heart conditions as they are extremely high in cholesterol. Instead, you can easily add some dried fruits to your shake.

Understanding Ingredient Labels And Sources

When you’re shopping for vegan meal replacement shakes, you may have a habit of mistrusting commercial labels, and for good reason. Aside from the labels themselves, you may need to check thoroughly the sources and ingredients of any shake to make sure it’s appropriate for your vegan lifestyle. The ingredients include binders, sweeteners, colors, fillers, excipients, and other additives that constitute the shake powder. Any ingredient listed on your shake is ranked according to its weight value in a descending manner.

It’s very important to check the sources of ingredients. Protein is usually sourced from artificial sources if the shake is authentically vegan. Plant-based diets and vegans should always check the ingredients and their sources according to their special dietary conditions. You’ll want to stay on the lookout for lactose, soy, GMO, and gluten labels to ensure that your shake is a legit vegan meal replacement shake.

Natural And Artificial Flavors

A lot of people believe that artificial flavoring necessarily means chemically synthesized additives. While that may be the case with some shakes, it’s not really the entire truth. Artificial flavors can be an imitative flavor extracted from natural and organic substances like wood pulp or fenugreek seeds. It’s understandable to look for natural flavors derived from spices, herbs, and roots as these have the most pleasant organic flavor. But as long as the artificial flavor is sourced from vegan-compatible sources, you don’t have to consider it a deal-breaker.

Customizing Your Own Meal Replacement Shakes

Everyone has some dietary preferences, which a lot of commercial products may not meet. The best way to ensure that you’re taking exactly what you believe you need is by taking matters into your own hands. Your health conditions and preferences can only be perfectly met if you’re the one handling all the ingredients.

You can opt for more fruits instead of sugars if you have candida overgrowth. It won’t be hard to find vegan sources of fat but always make sure that they are whole food plant-based sources. Proteins and fiber can be extracted from hemp, chia, sunflower, flax, and pumpkin seeds.

Some people choose to make their own vegan plant milk in addition to mixing in some fruits as the base for their shakes. If your gut is sensitive, try adding kefir water or probiotic supplements to your smoothie or shake. Organic spirulina is often added to these mixes to help those who suffer from anemia or iron deficiency. The secret to consuming enough vitamin C is by adding amla fruit powder which boasts the content potency of more than 20 oranges.

Make Your Own Homemade Chocolate Protein Shake

Since protein is usually the ingredient that vegans find trouble adding to their diet, having a delicious and nutritious protein shake that can be made at home is a huge plus. If you don’t like commercial vegan protein shakes, all you need is a blender and these 7 ingredients to create your own.

Freeze some bananas for their sweetness and creamy texture, and add organic cocoa powder for the chocolate flavor. The main protein sources in this recipe are chia seeds, hemp seeds, and a little nut butter. You may even go the extra mile and add oats to include a good dose of fiber in your shake, which will help you feel fuller throughout the day.

Depending on the amount of each ingredient you use, the protein dosage will differ. For 23g of protein, you’ll need 1 frozen banana, 2 spoons of hemp seed, a quarter cup of gluten-free oats, 2 spoons of peanut butter or almond butter, 1 spoon of chia seeds, and 2 cups of almond or soy milk. You’ll want to mix all these ingredients in a blender and keep mixing until the texture of the shake is creamy and smooth. The process is pretty straightforward, and you can still taste the mixture as you blend it to see if you’d like to add something else to the shake.

You may be wondering if it’s alright to keep using vegan meal replacement shakes as a substitute to many other types of traditional food. The truth is a bit more complicated. Those who have digestion problems often lean towards long-term consumption of vegan meal replacements, as their digestion systems are sensitive to harder types of food.

As long as you make sure to blend whole foods that combine all the different nutrients and minerals your body needs, you should be able to enjoyably sustain a long-term vegan meal replacement diet. Try to use different ingredients every once in a while, including a bigger range of vitamins and fiber in your rotations.

If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.

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IMAGE: PEXELS

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