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3 Reasons Natural Carbs Are Important in Meal Replacement Shakes
In much of the health and fitness media that’s available today, carbohydrates have a leading role, most often as the antagonist. There are a number of popular diets that encourage adherents to reject carbs – either partly or entirely – as a way of losing weight fast or improving overall health. While some of this wariness is certainly warranted, there are also plenty of reasons why certain sources of carbs, especially natural ones, are beneficial for your diet. As a potential stand-in for a small, balanced meal, any meal replacement shake should include these healthy carbs rather than those that have proven to negatively impact a person’s well-being. Below, the experts at ENU will lay out 3 reasons why natural carbs are important in meal replacement shakes; keep reading to learn more.
Types of Natural Carbs in Meal Replacement Shakes
Though there are lots of ways to look at carbs, we’ll focus on two main labels – simple and complex – and explain what makes one better than the other for use in meal replacement shakes and which is more likely to be an example of a natural carb.
Typically, when someone talks about “simple” carbs, they’re referring to some form of sugar; on a nutrition label, sugar can be listed under a variety of aliases, including corn syrup, fructose, glucose, sucrose, and lactose. Sugar is a common type of carb in meal replacement shakes, since it offers a lot of calories without adding much volume, but too much sugar and other types of processed carbs (such as white flour) can cause an unhealthy spike in blood sugar, and they’ve been linked to serious health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. This is a big part of why people prefer natural carbs in meal replacement shakes and other food products.
Most of the time, when people discuss “natural” carbs, they’re referring to unprocessed complex carbs, which are broken into two groups: starch and fiber. Complex carbs are usually preferable to simple carbs because they take longer to digest, meaning that they provide energy over a longer period of time. In addition, they are often less processed, so they provide natural carbs that offer greater health benefits; for instance, complex, natural carbs contain more vitamins and minerals than simple, processed carbs, and the fiber contained in natural carbs can help keep the digestive system healthy (among other benefits).
3 Reasons Why Meal Replacement Shakes Need Natural Carbs
When choosing a meal replacement shake, you should aim for products that truly fit the term: those that contain all the nutrients you’d expect to receive from a small, nutritious meal. Unfortunately, there are plenty of meal replacement shakes out there that get their calories from less-than-healthy sources like added sugar or corn syrup derivatives; these should be avoided for a number of reasons, but we’ll stick to 3 of the most important ones for now. The following are 3 reasons natural carbs are important in meal replacement shakes:
Natural Carbs Provide Extended Energy
When you eat processed carbs, your body experiences the so-called “sugar rush,” in which your blood sugar (and energy level) spikes briefly, then drops sharply, leading to the well-known “crash”. Not only does this process not help you feel energized or focused, but it can also stimulate hunger, and this spike in blood sugar causes the release of large amounts of insulin, which promotes the storage of fat, causing weight gain in an unhealthy way.
Complex, natural carbs, on the other hand, take time for the body to break down, so they don’t dump glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream all at once the way simple carbs do. This helps to moderate the increase in blood sugar in the body and keep you feeling satisfied for hours, something you probably want from a meal replacement shake.
Natural Carbs Contain More Vitamins and Minerals
Though they primarily function as a source of energy, natural carbs drawn from real food ingredients in meal replacement shakes can supply the body with a number of important nutrients, too. This includes the following vitamins and minerals, all of which are important to a healthy body:
- B vitamins
Generally speaking, the exact nutrients offered by natural carbs will vary by the specific food; for instance, one cup of brown rice offers most of your daily value of manganese but only 5% of your iron requirement, whereas quinoa has barely half the manganese you need but 15% of your recommended iron intake for the day. By comparison, simple carbs that have been extensively processed may have little to no nutritional value.
Natural Carbs Have More Fiber
Despite the fact that it is most often associated with promoting regular bowel movements, fiber actually has a number of very important health benefits. This key nutrient can help to lower the level of LDL cholesterol in your system (which is the bad kind) and control the levels of blood sugar in the body, plus it is believed to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and weight gain.
If you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, it’s also worth noting that fiber helps you feel full longer on relatively few calories, which can help you hit your weight loss goals, too. If you’re looking for fiber in a meal replacement shake, turn to one with natural carbs, as the processed kind tends to contain very little fiber, if any.
Try an ENU Meal Replacement Shake with Natural Carbs, Protein, and Healthy Fat
Because we know the importance of providing natural ingredients and a balanced nutritional profile, the team at ENU has worked to create a healthy, well-rounded meal replacement shake make with natural carbs drawn from sources like tapioca, brown rice, and quinoa. To learn more about our meal replacement shakes and nutritional powders, visit ENU online or call (855) 266-6733 today.