What Is the Recommended Calories Per Sugar Amount for Meal Replacement Shakes?

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As one of the most sugar-crazed societies in the world, America consumes mountains of the sweet substance every year, despite warnings from health organizations against its frequent use. This beloved but unhealthy ingredient sneaks its way into a wide range of products, from Greek yogurt to pasta sauce, meaning that you often eat sugar without realizing it, making it that much easier to consume too much of the stuff. Even meal replacement shakes, which are typically used as a tool to achieve better health, tend to contain varying amounts of sugar, depending on the brand. How much sugar should your meal replacement shake have, and what is the recommended calories per sugar amount for your beverage of choice? Keep reading as the experts at ENU answer that very question.

How Does Sugar Affect Your Health?

Most of us are familiar with the advice that too much sugar is bad for you; it’s something many kids are told when asking for an after-dinner snack or at visits to the dentist’s office, but few people can readily explain exactly why we are told to avoid this ingredient. Some men or women who want to gain weight might even try to eat more sugar in order to put on a few pounds, but that course of action is not recommended. For those who haven’t been to health class in a while, here are a few of the ways sugar can be harmful:

  • Contributes to chronic illness – Eating large amounts of sugar can increase a person’s susceptibility to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, all of which are serious health risks. Sugar can also lead to gum disease, which is in turn linked to greater rates of heart disease.
  • Causes changes to blood glucose – All foods affect your blood sugar in some way, but few have as strong an impact as sugar itself. Eating lots of sugar in your diet can cause mood swings, fatigue, and cravings that can further unbalance your diet.
  • Accelerates the aging process – No, sugar won’t make you suddenly grow older; it will, however, make you look the part. Sugar binds with proteins to form a mixture that causes your skin to lose elasticity and enhances the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Causes tooth decay – As our understanding of the link between oral hygiene and overall health continues to deepen, it has become more and more important to take care of our teeth and gums. As you probably know, sugar consumption is bad for your teeth, which makes it bad for you in general, too.
  • Increases stress – Indulging in a sugary treat can cause your body to release the same stress hormones that you would get from a busy day at the office or the approach of an important meeting; reducing sugar intake can effectively reduce your stress as well.

Still, this ubiquitous carbohydrate is found in almost everything we eat, from the obvious culprits – candy, soda, and ice cream, for example – to the less obvious but nonetheless significant sources, such as white bread or flavored waters. Combined, these products make it harder to manage your weight with food.

So just how much sugar is too much? It turns out that the answer is simpler than you might imagine. According to a number of health and nutrition authorities, you should aim to get no more than 10% of your calories from sugar each day. If this sounds like less than you’d hoped, don’t fret; that still leaves room for about 200 calories’ worth of sugar in a standard 2,000-calorie diet.

Since most nutrition labels don’t list sugar as a fraction of overall calories, however, let’s do a quick conversion: A single gram of sugar contains about four calories, which means that a diet in which 200 calories can come from sugar allows for 50 grams of it per day.

Sugar Content in Meal Replacement Shakes

When scanning the shelves or the Internet for a meal replacement shake with healthy ingredients, remember that less sugar is better. Ideally, you should try to find a product that offers a balanced, healthy mix of vitamins and nutrients according to the same guidelines that govern a well-rounded diet; in other words, just as you should try to get no more than 10% of your calories from sugar in general, so too should you try to find a meal replacement shake with similar proportions.

ENU meal replacement shakes, for example, contain only 9 grams of sugar per carton; in a drink that offers 340 calories, that comes out to about 10.5% of calories from sugar, which puts ENU shakes right in line with dietary recommendations. In addition, ENU nutrition shakes feature 17 grams of protein from whey and soy, complex carbs derived from whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, heart-healthy unsaturated fats from coconut and sunflower oils, and a blend of more than 20 vitamins and minerals for a totally beneficial beverage. Try mixing an ENU nutrition shake with fruit or other tasty foods to create your own nutrition shake recipe.

Healthy, Balanced Nutrition Shakes Available Now from ENU

Choosing what to put into our bodies is one of the most important decisions any of us makes throughout the day. When you reach for a meal replacement shake, you should have the same confidence in its contents as you would when sitting down to a healthy, well-rounded meal. ENU meal replacement shakes provide balanced nutrition you can rely on without loading you up with sugar or other harmful ingredients. Learn more about all ENU’s products and how they can help you reach your health and fitness goals by visiting us online or calling (855) 266-6733.