Boost is advertised as a meal replacement drink. One of literally hundreds of similar products. The line also includes high protein and diabetic options. (Nestle)

Commercial meal replacements: Do they really replace food? (interview)

There are hundreds of these products now commercially available that bill themselves as meal replacements.

People view them as a quick and easy way to get the nutrition they need, but without the time it takes to cook or prepare meals.

But, do they replace meals? Are they even a good thing?

Pearle Nerenberg is a sports dietitician and founder of a Montreal-based coaching company called Eat This for Performance.


They come in the form of powders, “shakes”, and in bar format similar to a chocolate bar.  They advertise themselves as a healthy choice for everyone to replace meals for those on the go. While these products and supplements may be useful in the case of certain medical conditions, they may not be all that useful or necessary for those who eat regular healthy meals.

Pearle Nerenberg, sports dietitian and founder of Eat This for Performance.

They’re also not inexpensive, but is seems the main reason for people is the idea of convenience.

Still, Pearle Nerenberg says it only takes a little time to prepare real food ahead of time. She also notes that there tends to be high levels of sugar, or products that quickly break down into sugars in the body.

She doesn’t totally discounts these supplements especially if there is a medical imbalance where a specifically targetted supplement may be advised. She generally notes that whole foods in a well balanced diet is a better option.

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