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  7. 5 Healthiest Meal Replacement Shakes in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed)
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5 Healthiest Meal Replacement Shakes in 2022 (Registered Dietitian-Reviewed)

When you’re too busy to sit down and eat, a meal replacement shake can be a real lifesaver. That’s why we decided to look into the healthiest meal replacement shakes and figure out what you should look for, compiled into a buying guide reviewed by a registered dietitian.

In our research, we found that the healthiest shakes are made from mostly whole foods ingredients, feature a balanced macro- and micronutrient profile, and work with many of your dietary restrictions. We looked at meal replacement shakes that are ready-made and rounded up our favorites, including Naturgel and Orgain.
Last updated 2023/01/17
Registered Dietitian (RD, LD)
Rachel Binkley

Rachel Binkley is a registered dietitian who helps individuals develop healthy habits that fit into their lifestyle. She recommends adequate intakes of all micronutrients to help prevent deficiency as well as chronic conditions that may arise. You can keep up with her recipes, lifestyle, and more on Instagram or her blog, S'more Satisfaction.

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How to Choose a Healthy Meal Replacement Shake – Buying Guide

It’s important to find a good, healthy meal replacement shake since you’ll be relying on it for your nutrition. So keep the following factors in mind.

① Ensure Your Shake Contains the Right Ingredients

Meal replacements are meant to be a quick and healthy alternative to eating a full meal, To make sure you get all the right nutrients, it's important to check the labels to see what the drink or powder includes.

Go for a Drink With Mostly Whole Foods

Go for a Drink With Mostly Whole Foods
It’s important that your meal replacement shake contains only good-for-you ingredients, especially since it’s taking the place of actual food. Look for shakes that include vegetables, fruits, seeds, or dairy as their main ingredients. This ensures that you take in a blend of naturally-occurring nutrients that your body needs. 

Unlike some other health foods, however, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a meal replacement shake that only has whole food ingredients - though they do exist. That’s because these shakes often include vitamin mixes and protein powders to make them more balanced. 

When it comes to meal replacement shakes, it’s best not to be too afraid of some scientific-sounding ingredients like potassium chloride, which is used to prevent low levels of potassium in your blood, or ferric orthophosphate, an iron supplement.

Check to See if It's Free from Undesirable Ingredients

Check to See if It's Free from Undesirable Ingredients
As many of these shakes contain a large number of ingredients, it can sometimes be easier to figure out what you want by looking at what it doesn’t have. A lot of shakes take great pride in listing ingredients that aren’t included. 

Some particular ingredients to avoid include added sugar, artificial flavors or dyes, and preservatives. Of course, if you have any dietary restrictions look out for those ingredients as well.

② Keep Energy Levels Up With a Balanced Nutrient Profile

Pay attention to both the macronutrients and micronutrients when looking for a meal replacement shake.

A Good Balance of Fat, Fiber, and Protein Will Keep You Feeling Full

A Good Balance of Fat, Fiber, and Protein Will Keep You Feeling Full
Perhaps the one thing that will make or break a meal replacement shake is how well it maintains your energy levels and keeps you feeling satiated. The best shakes will have lots of fiber (3 grams or more), a good amount of protein (15 grams or more), and some healthy fats (about 10 grams).

When it comes to figuring out what kind of calorie count you’re looking for, you also want to consider your goals. While higher calorie shakes might keep you full longer, if weight loss is your goal there are also lower calorie shakes to choose from. 

Meal replacement shakes generally range from 100-400 calories per serving, so decide where you want yours to fall in that range.

Micronutrients Keep Your Body up and Running

Micronutrients Keep Your Body up and Running
Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function. For example, Vitamin C is necessary for a healthy immune system, vitamin B-12 contributes to metabolism and the synthesis of DNA, vitamin D is necessary for bone health, and vitamin A contributes to healthy eyes.

An iron deficiency can result in various auto-immune disorders, magnesium keeps your nerves and muscles strong and healthy, zinc supports your immune system and helps convert food to energy, while folate combats inflammation and helps to regulate your mood.

If possible, find a shake with a solid balance and range of these vitamins and minerals. 12 is a good number to aim for—and make sure you check that you’re meeting your daily requirements; the nutrition facts should list the percentage of DV the shake will help you meet.

5 Healthiest Meal Replacement Shakes

For those low on time or looking for convenience, ready-made meal replacement shakes are the way to go. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.
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Meal Replacement Smoothie

Naturgel Meal Replacement Smoothie 1枚目

A Whole Foods-Based Protein Smoothie That Tastes Great



Organic Nutritional Shake

Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake 1枚目

Formulated With USDA Organic Ingredients



Vegan Meal Replacement Shake

OWYN Vegan Meal Replacement Shake 1枚目

Vegan and Gluten-Free Meal Replacement Shake


Kate Farms

Vanilla Meal Replacement Formula Drink

Kate Farms Vanilla Meal Replacement Formula Drink 1枚目

Has a Balanced Nutrient Profile



Meal Replacement Shake

Soylent  Meal Replacement Shake 1枚目

Stay Full of Energy for Longer

Product details

NaturgelMeal Replacement Smoothie2 pack


A Whole Foods-Based Protein Smoothie That Tastes Great

These vegan meal replacement smoothies are fruit-based and contain 22 micronutrients as well as a blend of 18 different plant powders and extracts for added nutrition.

Reviewers write that this is one of the most palatable meal replacement smoothies available. While it still doesn’t taste quite like a smoothie bar drink, it’s tasty and makes for a great protein-filled, on-the-go meal.

OrgainOrganic Nutritional ShakeSweet Vanilla Bean, 12 count


Formulated With USDA Organic Ingredients

Orgain’s All-in-One Nutritional Shakes are USDA organic and free of most common allergens, as well as artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. They also contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and protein derived from whey and grass-fed milk. That makes it non-vegan, but if you’ve got a soy allergy, then you’re in luck; it’s soy-free!

Reviewers say this shake is absolutely delicious and has a texture similar to almond milk. They also say it fills them up as much as a meal. This is the perfect shake for those who want a meal replacement shake with a generous helping of natural and organic ingredients.

OWYNVegan Meal Replacement ShakeChai, 12 pack


Vegan and Gluten-Free Meal Replacement Shake

These meal replacement shakes are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and low FODMAP certified, making it suitable for most dietary restrictions. It has a full amino acid profile and includes 20% of your daily value requirements for 23 nutrients.

Reviewers love both the lightly spiced chai flavor and texture and write that these shakes do keep you full enough to serve as a full meal replacement.

Kate FarmsVanilla Meal Replacement Formula Drink12 pack


Has a Balanced Nutrient Profile

This meal replacement shake has been carefully formulated to truly provide you with all the nutrients you should be getting from a meal–in fact, five cartons provide an adult with all of the nutrients they need for an entire day.

Reviewers appreciate that this shake includes fruit and vegetable extracts along with isolated vitamins and write that it’s quite filling. Do note, however, that the sugar content is quite high, so this may not be suitable for those watching their sugar intake.

Soylent Meal Replacement ShakeCacao, 12 pack


Stay Full of Energy for Longer

Soylent Meal Replacement Shakes come packed with flavor, nutrients, and a whopping 20 grams of plant protein. Each shake contains disaccharide derived from beets, an ingredient that your body metabolizes slowly for a longer-lasting energy spike and full feeling.

Many reviewers say that no matter the type, this shake is delicious without its added flavor (such as cocoa) being too sweet or overpowering. Some even compare the flavor to milk leftover from chocolate-flavored cereal.

Its calorie count and fat content are on the high end of the meal replacement shake scale, but it also provides 20% of 26 vitamins and minerals your body requires daily.

More Healthy Snacks to Supplement Your Lifestyle

Making healthy choices isn't as hard as you think - there are plenty of ways to find easy replacements for snacks, drinks, and spreads. If you need a little help choosing, though, take a look at some of the articles below.

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