Meal Replacement & Fiber by Patti Helsten Petrella
Meal replacements can be included in your weight management program. An important
factor to consider in a meal replacement product is the amount of fiber they have.
Fiber is extremely important in your nutritional program for many reasons. It can help prevent
cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, diverticulosis, constipation and even help
lower cholesterol. For weight loss, it makes you feel full and assists in decreasing insulin
Fiber helps to reduce the rate at which our bodies absorb sugar from food into the
bloodstream. This is crucial for weight loss because after having a meal with sugar, our body
reacts by secreting the hormone insulin into the blood. This hormone regulates the level of
sugar in the blood.
After eating sugar there is a surge of insulin, which as it lowers the blood sugar, causes us to
feel sluggish and hungry in between meals. When we eat more fiber, the levels of blood
sugar tend to be constant and steady and will be less likely to oscillate. The result is that we
have fewer cravings and are less likely to be hungry in between meals and snacks.
Fiber is found in beans, grains, seeds and other plant sources. It is not found in animal
products. We need fiber to keep our digestive tracts healthy.
Almost all people eat an inadequate amount of fiber. Most doctors will tell you to take
supplemental fiber for a variety of health reasons.
Even if you don’t use a meal replacement, it is a good ideal to take extra fiber for these
• It will make you feel full and you will be less likely to over eat.
• It helps lower blood sugar levels
• You probably are not getting enough in your diet. You need 25-35 grams a day.
• It helps cleanse and detoxify the body.
• Lessons GI disorders. It is beneficial to the intestinal tract and helps both diarrhea and
constipation by restoring the GI tract
When using a meal replacement it is important to use a fiber product with it.
For meal replacements I personally like a combination of the Soy or rice Powder and Insta
Fiber, (There may be other good products, and a generic form of fiber and powder is fine,
although I prefer organic protein powders.) to get the maximum nutrition while losing
unwanted pounds. Some of the benefits beside weight loss include:
• Soy protein for a healthy cardiovascular system
• Fiber for all the health reasons above
• Soy isoflavines to help maintain optimal bone health
Remember, though, this is only an alternative aid to help you make positive lifestyle changes
as you create healthier eating habits. It is NOT meant as a diet by itself. To jump start your
diet or to offset a vacation of overeating, you might do this for a few days, just until you
regain your resolve for healthier food choices.
A sample day on the quick start might be:
• Morning Shake with a combination of soy powder and Insta Fiber mixed with water, soy
milk or rice milk. These are delicious!
• Lunch would be the same
• Dinner would be a healthy meal of fruits and vegetables
• Snack could be a nutrition bar- also very good!
Optional plan would be one meal replacement a day with two snack bars for in between
I’m sure there are some good ones on the market, but the one I like the most is Insta Fiber or
its generic for. It has no taste, and it mixes well in smoothies.
If you decide on a meal replacement, make sure that you are adding a fiber supplement to
keep your fiber intake to AT LEAST 25 grams a day.