For those who have lactose intolerance or who abstain from animal products, dairy-based meal replacements are not an option. But a complete non-dairy meal replacement is hard to come by. Most non-dairy options exist as either protein supplements or meal replacements with insufficient or incomplete sources of protein.
When selecting a non-dairy meal replacement, here are some things to look for to make sure the shake is providing the nutrition it needs:
Protein plays many important roles in the body, such as strengthening and building cells, controlling biochemical reactions, and aiding the immune system. Studies show that whey is the gold standard when it comes to protein due to its complete amino acid profile and high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Many plant-based proteins can’t compete with whey’s muscle-building characteristics.
A non-dairy shake must be formulated with special attention paid to creating an optimal amino acid profile. A shake that was formulated with an optimal amino acid profile for muscle maintenance in mind is Dairy-Free Natural Berry Harvest IsaLean® Shake. The Natural Berry Harvest Shake features a blend of pea and hemp protein. Combined, these two plant-based proteins create an amino acid profile similar to whey protein.
Pea protein (like other proteins) is shown to increase feelings of satiety, supporting lower caloric intake and weight loss (1). Similar to whey, pea protein has a higher concentration of BCAAs than other plant-based protein helping to reduce muscle breakdown and stimulate muscle growth (1, 2,3). Pea protein also contains ideal amounts of the amino acid arginine that has been shown to support cardiovascular health and vascular homeostasis (4).
Rounding out the protein blend in the Natural Berry Harvest Shake is hemp protein. Known to be more easily digestible than other vegetable protein sources, hemp protein also helps contribute to a superior amino acid profile (5). Together, both hemp and pea protein also contain bioactive peptides to support antioxidant status, similar to whey protein (6-8).
Rich source of dietary fiber
Consuming a diet high in fiber is a great way to maintain digestive health and gut regularity. Fiber is also shown to help manage blood sugar after meals, improve satiety, and decrease caloric intake throughout the day resulting in successful weight loss and maintenance (9). In Non-Dairy Natural Berry Harvest Shake, for example, is considered an excellent source packed with 8 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
When people see the “F” word on a shake label, it usually raises serious questions about whether the product is healthy. But the facts are that fats are a crucial aspect of a healthy diet and belong in quality meal replacements. However, not all fats are best. The Natural Berry Harvest Shake features unsaturated oils that come from natural sources, and avoid trans fats.
The good fats found in the Natural Berry Harvest Shake are from olive, flax, and coconut oil. These natural oils deliver a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids to support cardiovascular health (10) and keep consumers feeling fuller, longer. Medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil also supply a quick source of energy and have been shown to support weight management (11).
The glycemic index is an important tool for consumers to determine how certain foods will affect blood sugar. Refined grains and sugary foods are easily broken down and used as fuel, leading to a dramatic spike in energy followed by a crash. Meals with these foods can be considered “high-glycemic” and should be avoided, especially in people who have been advised by their doctors to better control their blood sugar.
Meals with a low impact on blood sugar are classified as “low-glycemic”. This doesn’t mean that they have to be low in carbs, only that they provide carbohydrates including sugars in such a way that they provide the body with a steady stream of energy. Low-glycemic foods have also have been shown to help weight management by helping to control appetite and improving satiety (12). All of the Isagenix Shakes, including the Non-Dairy Natural Berry Harvest, are low-glycemic.
Nutrients from fruits and vegetables
Many meal replacements focus on energy and protein sources, neglecting to incorporate fruits and vegetables that provide nutrients important for many physiological functions.
The Isagenix Natural Berry Harvest Shake contains natural fruit and vegetable juice powders such as blueberry, apple, and carrot. These cold-pressed powders are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals and provide a variety of phytonutrients associated with better health.
Taste you enjoy
The main complaint with plant-based shakes is poor flavor. That’s not the case for Natural Harvest Berry Shake. Its delicious fruit-smoothie flavor from the fruit and vegetable juices it contains is sure to please the taste buds. In fact, the non-dairy meal replacement shake isn’t solely for the enjoyment of vegetarians or those with food intolerances or sensitivities. The plant-based formula of the Non-Dairy Natural Berry Harvest Shake also offers a wide array of health benefits and a delicious berry flavor that adds variety to anyone’s diet.
- Abou-Samra R, Keersmaekers L, Brienza D, et al. Effect of different protein sources on satiation and short-term satiety when consumed as a starter. Nutr J 2011;10:139.
- Bryggerier, P. Influence of ingesting a solution of branched-chain amino acids on plasma and muscle concentrations of amino acids during prolonged submaximal exercise. See comment in PubMed Commons belowNutrition 1996 Jul-Aug;12(7-8):485-90.
- Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, et al. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2008, 48:347-351.
- Cylwik D, Mogielnicki A, Buczko W. L-arginine and cardiovascular system. Pharmacol Rep. 2005;57:14–22.
- Wang X, Yang X, Tang C. Nutritional assessment of hemp (Cannabis sativia L.) proteins. Modern Food Science and Technology 2007.
- Ndiaye F, Vuong T, Duarte J, Aluko RE, Matar C. Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties of an enzymatic protein hydrolysate from yellow field pea seeds. Eur J Nutr 2012;51:29-37.
- Dahl WJ, Foster LM, Tyler RT. Review of the health benefits of peas (Pisum sativum L.). Br J Nutr 2012;108 Suppl 1:S3-10.
- Girgih AT, Udenigwe CC, Aluko RE. In vitro antioxidant properties of hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) protein hydrolysate fractions. J Am Oil Chem Soc 2011;88:381-389.
- Slavin JL. Position of the American Dietetic Association: health implications of dietary fiber. J Am Diet Assoc 2008;108:1716-31.
- Rodriguez-Leyva D, Dupasquier CM, McCullough R, Pierce GN. The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. Can J Cardiol 2010;26:489-96.
- St-Onge MP, Jones PJ. Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Dec;27(12):1565-71.
- Chang KT, Lampe JW, Schwarz Y, et al. Low glycemic load experimental diet more satiating than high glycemic load diet. Nutr Cancer 2012;64:666-73.