Meal replacements are a subcategory under the broader heading of functional foods. Functional foods are considered to be foods with additional health and wellness benefits. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines functional foods as "any food, modified food or food ingredient that provides structural, functional or health benefits, thus promoting optimal health, longevity and quality of life." Foods might inherently possess these supposedly beneficial qualities, or they may be fortified and/or genetically modified.
Meal replacement bars contain the necessary amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that are typically found in a healthy meal. Examples include: Slim Fast Meal Bars, Nutribars, and Trim Advantage Meal Replacement Bars.
Effectiveness Effectiveness definitions
There is insufficient reliable evidence about the effectiveness of meal replacements.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
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