The Benefits of Organic, Real Food vs. “Food-Like” Products in Medical - Rational Foods
The Benefits of Organic, Real Food vs. “Food-Like” Products in Medically Supervised Weight Loss Plans

The Benefits of Organic, Real Food vs. “Food-Like” Products in Medically Supervised Weight Loss Plans

October 30, 2018

Your number one goal is to help your patients get the results they crave during their medically supervised weight loss program. However, many people lose motivation during the challenging process, causing them to fall off the wagon and revert to their bad habits. One way that you can prevent this from happening is to provide your patients with a diet that satisfies their needs more than protein shakes and low calorie bars. Real food has numerous benefits over its artificial counterpart.


While protein bars have come a long way in taste since they first hit the market, they're still less than desirable. According to the USDA's description of protein bars, a bar has to contain at least 15 percent of the Daily Value of protein, with more than 60 percent of that protein coming from dairy. All of this dairy doesn't taste good on its own, so manufacturers often use artificial flavors, dextrose, fructose, and corn syrup to try and sweeten things up. The result is a foul-tasting block that has too much sweetness for a person trying to steer clear of sugar and other tempting candies.

Real food, on the other hand, comes in a variety of savory and healthy options. Instead of feeding your patient's things they can't pronounce, they'll have delicious choices that look and taste like real food — making it far easier to maintain this diet long-term.

Patient Adherence

Many people who go on diets return to their original weight within three to five years. There could be a number of reasons for this, but one of the main ones is boredom with food choices. People who are stuck on meal replacement and protein powder solutions eat the same thing every day with little variety. However, eating a diet of real food gives them options to mix it up and satiate their cravings.

Another study that looked at liquid and solid meal replacements found that older adults who had a liquid meal replacement ate 13.4 percent more food at the next meal than those who had solid meal replacements. This seems to suggest that chugging a protein shake in place of a real meal doesn't satiate a person's appetite as well as solid food. They'll simply want to eat more as soon as they get the chance, throwing their nutritional needs out of whack.

More Nutrients

Meal replacement shakes and protein bars pack in a lot of protein, there's no question about that. However, they also sometimes lack in other vital nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Eating real foods gives you a greater variety of vitamins and minerals from easier to digest sources.

What's more, scientists completed a study that found that eating protein from vegetables sources was more filling than eating protein from animal sources (which is the base of most diet food products). This might be because vegetable sources have a lot of fiber, which is also part of a healthy diet.

Bigger Portions

Because protein bars and shakes cram so much protein into such small portions, your belly doesn't get full after this type of meal. Just because you've technically gotten all of the calories you need for the day, doesn't mean your urge to eat stops. In fact, studies confirm that feeling full is the number one factor that makes a person stop eating.

Eating foods with low energy density, such as fruits and vegetables, allows a person to eat more than they would with a food replacement product. Therefore, they'll be able to satiate both their belly and their nutritional needs without going overboard.

With all of the benefits of eating actual food on a diet, it seems silly to recommend food replacements to your patients. Keep them on the bandwagon and help them lead more successful lives by prescribing them a diet of organic, natural products rather than manufactured powders and bars.