Are meal replacement bars okay for people with diabetes?

Meal replacement bars (or snack bars) are fine to eat occasionally, but they shouldn't become a regular substitute for whole foods. These products often contain reduced calorie sweeteners known as sugar alcohols, such as malitol, erthritol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols usually provide about half the amount of calories as regular carbohydrates and have less of an effect on blood sugar levels than sugar, but they are not calorie and carb free.

Because sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed, some people complain about GI problems (such as diarrhea), when consuming these sugar substitutes.

Instead of reaching for a meal replacement bar when you are on the go, try bringing food along with you. Unsalted nuts are always a delicious, non perishable snack. When possible, travel with an insulated bag or cooler, so you can store hummus and veggies or a salad with grilled chicken and beans. You'll be glad you did and your taste buds will thank you!

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.