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All You Need to Know About Diabetic Protein Shakes

All You Need to Know About Diabetic Protein Shakes

by Owen Clarke 29 Mar 2023

Healthy eating habits and diet are essential for everyone, especially those diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. How we eat impacts us significantly; for example, incorrectly picked meals can be the reason for blood sugar spikes and other unfortunate complications. Including fruit, vegetables, and whole grains in one’s menu is an excellent way to manage this condition; they also replace sugary foods and carbohydrates well. And, of course, protein is needed for the organism to function correctly, as well as to keep the body strong and muscly. But are protein shakes the right call for people with diabetes?

We understand the concern, as traditionally, protein shakes are high in sugar and can be dangerous for those with blood sugar management problems. However, there are some safe options created specifically for individuals with this issue. Consider this article as your personal guide to the best recipes, recommendations, and valuable general information about protein shakes for people with diabetes. Insulin.Store is here to support you through this journey!

What Is a Protein Shake?

A protein shake is a beverage made from a special powder blended with a liquid (water, milk, or milk substitute). It contains a high protein level of plant or animal origin; whey protein powder derives from the cheese-making process, so it’s not the right option for lactose-intolerant individuals. Pea, soy, hemp, and other plant-based options may be used as an alternative. Often, other beneficial components are added to the product’s composition, such as essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and other ingredients.

These are very popular in fitness, as people consume them to gain weight faster, grow muscle mass, and increase general energy levels. It is also a great option for people who can’t get enough protein intake from the food alone.

Overall, to get a creamy protein shake, other ingredients are often added to the powder; fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and others can be a fantastic inclusion to the recipe. At this point, it’s just a matter of personal preferences.

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4 Easy Steps for the Best Protein Shakes for Diabetics

There are plenty of online recommendations on how to incorporate protein shakes into a person’s diet with blood sugar control problems. The most essential thing everyone should memorize is, of course, how to make the drink for it to taste good and be safe for one’s glucose levels. So, here is a simple four-step guide on how to make a protein shake:

  1. Choose the liquid for your liking. The most basic shake includes a powder and liquid. For simpler recipes, people typically choose plain water. However, if you want to make it more interesting, it’s always possible to pick your favorite milk, like almond, oat, soy, or dairy. The main thing is to ensure it’s low in carbs and is not sweet;
  2. Add vegetables and fruits. When we have our base, it’s time to select the filling. Even though there are no strict rules on which ones are better for blood glucose levels control, it’s still recommended to choose items low on the glycemic index to ensure the blood sugar spike won’t happen;
  3. Incorporate healthy fats and fiber. Including those in the smoothie is an excellent way to improve digestion, as well as lower the chances of cardiovascular disease. Some of the best ingredients are chia seeds, flaxseeds, and other similar products;
  4. Exclude sugars and carbs. Or at least limit them. Even natural sugar in fruits can be harmful to people with diabetes mellitus. So, be mindful of what you add to your shake and try to replace sugars with natural sweeteners to make the drink taste better.

Protein Shakes for Diabetics

What Are the Benefits of Protein Shakes for Diabetics?

By using the best protein powders, people may benefit greatly and see a significant improvement in their general well-being. To understand all the positive characteristics of this protein source, let’s look closely at the main pros of these shakes.

Decrease Blood Sugar

If unsweetened protein powder is used regularly, it can help stabilize blood sugar and lower it generally. Also, protein effectively stimulates insulin secretion, so it’s a great advantage for those with diabetes.

Curb Cravings

Sometimes cravings happen, and there’s nothing we can do about it. However, the next time you crave something sweet, consider a healthier option instead. An effective way to reduce your desire for curbs is by adding more proteins to your diet – and protein shakes are among the easiest and fastest ways to do so.

Manage Weight Loss

Lowering blood sugar is not the only thing these drinks can achieve; weight loss is another advantage everyone can enjoy after having shakes regularly. Proteins are slow digestive, so they reduce hunger rather successfully. So, just one shake should be enough to keep you full for a long time.

Types of Protein Shakes

In order to pick the best protein shake option, it is important to understand the variety you can select from. It is essential to look closely at the ingredients before buying the product, as different components may be added to it, including sugar, chemicals, and artificial sweeteners.

Sugar, fruit juice, and agave are something diabetics should avoid when selecting protein shakes, as they can lead to blood sugar spikes, which are highly undesired.

The two main types of shakes should be highlighted in this article:

  • Ready-to-drink drinks. Sugar content in this option may vary from 0 to 30 g per drink; other sweeteners may also be added to these. It is essential to check these numbers before purchasing a drink for their safety. Sometimes, adding other ingredients to the shake is possible, such as chia seeds or oatmeal. This option is very convenient to grab on the go when there is no time for a full meal;
  • Protein powder. Good shakes are sometimes better and healthier than ready-to-go drinks, as their ingredients are often selected more carefully. Moreover, it’s convenient as you can quickly make the drink at home and have complete control over what goes into it, so it’s much safer when it comes to blood glucose control. The recipe is simple – check the label to see whether the product contains sugars, add your favorite flavorings, and enjoy your beverage!

Protein powders are available in two forms – whey-based (gets its protein from milk) and plant-based (uses plants like soy, rice, nuts, etc.). A person should choose the best option for them based on their health and body peculiarities (such as lactose intolerance).

5 Protein Shakes Recipes for Any Taste

Now that we know all the essentials about protein shakes for diabetics, let’s look closely at some delicious and healthy recipes that you can easily try at home. They are affordable, can be corrected according to one’s taste, and are great to replace unhealthy snacks that cause blood sugar control problems.

#1. Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

Most people think about oatmeal when they think about the most common breakfast dish. However, it gets dull with time, and many individuals don’t like the taste of oats. So, what will be an excellent alternative to this breakfast option? Strawberry-banana smoothie!

By blending yogurt, bananas, strawberries, and almond milk, you are getting a delicious and nutritious breakfast that will keep you energized for a long time! If you need a sweeter option, add a little bit of Stevia. Chia seed may also be added to add a little fiber to the drink.

#2. Rice Protein Shake

For this drink, an alternative to whey protein powder is used. It’s a perfect option for lactose-intolerant people, and it tastes great with fresh or frozen fruits. Flaxseeds and nuts may also add more healthy fats and fiber. For anti-inflammatory properties, we recommend borage oil; don’t add too much, a teaspoon will be enough to work correctly (however, you shouldn’t use it if you are pregnant, take seizure medications, or warfarin).

#3. Mixed Berries Protein Shake

Berries are a great ingredient for smoothies due to their antioxidant concentration; on top of that, they contain fructose, which is a natural sweetener. It doesn’t raise blood sugar quickly and may be an excellent addition to a high-protein diet.

For the drink, you’ll only need protein powder, berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.), and the liquid for your liking. Mix everything together nicely, and enjoy your drink!

#4. Chocolate Smoothie (No Sugar, High Protein)

It may be tough to remove sweets completely from your diet. If you miss a delicious treat, consider an icy smoothie created by the Sugar-Free Mom company to satisfy your craving. It is made of cottage cheese, almond milk, and protein powder. The chocolate taste is achieved thanks to unsweetened cocoa powder (it can also be mixed with liquid chocolate Stevia). Thanks to the plant-based protein powder used in this recipe, this option is perfect for those who can’t tolerate lactose.

#5. Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Shake

Traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not the right snack for diabetics, as it contains a high sugar concentration. However, it can be easily transformed into a thick and delicious drink thanks to the flavored powders by various companies (such as Dashing Dish). The triple dose of protein derived from peanut butter, cottage cheese, and protein powder helps people stay full for a long time and not snack on unhealthy sweets.

Can I Use Protein Powders with Diabetes?

As you may have already guessed, protein powders are safe to use if you have diabetes. The main thing is to find a safe brand that contains low sugar concentration and is affordable for your budget. What are some other characteristics you should pay attention to?

  • Minimal or no added sugars;
  • A low number of artificial sweeteners;
  • No artificial flavorings.

That’s it! Pick the ingredients you will enjoy and create a perfect protein shake that will keep you energized and sated for a long time without risking your blood sugar levels.

To Sum Up: Diabetes and Protein Shake

Protein shakes are excellent additions to diabetes diets if they are carefully picked according to one’s health conditions. The variety of powders for these drinks is overwhelming, so the main thing is to research and select the best option. Do it today and make a tasty protein shake as your snack; we are sure you’ll like it!

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