Diabetes mellitus, also referred to simply as diabetes, involves a group of metabolic diseases that affects how the body is able to breakdown sugar in the blood, or blood glucose. Excess sugar in the bloodstream can lead to serious health complications. Some of these conditions include kidney and eye damage, cardiovascular disease, stroke and neuropathy. Combining a healthy diet and regular exercise will help to maintain a healthy blood glucose level. Protein shakes for diabetes can be a healthy alternative for diabetics seeking to maintain insulin level and to control hunger.
Benefits of Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are often marketed as an aide for those that seek weight loss, or to build muscle. Protein shakes can assist with weight loss by replacing other higher-calorie beverages, such as soda. Protein also works to satiate the appetite, maintaining blood glucose levels, decreasing the desire to snack on sweets. This function is especially important for those with diabetes with an increased insulin production. Protein is an essential nutrient for proper growth and development of muscle tissue. When drinking a protein shake, the protein is broken down by the body into various amino acids, and recovered by muscles. These recovering muscles use the amino acids to repair themselves, thus becoming bigger and stronger.
How to Choose the Best Protein Shake For Diabetes
Unfortunately, not all protein shakes are created equally. Those with diabetes must be especially cautious when choosing the best shake for their nutritional requirements. Many store-bought shakes can be high in fat, calories and have added sugars. Foods that are processed tend to have less nutrients, vitamins and minerals than a natural alternative. A general rule to follow when making healthy choices and reading labels is, the fewer the ingredients, the better the choice. Learn to become an expert label reader. Manufactures list ingredients in order of highest content to lowest, so avoid those shakes with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients. Diabetics should choose a protein shake that contains less than 200 calories as a snack, and less than 350 calories if used as a meal replacement. There are many ready-to-drink store-bought protein shakes designed with diabetics in mind. Some of these brands include Glucerna SR, Boost Glucose Control, EAS AdvantEDGE Carb Control, Atkins Advantage, and Slim-Fast Lower Carb Diet. There are also protein shake powders with diabetics in mind such as Almaseed, Kenzen Body Balance and Extend Nutrition Shake.
Those with diabetes may opt to prepare their own protein shakes. This allows the individual to control the ingredients and the nutritional quality of the shake. A healthy homemade protein shake can include delicious ingredients such as almond milk, soymilk or fat-free milk, fruit, peanut butter or almond butter, Greek yogurt, and chocolate or vanilla flavored protein powder.
Protein shakes can be a healthy addition whether an individual is seeking to lose weight, build muscle or maintain a steady blood glucose level. With the help of a physician, regular exercise, and a well-balanced diet, those with diabetes will find success managing their blood glucose levels.