Are Meal Replacement Protein Shakes Safe for Diabetics?

Type 2 diabetes is a major health concern in the United States and worldwide, affecting approximately 95% of total people with diabetes. The majority of people with Type 2 Diabetes are overweight or obese, and losing this extra weight is an essential therapeutic target of managing this condition effectively.

If you have diabetes and you're also carrying some extra weight, you might be curious about using meal replacement protein shakes for diabetics. Are they a good idea or even safe? This is not a simple yes or no question. Losing weight can really help manage your diabetes, so let's talk about whether meal replacement shakes can fit into that plan.

Like nutritional supplements, meal replacement shakes can safely be consumed by diabetics. Meal replacement shakes and nutrition bars are simple and effective weight loss tools for overweight or obese people with diabetes. These products have shown advantages over self-selective weight-loss diets according to this study. The key is in learning which meal replacement shakes are best for people with diabetes, so they do not disrupt your glycemic control and how to properly integrate these full meal beverages into your daily diabetes diet.

What is a meal replacement shake, really?

Meal replacement shakes are a convenient way for busy people to have three nutritious meals throughout the day. They are bottled beverages or drink powders that can be a substitute for a meal or a snack. You can get a premade protein shake in a bottle, or you can make your own at home. Meal replacement shakes are ideal for people who want to save time on meal preparation, reduce weight, or build muscle because they provide 200–400 calories and other nutrients per serving.

Protein shakes are typically created using protein powder and a liquid. Depending on your dietary requirements the base for this drink could be:

  • Water,
  • Dairy milk
  • Nut milk
  • Rice milk
  • Seed milk

Some fruits and vegetable options are more beneficial to anyone concerned about their blood sugar levels. Look for products with a low glycemic index and low glycemic load, which means they won't increase your blood sugar level. To strengthen your bones and supply beneficial gut bacteria, consume plenty of calcium and probiotic-rich dairy foods. Low-fat milk, kefir, and Greek yogurt are all excellent sources.

A smoothie can be a delicious and nutritious treat if you carefully think of its ingredients. You can enjoy these treats daily as long as you stick with healthy ingredients, pay attention to nutritional information and sugar content, and do not use excessive artificial sweeteners.

Why replace meals with shakes?

There are several benefits to drinking meal replacement shakes for people with diabetes. It can be difficult to get all of the nutrients your body requires from a diet when you reduce your calorie intake. Shakes are frequently packed with nutrients, which can help you meet your nutrient needs while reducing your calorie intake.

Meal replacements for people with diabetes should contain the right protein, fiber, and important minerals and vitamins.

Aside from being a low-maintenance form of nutrition that can come in a variety of flavors, meal replacement shakes can:

Enable safe, gradual weight loss

Meal replacements are high in protein and fiber, so they can help you feel fuller for longer than typical meals. This allows you to eat fewer calories throughout the day and lose weight without your blood sugar levels spiking or dropping, a common side-effect of less healthy alternatives for weight loss and diabetes management.

You should also make sure that you don't depend only on shakes for your protein intake so that you don't miss out on minerals and other valuable nutrients that protein-rich foods contain.

RELATED: Dr. Sarah Brewer's Top 10 Tips To Lose Weight

Supply your body with essential nutrients

People on diets frequently become so focused on calorie reduction that they unknowingly deprive their bodies of essential nutrients they require to survive and thrive. Meal replacement shakes are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, simulating a well-balanced meal while eliminating the uncertainty of what foods to eat and what foods to avoid.

Are Meal Replacement Shakes Safe for Diabetics?

Help manage your blood glucose levels

Committing to replacing just one meal a day with a portion-controlled shake can help you avoid high-carb meals and their associated side effects. Instead, you will ingest exactly the right amount of carbohydrate and protein needed to keep your blood sugar level balanced and blood sugar spikes in control.

What are the best meal replacement shakes for diabetics?

Even high-quality meal replacement shakes fail to supply the total dietary nutrients that your body requires daily. Even though they are designed to keep you full for a long period. Every day, you will need a healthy balance of whole, real foods, including low-fat or fat-free dairy, lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruits, fish, nuts, and legumes like peas and beans.

It is also crucial to keep in mind that not all meal replacement shakes are created equal. Even if you select one of the greatest weight loss smoothies for diabetics, it may fall short in terms of adequate nutrition. You must read the ingredient list attentively and try to identify any missing components.

Sometimes the number of carbs or protein is too low. In those cases eat whole foods throughout the day and balance your diet. Before adding anything new to your diabetes diet, consult your doctor.

Best meal replacement shakes

Below we listed some favorite shakes for diabetics:

1. Ample V

This meal replacement is made for people who are following a ketogenic diet for weight management. As a result, it has a low carbohydrate content, making it suitable for those with diabetes. Ample K is a nutrient-dense drink produced with actual, high-quality culinary ingredients. It's basically lipids, fiber, full protein, organic vegetables, and probiotics all rolled into one.

  • Low GI meal replacement
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No soy
  • No gluten
  • No-GMO

  • 2. Atkins

    This keto and diabetic-friendly meal replacement smoothie is made to deliver a tasty and speedy breakfast before you start your day. You can use it as meals and snacks to refuel your batteries. It is designed to keep you full, happy, and energized for an extended period of time. It contains all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs daily.

  • Low Gi
  • Steady energy
  • With nutrients that support immune health
  • Gluten-free
  • 3. Glucerna

    This meal replacement shake was created in such a way that it may be used as a meal replacement or a snack. It can simply assist you in managing both hunger and diabetes. It contains CARB STEADY, a proprietary blend of slow-release carbs that aid in blood sugar control. It also has about 6 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein.

  • 1 carb choice
  • 4 g sugars
  • 10-12 g of protein
  • 140-180 calories
  • Nutrients to help support immune health

  • 4. Extend Nutrition Shakes

    These diabetic protein smoothies are made with a blend of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates that digest slowly and help stabilize blood sugar for up to nine hours, making them ideal for type 2 diabetes care.

  • Help control blood sugar for up to nine hours
  • Curb appetite & hunger cravings
  • Deliver healthy long-lasting energy
  • No spike, no crash
  • 10g protein
  • Only 2g sugar - no added sugar
  • Low glycemic, low fat, low carb
  • Gluten-Free
  • Only 110 calories

  • 5. Boost Glucose control

    BOOST Glucose Control is a nutritional drink that can be used as a mini-meal or snack for persons who are managing their type 2 diabetes. It is also gluten-free, it lactose intolerance, so it is a fantastic option for anyone with these dietary restrictions.

  • 16 g protein for muscle health
  • Calcium and vitamin D, support strong bones
  • 190 Calories to help you have energy
  • 25 vitamins and minerals you need every day

  • Meal replacement drinks for diabetics -What is important to pay attention to when choosing a shake?

    Studies have demonstrated the benefits of meal replacements for people with diabetes. But when it comes to choosing a meal replacement shake always look at the ingredient label before buying one. You will want a meal replacement shake that contains:

    - No high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, or added sugars

    - No more than 10 grams of sugar.

    - Roughly 15–20 grams of protein and 3–5 grams of fiber per serving, and at least 33 percent of the recommended daily serving of vitamins and minerals.

    - Minimal chemicals and synthetic additives. Often, meal replacement shakes have a lot of artificial additives because the powder blends are highly processed. The artificial substances aid in the preservation of the product as well as the enhancement of the taste. Many shakes also have added sugars so they taste better. Always read labels carefully.

    - Nutritious ingredients such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

    - Consider allergens. Check labels before purchasing if you have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance.

    - Glycemic control- When you talk about glycemic management, you are basically talking about keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. With minimal variation, this is somewhere below 110mg/dl. If you have hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar), you should consume meal replacement drinks that contain a significant amount of carbohydrates.


      Drink meal replacement shakes in moderation. Instead of one meal a day or one snack a day at most, and add a nutritional supplement to your daily diabetes diet. That way, you may choose between drinking a smoothie or continuing to enjoy the crunch of "real food," all while ensuring your nutritional needs are satisfied and your blood sugar levels are maintained.

      Why should I join the Diabetes Online Community?

      If you’re looking to improve your life as a person with diabetes, joining the Diabetes Online Community is a step in the right direction. The Diabetes Online Community unites people with diabetes, caregivers, and support staff from around the world to give and receive knowledge and support, share ways to overcome daily challenges, and offer actionable insights on managing your diabetes. For example, you’ll find the latest diabetes research, innovations, and mainstream & alternative treatments conveniently shared in the Diabetes Online Community. Joining the Diabetes Online Community means connecting with others who are going through the same experiences as you so you feel less isolated in your journey, and can better advocate for yourself and others as a balanced, thriving diabetic. Join the Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together group today!