Are Meal Replacement Shakes Safe for Diabetics?
It’s not a simple yes or no... They’re certainly not new to the weight loss scene, but they are definitely all the rage today: meal replacement shakes. As a person with diabetes, you might be wondering whether swapping out a meal in favor of drinking a thick liquid through a straw is recommended, or even safe. If meal shakes appeal to you, you’re in luck. Like nutritional supplements, meal replacement shakes can safely be consumed by diabetics. The key is in learning which meal replacement shakes are best for people with diabetes, and how to properly integrate these full meal beverages into your daily diabetes diet. But first...
What are meal replacement shakes, really?
Meal replacement shakes are the busy person’s solution to full, balanced meals three times a day. They are bottled beverages or drink powders that you drink instead of eating a meal. Since they provide 200–400 calories and other nutrients per serving, meal replacement shakes are great for people looking to save time on meal prep, lose weight, or bulk up. Want to learn more about losing weight with diabetes? Read this blog post.
Why replace meals with shakes?
There are several benefits to drinking meal replacement shakes if you are a person with diabetes. Aside from being a low maintenance form of nutrition that comes in a variety of flavors, these include:
Enabling safe, gradual weight loss
Meal replacements are high in protein and fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer than typical meals. This enables you to consume fewer calories during the day and lose weight without causing your blood sugar levels to spike or drop (a side-effect of less healthy alternatives).
Supplying your body with essential nutrients
Often, people on a diet find themselves so focused on cutting calories, they unwittingly deprive their bodies of important nutrients they need to survive and thrive. Meal replacement shakes are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, mimicking a balanced diet, while taking the guesswork out of deciding which foods to include or cut from your diet.
Helping to 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’ll ingest exactly the right amount of carbohydrates and protein needed to keep your glucose levels balanced.
Meal replacement shakes for diabetics - best practices
Always look at the ingredient label before buying a meal replacement shake. You’ll want a product 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
- Nutritious ingredients such as nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables
- Drink meal replacement shakes in moderation - instead of one meal and/or one snack a day at most.
- Add a nutritional supplement like CuraLin by CuraLife to your daily diabetes diet. That way, you can choose to drink a shake, or keep enjoying the crunch of “real food” while ensuring your nutritional needs are met and your blood sugar levels remain healthy.
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