What are the best diabetic meal replacement shakes?

drink wholesome makes the best diabetic meal replacement shakes. They are made with a short list of simple ingredients, low in sugar, and high in protein. This makes them perfect for diabetics in need of an easy, filling meal without the extra processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our meal replacement powders are right for you. 


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drink wholesome makes the best diabetic meal replacement shakes

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

Are meal replacement shakes good for diabetes?

One of the main benefits of meal replacement shakes for people with diabetes is that they allow for easy control of nutrient intake. Unlike traditional meals, which can vary greatly in their nutrient content, meal replacement shakes provide a consistent and balanced source of nutrition. This can make it much easier for people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels, as they know exactly what they are consuming.

Another benefit of meal replacement shakes is convenience. For people with busy lifestyles, preparing healthy, balanced meals can be challenging. Meal replacement shakes provide a convenient alternative as they are easy to make, and can be consumed on the go. This is especially helpful for diabetics, who need to be careful about what they eat and when they eat it. Meal replacement shakes can help to ensure that diabetics are getting the nutrients they need, even when they do not have time to cook a meal.

Finally, meal replacement shakes, especially high protein meal replacement shakes, are also a great way to control calorie intake, which is important for diabetics looking to manage their weight. Not only do high protein meal replacements make it easy to know exactly how many calories you are consuming, but they keep you feeling full for longer. This is because protein is the most satiating (filling) nutrient, and helps to prevent overeating and snacking between meals.


What are the best meal replacement shakes for diabetics?

First of all you should avoid meal replacements with lots of added sugars as they can trigger blood sugar spikes. Naturally occurring sugars like those found in fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, are safe to eat. According to research, there is no link between natural sugar and diabetes since these types of sugar are digested and absorbed more slowly.

Second, you should avoid meal replacements made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. While high-protein, low-carb foods like these are low on the glycemic index, they can still measure high on the insulin index, meaning they can cause hyperinsulinemia (abnormally high levels of insulin). In other words, while protein concentrates and isolates do not spike blood sugar the same way that simple carbohydrates do, they can still cause an insulin spike because protein has an insulinotropic effect (it promotes insulin secretion).

Third, you should avoid meal replacements sweetened with artificial sweeteners. Several studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can increase cravings toward sugary and sweet foods, which can lead to binging and feelings of withdrawal. Other studies have associated artificial sweeteners with a higher risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor for pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Finally, you should avoid meal replacements with lots of food additives as they can disrupt your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut. Research shows that these changes can play a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes. Keep reading to learn more.


Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best diabetic meal replacement shakes is that we do not use food additives. Consuming food additives, even in small amounts, can cause painful side effects. This is due to their dissimilarity to real foods and poor digestibility. Additives bear little resemblance to real food, making them tough for your digestive system to break down. As a result, they spend extra time in your gut, feeding your gut bacteria.

Gut bacteria produce gas as they eat, so more time to eat means more gas. Excessive gas can lead to symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even constipation. In certain cases, incompletely digested food additives can also cause your colon to absorb extra water, resulting in diarrhea.

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacement powder:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

Over time, a diet full of food additives can disturb regulatory pathways in your intestines, laying the groundwork for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory ailments. Certain additives, particularly artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, can also upset your gut microbiome. A perturbed or dysbiotic gut microbiome is a leading driver of inflammation in the body, and closely associated with the onset and progression of several chronic diseases, including diabetes.

the alternative:


drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best meal replacement for diabetics is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many other meal replacement options contain whey and/or casein, which are byproducts of the production of cheese and yogurt. These dairy-based proteins are notorious for inducing gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, especially for individuals with lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance, a condition that impacts more than a third of adults, hampers your capacity to break down the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, the incomplete digestion of food can trigger painful side effects.

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chocolate meal replacement powder lifestyle image 2

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best diabetic meal replacement is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Nearly every other meal replacement contains one or both of these protein sources, which are high protein foods stripped of everything (fats, carbs, etc.) but the protein. Making protein concentrates and isolates involves heavy mechanical and chemical processing. Sometimes, solvents like hexane are used to extract the protein, so what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food.

Your gut is designed to digest unprocessed or minimally-processed real foods. It is not meant to break down artificial or refined ingredients, which is why eating processed foods like protein concentrates and isolates can disturb your gut microbiome. In addition to helping you digest food, this collection of microorganisms protects you against pathogens, trains your immune system, and influences many of your important bodily functions. If you have diabetes, a dysbiotic gut microbiome should be the last thing on your wishlist. 

chocolate meal replacement powder serving suggestion 1
vanilla meal replacement powder serving suggestion 2

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best diabetes meal replacement shakes with whole foods like egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried, and almonds are roasted, pressed to remove some oil, and ground. Minimally-processed protein sources like these are a gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, egg whites and almonds come with enzymes and digestive aids that facilitate digestion. Egg whites are aso alkaline, low in fiber, and low in FODMAPs, making them super easy to digest. Almonds, on the other hand, are prebiotic because they contribute to the diversity and health of the gut microbiome. They also promote regular and healthy bowel movements.

In conclusion, we make diabetic meal replacement shakes with simple, easy to digest ingredients.


no stomach issues

“I buy this for my husband who’s a diabetic. He says its filling and he loves the taste. We switched to drink wholesome because he has GI issues and can’t tolerate other shakes.” – Debbie

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chocolate meal replacement powder

(48) $64.99 - or subscribe and save up to 15%


2 meal replacement powder samples


This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.