What is the best protein powder for diabetics?


If you are looking for the best protein powder for diabetics, you have come to the right place. Learn how to safely supplement your dietary protein intake with diabetes.

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Collagen Protein Powder

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This article was written by Jack Schrupp and Brittany Adelman, RDN.

Protein powder and diabetics

What is the best protein powder for diabetics?


Many protein powders are made with ingredients that are not suitable for diabetics. Among these ingredients are food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates. 

Added sugar

Diabetics should avoid protein powders with lots of Added Sugar, as it can trigger blood sugar spikes. Naturally occurring sugars like those found in fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, are safe to eat. There is no link between natural sugar and diabetes.

Avoid food additives

Diabetics should also avoid food additives. Regularly eating emulsifiers, thickeners, sugar substitutes, and other additives can not only upset your stomach, but also alter the composition of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut.

This can lead to gut dysbiosis, which is linked to the development of Type 2 diabetes, as well as reduced efficacy of diabetic medicationsAlthough the exact mechanisms by which this happens are still unknown, it is thought that gut dysbiosis increases intestinal permeability and inflammation, contributing to abnormalities in glucose metabolism and signaling events that contribute to insulin homeostasis.

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

acacia fiber, acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, ascorbic acid, aspartame, calcium carbonate, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dicalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, ‘natural’ flavors, rice bran extract, rice dextrin, rice hulls, rosemary extract, silica, silicon dioxide, sodium alginate, sodium bicarbonate, soluble corn fiber, soy lecithin, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, tocopherols, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, xylitol, zinc oxide

It is worth adding that artificial sweeteners are one of the most problematic food additives for diabetics. Not only have several studies have shown that artificial sweeteners may increase cravings toward sugary and sweet foods, but researchers have found a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and a higher risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor for pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates

Most protein powders are made from protein concentrates and isolates, which have been mechanically and or chemically stripped of everything but the protein, including the enzymes, fiber, and other natural digestive aids that help you break them down. As a result, they can cause digestive issues and possibly even disruptions to your gut microbiome

Moreover, while high-protein foods like these are low on the glycemic index, they can measure high on the insulin index. In fact, protein concentrates and isolates can cause hyperinsulinemia (abnormally high levels of insulin) because eating protein without fats, carbs, fiber, etc. has an insulinotropic effect (it promotes insulin secretion).

Finding a protein powder free from added sugar, food additives, and protein concentrates and isolates is hard. In fact, 99% of protein supplements contain one or more of these problematic ingredients. This is why we created drink wholesome. Keep reading to learn more about why we make the best protein powder for diabetics.

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Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

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Sale
Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

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Sale
Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

Shop

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for diabetics


We make the best protein powder for diabetes because we use a short list of simple ingredients free from added sugar, food additives, and protein concentrates and isolates.

Our ingredients

egg whites

egg whites

coconut

coconut

vanilla

vanilla

monk fruit

monk fruit

NOT our ingredients

  • acacia gum

  • acesulfame potassium

  • artificial flavors

  • carrageenan

  • erythritol

  • guar gum

  • inulin

  • maltodextrin

  • 'natural' flavors

  • silica

  • soy lecithin

  • sucralose

  • xanthan gum

  • xylitol

Note that instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we use whole food protein sources like collagen, egg whites, and almonds, which are easier to digest and absorb. Whole food protein sources also have unique digestive benefits: collagen can reduce bloating and improve digestive symptoms, egg whites can help restore your mucosal intestinal barrier, and almonds can improve the composition of your gut microbiome.

It follows that our customers experience fewer digestive issues with our diabetic protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement. Given the link between gut health and the development and management of diabetes, this is a huge advantage. 

How much protein do diabetics need? 


Two common misconceptions about dietary protein intake in diabetes management are 1) that a certain amount of dietary protein is converted into blood glucose (sugar) and 2) that consuming too much protein can lead to diabetic kidney disease. Both misconceptions have been disproven. On the contrary, eating enough protein helps with blood glucose management, improves satiety (fullness), and can support weight loss. Diabetics need protein just like everyone else, and may even benefit from a high protein diet.

Diabetics should eat at least 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. The actual amount you need may be considerably higher, however, depending on your age, sex, etc. Use our protein intake calculator to estimate your recommended daily protein intake.

Most of your protein should come from dietary protein sources like eggs, meat, and fish. Getting enough protein this way can be hard for some people, however, which is where protein powders can help. Adding a scoop of protein powder to your diet is a great way to ensure that you are meeting your protein goals, and even managing your blood glucose.

Why is protein important for diabetics?


Dietary protein intake is important for diabetics for several reasons. Here a a few of the most important ones:

Blood sugar management

When it comes to managing blood sugar levels, protein plays an important role. Unlike carbohydrates, protein has a minimal impact on blood sugar and can help stabilize glucose levels. Incorporating protein into your diet can thus aid in blood sugar control and contribute to overall health and well-being.

There are several mechanisms by which protein aids in blood sugar control. First, protein stimulates the release of insulin, the hormone responsible for transporting glucose into your cells. This helps you to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent sharp spikes or drops.

Second, protein slows down the absorption of carbohydrates in your digestive system. When protein is consumed together with carbohydrates, it can slow down the digestive process, leading to a more controlled release of glucose into the bloodstream. This can help prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels after meals, especially when consuming high-carbohydrate foods.

Third, protein consumption moderates glucose production in the liver, ensuring a steady release into the bloodstream, and reducing the risk of blood sugar fluctuations. Protein accomplishes this by stimulating the release of glucagon, a hormone that promotes the breakdown of glycogen (stored glucose) in the liver. In addition to preventing glucose spikes, moderating glucose production through protein consumption has numerous benefits for diabetics. By maintaining stable blood sugar levels, you can avoid the energy crashes and mood swings associated with sudden glucose fluctuations.

Improved insulin sensitivity and satiety

Protein consumption also plays an important role in improving insulin sensitivity. By incorporating protein into your diet, you can enhance your body’s responsiveness to insulin, which is crucial for regulating blood sugar levels effectively. Protein intake helps stimulate the release of glucagon, a hormone that counteracts the effects of insulin. This balance helps prevent excessive blood sugar spikes and contributes to better overall glycemic control.

Moreover, protein-rich meals promote satiety, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals with diabetes who struggle with cravings or overeating. A diet rich in protein can enhance the secretion and action of incretin hormones, such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which play a role in regulating blood sugar levels and satiety. In other words, by increasing your protein intake, you can reduce calorie consumption and support weight management. 

Muscle growth and repair

Without adequate protein intake, you cannot build and repair muscles. This matters in the context of diabetes for two reasons: 1) diabetics can experience muscle wasting due to insulin resistance and 2) people with more muscle have higher metabolisms and burn more caloriesIncorporating protein into your meals and snacks can thus help ensure that you are staying strong and managing your weight. 

Other health benefits

Protein plays a crucial role in supporting heart health, making it an essential component of a balanced diet for diabetics. For example, protein consumption can contribute to improved lipid profiles, including lower levels of LDL cholesterol (commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol) and higher levels of HDL cholesterol (known as “good” cholesterol). According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, increasing your dietary protein intake by just 5% can lead to a 6% reduction in the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

A diet rich in protein has also been associated with lower blood pressure levels. Protein plays a role in various physiological processes, including the synthesis of nitric oxide, a compound known for its vasodilatory effects. By promoting the relaxation of blood vessels, adequate protein consumption may support improved blood flow and help regulate your blood pressure.

How to add protein to your diet


Here is a list of high protein foods to consider incorporating into your diet:

  • Lean meats: Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef, and pork
  • Fish: Salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and low-fat milk
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds
  • Protein powder: Add a scoop of diabetic-friendly protein powder to your smoothies, oatmeal, and recipes

Keep in mind that individual protein needs vary depending on factors such as age, weight, activity level, and overall health. It is always best to consult with your healthcare professional or registered dietitian to determine the appropriate amount of protein for your specific needs.

Finally, do not forget that buying protein powder for diabetics means looking for a short list of simple ingredients, and prioritizing whole food protein sources. If you do these two things, you will avoid blood sugar spikes, and take care of your gut, which happens to play an important role in managing, and even preventing diabetes.

Reviews

Kelynn

1 week ago

Verified Purchase Hi! Your powder has been life-changing for me! I wear many hats as a military spouse, mom of a toddler, and yoga teacher. However, the hats I wear of being a human, living with endometriosis and IBS, are the ones these simple ingredients have most impacted! Thank you! Thank you for creating a product for stomachs that is sensitive, simple, AND still packs a punch protein wise!

For Egg White Protein Powder

Tom

2 weeks ago

Verified Purchase Your protein is seriously a game changer for me. I went from 135 to 170 in a few months due to the shakes I made with your protein powder. I've been drinking 1 each day for the last bit of time. Most protein kills my gut. You guys are seriously making a life support for me. Thank you for all that you do and create!

For Egg White Protein Powder

Mimi

3 weeks ago

Verified Purchase I've spent the past decade searching for the perfect protein powder, and I've finally found it!!!! Not only does it make me feel incredible, but it's also transformed my fitness recovery in ways I never thought possible. Thank you drinkwholesome for changing the game and helping me feel my best! <3

For Egg White Protein Powder

Frequently asked questions

Collagen vs egg white vs almond protein powder?

You may have noticed that we make three types of protein powder: collagen protein powderegg white protein powder, and vegan almond protein powder. As long as you are eating a balanced diet, any type of protein powder can help you boost your protein intake. Just pick the type that best suits your dietary needs and personal preferences.

Protein powder vs meal replacement powder?

You may have noticed that we make protein powders and meal replacement powders. The difference between protein powders and meal replacement powders is the nutrition content. Protein powders are high in protein and low in everything else, whereas meal replacement powders contain fats, carbs, and protein because they are intended to replace the nutritional value of a healthy meal.

Learn more

My name is Jack and I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. Read my story, check out my short list of simple ingredients, and browse reviews from other customers to learn more.

TEST

TEST

Protein Rice Krispies Treats

PREP TIME

15 min

COOK TIME

0 min

SERVES

2+

Ingredients
Instructions

In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove the pot from the heat, and incorporate the protein powder. Add the Rice Krispies, stirring until combined. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch greased pan. Let your Protein Rice Krispie Treats sit for 30 minutes before eating.

Disclaimer

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.

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