Diabetes is a chronic condition managed primarily through diet.
Diabetics who are most successful in the management of their condition adhere to a strict schedule of meals and snacks with equal amounts of carbohydrate in each. This consistency allows for greater control of blood sugar levels, which can help reduce the risk for diabetic complications. Weight loss will also improve diabetes management. Some individuals consider meal replacement shakes a convenient method for weight loss and blood sugar control.
Protein and Fiber
When choosing a meal replacement shake, it is important to first examine the nutrition facts label and the ingredient list. A shake that is high in protein can help promote satiety, or the feeling of fullness. It can also prevent blood sugar spikes by slowing the release of sugar into the blood, thus promoting a slow and steady rise in blood sugar. Fiber acts similarly to protein in this respect.
Portion Control and Calorie Control
Meal replacement shakes are portion controlled and therefore may be a very important tool for diabetics who aim to lose weight. Energy balance is also a key factor in weight loss. The average meal replacement shake provides around 200 calories of energy; it is not considered a low-calorie food item unless it is used as it should be, as a meal replacement. If the energy provided in one shake is not enough to sustain you, consume something solid, like fruits and vegetables, to promote satiety.
Glycemic control refers to the maintenance of blood sugar levels as close as possible to the normal range – which is less than 7mmol/l – with minimal fluctuation. However, in the case of hypoglycemia – abnormally low blood sugar – meal replacement shakes with an appropriate amount of carbohydrate are easily absorbed and can help normalize blood sugar levels.
Choosing a Shake
Different people will tolerate different levels of protein, calories, carbohydrates and fiber. What works for one person will not work for everyone else. It is therefore important to choose the shake that is best suited to your needs. The Manna Low GI Shakes are ideal for diabetics as a meal replacement, because this shake has a high fiber content with enough protein to help keep blood sugar levels balanced and to control cravings and appetite. If you want to lose weight, you can follow a low Glycemic Index diet, like the Manna Diet.