Best Protein Powders for Diabetics: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Posted in  Supplements  on  August 5, 2021 by  Welcyon Team

21

Products Considered

136

Hours of Research

7

Experts Interviewed

16

Customers Consulted

Getting adequate amounts of protein is already an uphill battle for most people, and I, for one, a diabetic find it extremely hard to choose food items without researching how they affect my blood sugar levels.

At first glance, fulfilling my protein goals on a daily basis seemed like an impossible task. Thankfully, I stumbled across the saving grace that is a protein powder for people with diabetes.

To my surprise, there were tons of products that we with diabetes could consume. After multiple hours of research, I narrowed my choices to the five best protein powders for diabetics. Let us take a look at them.

Editor's Choice

PROTEIN SERIES 100% Grass - Fed Whey Protein Isolate 

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein

When it comes to whey protein, this product outperforms every other in terms of diabetic compatibility. It is high in protein and includes all essential amino acids.

Key features:

• High protein content

• Low in carbs and fats

• It comes in multiple flavor options


#2nd Best Choice

Authentic Whey by Jacked Factory

Authentic Whey by Jacked Factory

Authentic Whey is the result of a proprietary filtration process that yields native whey proteins that are highly purified, low in fat, and contain minimal lactose. The end product contains high levels of natural immunoglobulins, vitamins, and minerals.

• High protein content per serving

• Quickly absorbed and easy to digest

• Low sugar and fat content


#3rd Best Choice

Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Made using organic pea protein, this vegan supplement is ideal for all diabetics. It contains no sugar while also being low on fat and carbs.

Key features:

• Organic source of protein

• Low in carbs and fats

• Good flavor


The Best Protein Powders for Diabetics


1. PROTEIN SERIES 100% Grass - Fed Whey Protein Isolate 

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein

Specifications:

Protein per serving - 28 g

Calories - 120

Carbs - 1 g

Fat - 0.5 g

Flavor - Milk Chocolate, Mocha, Cereal Splash, French Vanilla, etc.

Protein Source - Whey

Type - Isolate


One study showed that whey protein could help with type 2 diabetes. [1]

It also outperforms most of its competitors, especially in bioavailability and essential amino acids, and the PROTEIN SERIES 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is no different.

As its name suggests, it is an animal-based protein powder made using the milk of grass-fed cows.

It is gluten-free, non-GMO, and contains no artificial sweeteners. However, being an animal-based product, vegans can't consume it.

Speaking of flavor, if you are a fan of trying out new flavors, this product comes in multiple choices, including Milk Chocolate, Mocha, Cereal Splash, etc.

Pros:

Very high in protein
The essential amino acid profile is second to none
Gluten-free, non-GMO, and contains no artificial sweeteners
Ideal for weight loss
It comes in multiple flavor options


Cons:

Unusable if you are a vegan



2. Authentic Whey by Jacked Factory

Authentic Whey by Jacked Factory

Specifications:

Protein per serving - 24g

Calories - 120

Carbs - 3g

Fat - 1g

Flavor - Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Chocolate Caramel, Orange Ice Cream, Fruity Cereal Splash

Protein source - Whey protein

Type - Concentrate


Authentic Whey is carefully manufactured using a proprietary filtration process that retains the highest concentration of beneficial proteins while removing unwanted fats and lactose.

With only 3 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat per serving, Authentic Whey is an excellent source of protein for anyone looking to increase lean muscle mass or support healthy blood sugar levels.

It is the highest-quality protein available, providing a rich source of all the essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids.

Pros:

High protein content per serving
Quickly absorbed and easy to digest
Low sugar and fat content
cGMP-facility certified


Cons:

Must shake well before drinking to avoid a grainy texture


3. Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Specifications:

Protein per serving - 20 g

Calories - 85

Carbs - 1 g

Fat - 0 g

Flavor - Vanilla

Protein Source - Pea protein

Type - Isolate


It is an organic plant-based protein powder made using pea protein.

The Future Kind+ protein powder is an organic plant-based protein powder made using organic pea protein. Being an isolated product, it is known to provide most of its calories from protein only. As for micronutrients, it is rich in iron, calcium, Vitamin D and Potassium.

Despite being a flavored product, this sugar-free protein powder gets all of its sweetness from stevia, which researchers have confirmed as diabetes-friendly. Overall, a great choice if you are looking to lose weight.

Pros:

Uses organic pea protein
Contains zero sugar
Extremely low in carbs while fats are non-existent
Ideal for weight loss
It comes with multiple micronutrients


Cons:

Slightly expensive


4. Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

Specifications:

Protein per serving - 21 g

Calories - 150

Carbs - 15 g

Fat - 4 g

Flavor - Vanilla Bean

Protein Source - Brown rice, pea, chia seed

Type - Concentrate


Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is made with multiple organic protein sources, including brown rice, pea, and chia seeds. As a result, it is loaded with nutrients, albeit at the expense of comparatively high carbs and fats.

I know what you are wondering. High carbs mean a surge in blood glucose levels. So, is this product incompatible with those looking for a protein powder for diabetics?

Not really.

High carbs do indeed affect your blood sugar levels. However, the amount of carbohydrates consumed has to be abnormally high, and even in those cases, the change is temporary. [2]

With this protein, you only consume 15 g of carbohydrates in a single serving. Therefore, you are good to go as long as you don't combine it with foods loaded with carbs.

Pros:

Provides all essential amino acids
Ideal for lactose-intolerant people
Organic protein sources
It contains no added sugar
Ideal for both pre-workout and post-workout


Cons:

Not low fat while carb content is also high


5. Dr. Berg's Meal Replacement Shake

Dr. Berg's Meal Replacement Shake

Specifications:

Protein per serving - 11 g

Calories - 100

Carbs - 9 g

Fat - 2 g

Flavor - Chocolate Brownie

Protein Source - Pea protein

Type - Concentrate


Most diabetics are under the impression that using a protein powder with carbohydrates will raise their blood sugar levels.

However, that is certainly not the case.

The number of carbs most of these protein powders come with hardly cause any fluctuations, especially if you go for a product such as Dr. Berg's Meal Replacement Shake.

Made using organic pea, this protein powder provides plant protein of high quality. Since its protein and carb content is split almost equally, it can even act as a meal replacement depending on one's appetite.

It has very low sugar (less than 1 g), making it one of the best protein powders for diabetics.

Pros:

Uses organic pea protein
It contains very low sugar
It can act as a meal replacement
Ideal for weight loss


Cons:

It contains only 11 g of protein per serving


6. NOW Sports Nutrition Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder

NOW Sports Nutrition Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder

Specifications:

Protein per serving - 4 g

Calories - 15

Carbs - 0 g

Fat - 0 g

Flavor - Unflavored

Protein Source - Brown rice

Type - Isolate


Made out of sprouted brown rice, the NOW Sports Nutrition Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder contains plant-based protein that is lactose-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

It is a great option for people with diabetes and those looking to lose weight, as 80% of its nutrition comes from protein.

Being an unflavored product, the product is best consumed as a protein shake with zero sugar ingredients such as stevia or peanut butter.

Since it has a small serving size of 5 g, you can expect this protein powder to last quite a while.

Pros:

80% of the serving comes from protein
Ideal for weight loss
It contains no added sugar
Lasts long


Cons:

It contains only 4 g of protein per serving


Buying Guide - How To Choose The Best Protein Powder For Diabetics?

In most cases, buying a protein powder is fairly simple. However, when looking for the best protein powders for diabetics, the going gets very tough.

Here are some things you need to keep in mind before making a purchase.

Avoid products with high sugar

Protein figures matter the most in the case of protein powders but with diabetics, ensuring that your supplement is sugar-free matters even more.

People with diabetes have the unfortunate mechanism of insulin resistance. Therefore, consuming foods with sugar goes directly causes insulin levels to rise. [3]

While it is okay to consume some amount of sugar every day, diabetic patients must always opt for food items with zero sugar.

Thankfully, nutritional science has come a long way, and there are several usable protein powders today.

Ingredients used

Protein powders come in several categories. Some use plant-based ingredients, while there are animal-based options such as whey.

If you are vegan, going with a vegan protein source might be costlier, but most of them are sugar-free, which helps a lot as a person with diabetes.

For non-vegan diabetics, going with a whey protein powder makes the most sense. Research has backed that whey protein powders cause insulin secretion allowing users to maintain their blood sugar levels easily.

Type of Protein Powder

Protein powders are generally categorized into two types -- concentrate and isolate. [4]

Concentrated protein powders are comparatively high in carb and fat content. As a person with diabetes, you should ensure that your concentrated protein contains 5-15 g of carbohydrate content at most.

Doing so will prevent insulin levels from spiking as long as you don't combine your protein powder with carb-loaded food items.

Isolated protein powders contain more protein as most of the carbs and fats are extracted during their manufacturing. They are comparatively costlier and a great choice if your goal is just to get protein from your supplement.


Benefits of Using a Protein Powder for Diabetics

Using a protein powder for diabetics is quite sensible due to their dietary restrictions. But what exactly are the benefits of using one? As long as the food items are compatible, getting enough protein in your body can never go wrong.

Here are a few ways a protein powder can help people with diabetes.

Maintains blood sugar levels

Maintaining blood sugar levels is no easy task, and neither is getting adequate amounts of protein daily. [5]

Protein powders provide the best of both worlds as a person with diabetes as you get lean protein without causing any hindrance to your blood sugar levels. Just make sure that your product contains zero sugar.

Helps in muscle hypertrophy and prevents atrophy

There is no doubt that protein is the most important macronutrient for gaining and maintaining muscle mass. [6]

Research shows that you should consume at least 50-80 grams of protein per day to maintain muscle and more for consistent hypertrophy.

While these numbers may seem low, they certainly aren't easy to fulfill as a person with diabetes. Hence, using a protein powder for diabetics is always recommended.

Quick absorption

Protein has a slowly digesting nature in general. Eating high protein foods keeps you satiated for a while. [7]

But if you are looking for a fast-absorbing source, a protein powder might just be the right choice for you.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a protein powder good for diabetics?

Yes. Protein powders provide several benefits to diabetes patients, including blood sugar level maintenance, quick absorption, muscle hypertrophy, etc.

Are protein powders good for weight loss?

Yes. Protein powders are very low in calories while also being useful for muscle hypertrophy. Therefore, they are one of the best products to lose weight.

Is consuming high protein bad for diabetics?

A. As long as you get your protein from a lean source with zero sugar, consuming high amounts of protein is highly beneficial for diabetics.

What can I add to my protein shake as a diabetic?

Though your options are limited, you can add anything that does not contain any artificial flavor. Some great options include fruits, peanut butter, stevia, etc.

Addressing Controversies

Protein powders as a whole are a controversial topic among many. In the case of patients with diabetes, many are scared of gaining weight and/or spiking up the levels of their blood sugar.

If you also hold the same thinking, you can stop worrying. A protein powder for diabetes is a great choice as they are a lean source of protein that helps in insulin secretion.

As a result, your blood glucose levels are always kept in a safe zone.

Conclusion

While I was looking for a protein powder for diabetics, I found great comfort in knowing that they are compatible and come with several benefits for my condition. But which one did I find best?

It would certainly have to be the Organic Vegan Protein Powder. Made out of organic pea protein, this protein powder contains very low carbohydrates while fats are non-existent. It also contains no sugar and is a great choice to lose weight.

I'd also like to include PROTEIN SERIES 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate as my runner-up.

Whey has been backed by research as beneficial for diabetics, and this particular powder provides a great amount of protein per serving.

It also contains no sugar though it is worth noting that vegans can't consume it.


References:

1. Linda E. Mignone, Tongzhi Wu, Michael Horowitz, Christopher K. Rayner, Whey protein: The “whey” forward for treatment of type 2 diabetes?, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4620107/
2. Kim Rose RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD, Jenna Fletcher, Everything to know about carbs and diabetes, retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/carbs-and-diabetes
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Insulin Resistance and Diabetes, retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/insulin-resistance.htm
4. Grant Tinsley, PhD, Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate: What's The Difference?, retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whey-protein-isolate-vs-concentrate
5. Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Megan Ware, RDN, L.D., Are protein shakes okay for people with diabetes?, retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313553
6. Louise Deldicque, Protein Intake and Exercise-Induced Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy: An Update, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400877/
7. An Introduction to Nutrition, 5.4: Protein Digestion, Absorption and Metabolism, retrieved from https://med.libretexts.org/Courses/American_Public_University/APUS%3A_An_Introduction_to_Nutrition_(Byerley)/Text/05%3A_Proteins/5.04%3A_Protein_Digestion%2C_Absorption_and_Metabolism

About the Author

Welcyon Team

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}