Healthy drinks for diabetics come in powder and liquid form and can act as a nutritional supplement for diabetics having digestive problems or looking to lose weight. Be sure to read the labels as some specifically target Type II diabetics. Don’t forget to account for any increased activity level and make any insulin adjustments before drinking them as they have higher carbohydrate levels than sugar-free drinks.
There are three major brand-name options, Boost, Glucerna and GlucoBurst. They come in a variety of flavours, though each offers the standard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Each has certain advantages in meeting different lifestyles and goals.
Boost Glucose Control Diabetic Drink is good for the diabetic needing to lose weight. It has fewer carbohydrates and total fat than its competitors and is richer in vitamin E, important for diabetics combating heart disease.
Glucerna may work best for the active diabetic in need of extra carbohydrates. It is nearly twice as rich as the Boost line. It is also the only brand-name product to contain chromium picolinate, thought to help Type II diabetics control blood-sugar levels.
GlucoBurst Diabetic Drinks contain carbohydrate levels midway between its two chief rivals, but has added beta carotene for diabetics with vision problems.
Herbalife’s Formula 1 Nutritional Shake offers the most unusual flavours, including pina colada, cafe latte and wild berry, but it’s real advantage is that it remains thick even when made with skimmed milk. There are 25 grams of carbohydrates in an eight-ounce glass, slightly fewer than Glucerna, so the Formula 1 Nutritional Shake is, therefore, also good for active diabetics.
Homemade shakes are good alternatives to store-bought varieties. Although not fortified with vitamins and minerals, they still provide important nutrients, especially when taken with a multivitamin. Mix one package of sugar-free pudding in a blender with one cup of skim or 1-percent milk and a half-cup of crushed ice. This is a good choice for diabetics looking to lose a few pounds as one glass contains fewer carbohydrates than any of the brand-name options.
Women at risk for gestational diabetes might consider making a shake with a low-fat yoghurt high in vitamin B12, which has been linked to diabetes during pregnancy. Take one banana, one cup of skimmed milk, one cup of vanilla yoghurt and a quarter-cup of unsweetened pineapple juice, and toss in a blender. You may need to sweeten it with just a bit of honey.
Another alternative to commercial brands is the homemade smoothie, made by mixing one cup of frozen berries, one cup of skimmed milk and two tablespoons of sugar-free instant pudding mix. Diabetics with certain intestinal problems may need to avoid this drink since berries are high in fibre.
Avoid juice-based nutritional drinks and sports drinks, unless suffering from low blood sugar. They are often high in sugars and carbohydrates. If you are active, try sprinkling salt into lemonade or iced tea to replace lost electrolytes.
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