Let’s looks at the best protein powder for diabetes and what to look for on a label.
There’s no way to know every protein powder that exists, so we’ll cover what to look for in the best protein powder for diabetes. And, then I’ll show you some of my favorite protein powder brands for diabetes.
How much protein is safe for diabetes?
Generally speaking, people with diabetes do not need any more or any less protein than people who don’t have diabetes. Increased protein, however, may help improve blood sugar management, because it could reduce and balance carbohydrate intake.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that anywhere from 10-35% of calories come from protein (assuming your kidneys are healthy). Personally, my professional opinion leans closer to the 35% recommendation. (As in, people with diabetes and healthy kidneys should have about 30-35% of calories coming from protein). This would equal to around 120-180g protein per day depending on your own individual needs and characteristics. To determine your personal needs and what is best for you, consult a registered dietitian.
Is protein powder good for diabetes?
If someone with diabetes struggles to consume enough protein in their diet, then protein powder may be an alternative option to increase the amount of protein they eat or drink.
Is protein powder bad for diabetes?
One thing to note though is that protein powder should not be used as a reason to not consume protein from food. There are situations where protein powder can be a really useful tool, but be careful not to let it replace food intake too. Protein powder should not be used as a meal replacement and should not be the primary source of protein in your diet.
What is a good protein powder for diabetes?
Below, I’ll cover some of my favorite protein powder brands, but we’ll also discuss what characteristics the best protein powder for diabetes should have. There are a ton of protein powders on the market, and there’s no way to review all of them in one post.
How to find the best protein powder for diabetes
When looking for the best protein powder for diabetes, look for a protein powder that has the following:
- Minimal or no added sugar
- No artificial flavorings
- Minimal artificial sweeteners
- A taste and flavor you enjoy!
Best protein powder to gain weight with diabetes
Protein powders may be encouraged for people who need to gain weight in combination with increased calories from other sources.
Whey protein powder for diabetes
I get asked a lot, “Is whey protein bad for diabetes?” and there is no right or wrong answer. Some people report whey protein causing stomach upset. If this is the case, try a plant based protein powder that utilizes multiple protein sources to ensure all essential amino acids are present. However, if you have a whey protein powder that you enjoy and tolerate well, then there is no reason to switch.
Best protein powder for type 1 diabetes
The best protein powder for Type 1 Diabetes will follow the recommendations listed above. The best protein powder for Type 2 diabetes will as well.
Best sugar free protein powder for diabetes
While a sugar free protein powder may seem appealing and like it would be the best protein powder for diabetes, that might not be the case. It’s important to look at ingredients and see what sweeteners are used. Many protein powders marketed as sugar free might use large amounts of alternative sweeteners that could cause stomach upset, but some are totally fine. Again, read ingredient labels.
Best protein powders for diabetes
These are some of the best protein powders for diabetes and are easily available at your local grocery store, online from Amazon, or from grocery delivery services.
- Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein Powder, unflavored
- Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein & Greens
- Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein
- Vega Vanilla Protein & Greens
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen Protein
- Orgain Organic Protein Powder
- Now Sports Grass Fed Whey Protein
- Primal Kitchen Unflavored Collagen
Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein Powder is an unflavored, unsweetened protein powder available at most grocery stores or on Amazon.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein & Greens comes in unflavored, chocolate, and vanilla flavors. It offers multiple sources of plant based protein and greens.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein offers a complete plant based protein option with no added sugar. It comes in unflavored, vanilla, and chocolate. It’s essentially the same thing as the Garden Of Life Protein and Greens just without the greens.
Vega Vanilla Protein and Greens touts a tasty plant based protein available at most grocery stores, with no added sugar. It uses multiple source of plant protein, as well as stevia for sweetness.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are an unflavored collagen option that can be mixed into almost anything.
Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen Protein offers another great unflavored collagen option.
Orgain Organic Protein Powder offers a mix of plant-based protein sources in vanilla and chocolate. It is sweetened with stevia.
Now Sports Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder offers another unflavored high quality whey protein option.
Primal Kitchen Unflavored Collagen Peptides has no added sugar or sweetener and can be used in many different ways.
Adding protein powder to recipes
Most of the protein powders I listed above can be added to any type of recipe. These are some of my favorite recipes to add protein powder to:
- Sweet Potato Kefir Smoothie
- Blood Sugar Friendly Spirulina Smoothie
- Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
- Chia Seed Almond Milk Oatmeal
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
And make sure to check out my cookbook with lots of yummy protein-packed recipes: The Easy Diabetes Cookbook!