Nutritional Supplement Drinks for Diabetics

If you have Diabetes, chances are you've seen nutritional supplement drinks in advertisements or in the store. Some specifically target people with Type 2 Diabetes and some target older adults. If you've never tried a nutritional supplement drink before, here's the lowdown.

When is a nutritional supplement a good idea?

According to the American Diabetes Association, you likely do not need these supplements if you're in good health and maintain a healthy, varied diet. But there are times when including a nutritional supplement in your diet might be beneficial:

  • You're always on the go and you need an instant, nutritious meal while you're away from home
  • You don't cook
  • You have digestive problems
  • Your appetite has decreased or you tend to ignore meals
  • You're an older adult and you find it difficult to make meals for yourself or follow a balanced meal plan

For a number of reasons, seniors are often vulnerable to under nutrition. If you or a loved one experience any of the following, nutritional supplements might be a good choice:

  • Chewing and swallowing solid foods is difficult
  • Forgetting how to prepare nutritious meals or to eat at all
  • Physical inability or lack of desire to prepare meals
  • Frequently skipping meals
  • Changing nutritional needs due to aging

The benefits of including supplement drinks in a senior's diet include no preparation necessary, they are easily swallowed and tolerated by seniors, and they are specially formulated to help control blood glucose levels.

Over-the-counter options

Brand-name choices for diabetic nutritional supplements in liquid or powder form include Boost® Glucose Control, Glucerna® and GlucoBurst®. Most of these products don't claim to actually be a meal replacement, but a healthy snack that can give you energy and tide you over until meal time while keeping your blood glucose levels in check.

Of course, you should always check with your doctor before altering your nutrition or medical regimen. If you do incorporate a nutritional supplement into your daily diet, be sure to account for any increase in activity and adjust your insulin before drinking them as they have higher carbohydrate levels than sugar-free drinks.