You could imagine how overwhelming and stressful it will be when one is being diagnosed with any of the long-term ‘chronic’ diseases such as diabetes. But the good news now is that a diabetic patient can still live a healthy and normal life if the diabetes condition is been managed well.
There is certainly a lot to do to help with monitoring and managing diabetes. Of course, staying away from diabetes food myths, eating diabetes-friendly food and having an active lifestyle will make a big difference within you to control diabetes well.
With that optimism, in this article, we will be looking at the effect of Glucerna in controlling diabetes.
Let’s start rolling by understanding what Glucerna is.
What Is Glucerna?
Glucerna is a type of replacement shakes made by Abbott, especially for individuals with type 2 diabetes. It can also be used by individuals with type 1 diabetes and pre-diabetes.
These products are high in proteins and low in sugar and calories, with the content of artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium and sucralose, instead of regular sugar. This is to induce potential health threats by taking sugar.
Glucerna helps to control glucose (blood sugar) and weight when it is used as a diabetes meal plan. While this product delivers some assistance to diabetic patients, it can as well cause complications, if the guidance was not followed to the letter.
Tip: Enjoy drinking coffee? Here’s the Guide to Selecting Milk vs. Cream vs. Creamer for Diabetes to drink the coffee with.
Glucerna Nutrition Facts
Glucerna products are produced per the recommendations of the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association Specification.
A bottle (eight-ounce) of Glucerna Homemade Vanilla contains the following nutritional values;
- 16 grams of carbohydrates
- 180 calories
- 10 grams of protein
- 9 grams of total fat
- 4 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of mono saturated fat
- 4 grams of polyunsaturated fat
- 4 grams of added sugar
- 1 gram of saturated fat
- 100% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C
- 60% of the daily recommended value of vitamin D
- 50% of daily recommended of vitamin B12, B6, chromium, and folate
- 40% of the daily recommended value of vitamin E
- 20% of the daily recommended value of iron and calcium and other added minerals and vitamins.
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Glucerna and Diabetes
The goal of Glucerna is to keep blood sugar level with the targeted range.
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) poses several health risks such as blurry vision, kidney disease, and nerve damage. When it is not controlled, it may eventually lead to serious complications.
Overweight is a dangerous factor for persons with type 2 diabetes. Healthy food can as well assist in managing weight. Diabetic patients are been advised to reduce the intake of carbs because carbohydrates raise the level of blood glucose directly.
A fast-acting carbohydrate like a soda can spike the level of blood sugar. Glucerna contains carbohydrates with a very low capacity invigorate blood sugar.
Over time, taking a Glucerna product instead of fast-digesting carbohydrate snacks might lead to improvement or an increase in diabetes symptoms.
Glucerna reduces the intake of calories and as well as assist in weight control. Nutritional bars and shakes have low calories (although many brands have got some quantity of sugar which is never the right choice for persons with diabetes).
Glucerna has low sugars, and its products are lesser on the glycemic index which makes it quite different.
Some products of Glucerna also contain different amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium, phytosterols.
Tip: Here are the Best Vitamins for People with Diabetes.
Glucerna and Diabetic Diet
It is necessary to understand the nutrients that are needed as a type 2 diabetes patient. Carbohydrates can raise blood glucose, but it is important to consume slow-acting carbohydrates which are referred to sometimes as low-glycemic index food.
- Whole wheat
- Steel-cut oats
- Legumes and beans
- Whole fruits like; oranges, pears, apples, and grapefruit
- Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower.
Glucerna is produced to supply the body with slow-acting carbohydrates, much like low-glycemic index foods. Diabetic patients are advised to balance their diet with low-glycemic index food for ideal nutrition, occasionally using Glucerna.
Glucerna products contain protein that may be beneficial for patients with type 2 diabetes.
Most adults need 4b-6b grams of protein every day. Protein does not only raise blood glucose, but it also assuages hunger for a longer time, thereby helping diabetic patients not to take too much of carbs.
As a diabetic patient, if your daily diet does not contain enough protein, the content of high protein in Glucerna can help.
Nevertheless, a natural resource of protein is the best option; they include;
- lean red meat, and
Tip: You may not know about these Facts on Reactive Hypoglycemia Diet. The key is to stick with this Reactive Hypoglycemia Diet and Food List.
Here’s what in Glucerna product range.
1. Glucerna Shake
This product contains the below as primary content;
- 6gram – sugar
- 10 grams – protein, and
- 180 – calories.
Glucerna shake also has the following as secondary content.
- 500mg – potassium,
- 3grams – fiber,
- 5mg – cholesterol, without Trans fats.
It comes in the following flavors.
- butter pecan,
- strawberry, and
Glucerna shake can be used as a meal replacement. e.g. Breakfast.
This product delivers a 100% recommendation of the daily vitamin.
2. Glucerna Hunger Smart Shake
These hunger smart shakes are ideal for meal replacement.
This product contains
- 5 grams – fiber
- 15 grams – protein, with
- 180 – calories.
Hunger smart shakes with a balanced diet and regular exercise can assist in weight management.
The shake contains flavor such as;
- strawberry, and
Each serving contains the following as secondary content.
- 580mg – potassium,
- 8 grams – fat with no trans fats,
- 6 grams – sugar, and
- 16 grams – carbohydrates.
Glucerna hunger smart shake delivers 40% of daily vitamin D as well as 100% recommendation of daily vitamin C.
3. Glucerna Advance Shakes
Advance shake is a good choice for immune and heart improvement as well as diabetes control.
It has two flavors;
- Vanilla, and
Each serving contains the following
- 6 grams – sugar,
- 10 grams – protein, and
- 200 – calories.
Advance shakes have lower than 5mg cholesterol and up to 35% of the daily recommendation of molybdenum.
A study shows that molybdenum can reduce body inflammation as well as improve blood glucose levels in individuals with Type 2 diabetes.
It is a perfect choice for meal replacement.
4. Glucerna Mini Snacks Bars
This mini snacks bar comes with 21 minerals and vitamins with just 80 calories.
It also has 3 choices of flavors;
- oatmeal raisin,
- chocolate-peanut, and
- chocolate caramel.
Each serving has the content of 3 grams protein.
It also contains some needed minerals and vitamins such as molybdenum, selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E.
5. Glucerna Snack Shakes
This product is ideal for unhealthy snack replacement during the day. It can also serve as an added snack to fill the body with 26 minerals and vitamins.
It has both vanilla and chocolate flavors.
Glucerna snack shakes contain the following.
- 140 – calories,
- 5 grams – sugar, and
- 7 grams – protein.
It contains lower than 5mg cholesterol without Trans fats and it is a good source of chromium and vitamin C.
Studies also show that chromium can lower blood glucose levels and it could be a good choice for patients with Type 2 diabetes.
6. Glucerna Crispy Delight Bars
These crispy delight bars help in hunger management.
Each serve contains the below.
- 10 grams – protein,
- 4 grams – sugar, and
- 150 calories.
The bars are packed with the following flavors choices.
- chocolate chip and
Each serving has the content of 3 grams fiber as well as 100% recommendation of a daily vitamin E.
The vitamin E assists in reducing disorder of the nervous system and improves heart disease.
Glucerna Dangers and Considerations – The Caution!
A common with most artificial meals, the listed ingredients on the above products of Glucerna may not be like the actual food lists.
Generally, processed foods are less recommended, for example; among the listed ingredients in Glucerna products are fructose, unhealthy ingredients, especially for individuals with diabetes.
Also, all Glucerna products have content of sugar, alcohols and artificial sweeteners.
Though the consumption of artificial sweeteners is still controversial, studies show that they can raise cravings for sugar which can be dangerous to health, particularly to diabetic patients.
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Generally, the best food choices for diabetic patients are whole, unprocessed food. Glucerna snacks and shakes may not cause any serious side effects but may be dangerous when patients over depend on them for diabetes management.
Managing the intake of carbohydrates and eating enough protein is necessary, but there is also a need for regular exercise to maintain a ‘good’ blood sugar level.
Again, when Glucerna products are added to an already existing meal instead of taking as replacements, it may hinder every effort made to lose weight. Still, they can eventually enhance weight loss when they are combined with an exercise plan and a healthy diet.
Glucerna Pros and Cons
Glucerna provides several benefits for people who are either want to control the level of their blood glucose or those who are trying to lose weight. But, it also has a few disadvantages, especially for people without diabetes.
- Good protein source
8-ounce Glucerna contains 10 grams protein, which is approximately equal with the nutritional value of one and a half whole eggs.
An average daily recommended protein for a grown woman is 46 grams and 56 grams for a man.
- Low-glycemic food
These Glucerna shakes are known to be low-glycemic
index, which means that the contained carbohydrates are slow-acting and may not raise blood glucose.
- Fructose content
Generally, fructose is considered safe for diabetic patients, but when it is been taken more than enough, it may increase or promote the risk of diabetes in an individual who has no initial case for diabetes.
- Artificial sweetener content
According to a report from a research study, high intake of acesulfame potassium
and sucralose (all seen in Glucerna) can impair the response of glucose in an individual who has no diabetes.
Glucerna products can serve as a meal replacement and would also help Type 2 diabetic patients to manage the required changes in diet. But, they cannot, in the real sense, replace healthy foods.
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