If you’ve ever wandered down the protein powder aisle and felt overwhelmed, we’re here for you! Whey protein, pea protein, isolates; the choice is staggering. So, which protein powder is best for people with type 2 diabetes, and why do we need them at all?
Importance of protein
Protein plays a crucial role in overall well-being. It’s a key macronutrient essential for various bodily functions:
- Proteins help build and repair tissues, support the immune system, and produce enzymes and hormones.
- Having enough protein is vital for muscle development, strength, and recovery.
- Proteins also regulate metabolism, making you feel full and helping with weight management.
Importantly, protein also tends to help stabilise blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of carbs in the bloodstream.
The Defeat Diabetes Low Carb Program recommends aiming for 30 grams per meal from natural, wholefood protein sources, such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs. However, getting enough protein on your plate can sometimes be challenging or you may need more than this, which is where protein powders become your secret weapon!
Benefits of protein powder
Protein powders can give you all the benefits of wholefood protein, provided you choose your protein powder wisely. Look for a powder with minimal carbs and sugar, preferably without additives.
Protein shakes are quick and easy to prepare, incredibly versatile, and a firm fave in the Defeat Diabetes office when we need a fast-fix brekkie or afternoon boost.
So, whether you’re pumping iron or just wrangling everyday life, protein powders are about to become your new best mates.
Types of protein powders
There are multiple types of protein powder.
- Whey protein is one of the most popular choices derived from milk during cheese-making. It contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. The body quickly absorbs whey, making it ideal for post-workout recovery.
- Like whey, casein is also derived from milk but is absorbed more slowly. This slow digestion makes it a suitable option for providing a steady release of amino acids over an extended period, making it a good choice for nighttime consumption.
- Plant-based proteins from peas, hemp, rice, and soy are ideal for vegetarians and vegans. These proteins often have a well-rounded amino acid profile but may lack certain essential amino acids. Blending different plant protein sources can help address this issue.
Egg White Protein:
- Extracted from the whites of eggs, this protein powder is rich in amino acids and highly digestible. It is a suitable option for those with dairy or soy allergies.
- Derived from animal connective tissues, collagen protein promotes joint health, skin elasticity, hair, nail and bone strength. It differs from protein, though, as it lacks certain essential amino acids, so while it has incredible benefits, it’s a different product from protein. Our favourite collagen protein is 100% Australian-sourced collagen from our friends at Chief.
A note on isolates:
- Protein isolates undergo further processing to remove most fats and carbohydrates, leaving you with a higher concentration of pure protein. Isolates are available in whey proteins and plant-based proteins.
Our top 5 low carb protein powders
- All aboard the protein express train! This protein powder has a whopping 36.5g of protein per serving and a scant 0.5 grams of carbs and 0.2 grams of sugar. It’s like a protein-packed hug for your muscles.
- What’s the go? It’s whey-isolate goodness with 35 grams of protein per hit and only 1 gram of carbs and sugar. Kiss those artificial additives goodbye and say hello to a natural protein option.
- Why we love it: Packed with 30 grams of protein per serve and only 1 gram of carbs, Bulk Nutrients Whey Protein Isolate is low on carbs, making it a top pick for those watching their sugar intake.
- With 33 grams of protein and just 1.2 grams of carbs, it’s not just about gains—it’s about supporting your health goals. Bonus: it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, making it a total knockout in the protein ring.
- Vegos, we’ve got your back! Combining pea protein, brown rice protein, and golden pea protein, this vegan blend brings 22 grams of protein to the party with minimal carbs (2 grams) and sugar (less than 1 gram). It’s a protein-packed plant party in your shaker.
Final Sip: What’s the verdict?
Choosing a protein powder doesn’t have to be a headache. Whether you’re chasing gains, supporting your health goals, or managing type 2 diabetes, these low carb protein powders are here to make your life easier without the sugar overload.
To cap it off, we’ve shared a few power-packed recipes from the Defeat Diabetes Low Carb Program to hit your protein goals: