Are Collagen Supplements Diabetic Friendly?

January 15, 2021

Are Collagen Supplements Diabetic Friendly?

In this article:

  • Benefits of protein supplements for diabetics
  • Types of protein supplement sources. What is safest and most effective?
  • Best protein powder options for diabetics and how to take them

How Diabetics Can Benefit from Protein Supplements

Protein supplements are widely used. Athletes take them to build muscle mass, arthritis sufferers take them to soothe their joints, and others take them to grow their hair and nails. There are many people who benefit from protein supplements, especially diabetics. Our bodies need protein to create hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.

There are three main sources of energy: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Compared to carbs, protein takes longer to digest and is less efficiently broken down into glucose, causing fewer blood sugar spikes. This is a key factor for those managing type 2 diabetes.

Protein supplements may also help to support maintenance and weight loss by suppressing your appetite and helping you to feel fuller longer.

Types of Protein Supplement Sources

All of the below sources are considered “diabetic friendly” if you opt for a brand with clean ingredients and free of added sugars and flavorings. Each source is low in fat and carbohydrates, which can help you to reach a balanced diet and boost daily protein intake without additional risk in sugar and fat intake.

Whey: Whey protein is a very popular protein source. Whey was found to help decrease insulin resistance in those with healthy body weights but for those with obesity, it increased blood glucose levels. Typically, you'll find whey protein powder on its own or in flavored protein shakes and meal replacements. Whey can only be found in food such as milk and dairy products, alongside another type of protein called casein. Whey is much more bioavailable (absorbable) than casein due to having more branched-chain amino acids (BCAAS). Lactose intolerant individuals may have adverse reactions to whey. However, if you do choose to go the route of whey, be sure to pick a whey protein isolate supplement to get the most bang for your buck.

Collagen: Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. The human body creates its own collagen from inessential and essential amino acids including glycine and proline. It's a bit trickier to find collagen in the foods we eat, but it's easy to get your hands on collagen boosting foods, like foods high in vitamin C. When collagen levels are low, it can result in a host of issues from wrinkled skin to a slowed metabolism and severe joint pain. In one study conducted on people with type 2 diabetes, collagen was found to reduce levels of fasting blood sugar levels, fasting blood insulin, total triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and free-fatty acids, but increased levels of insulin sensitivity index and HDL were observed. Additionally, the Alberta Diabetes Institute found low levels of glycine among people with type 2 diabetes, suggesting that glycine (the amino acid in collagen) is essential to insulin regulation and the prevention of diabetes.

Plant-based: Plant-based powders are sourced from a variety of things such as soy protein, peas, nuts, hemp, or brown rice protein. This is a naturally lactose-free form of protein.

The Best Protein Powder for Diabetics

When it comes to choosing a protein supplement for both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, your doctor or healthcare professional will know what's best. According to the American Diabetes Association, a high protein diet can have dangerous side effects for people with both diabetes and kidney disease, so for medical advice, you'll want to take an individualized approach with your doctor.

Here are a couple things to consider when adding protein, or specifically protein shakes, into your diet.

  • The American Diabetes Association advises that people with diabetes should space their protein out during the day. For instance, if your daily recommended intake is 50g, you should spread that out into three meals rather than one. You can get information on what your daily protein intake should be here.
  • When it comes to using protein to support weight loss for people with type 2 diabetes, it is only effective when used to replace carbs and fats. Adding protein supplements to a high-carb, high-fat diet will not lead to weight loss. Continue to eat protein alongside lots of fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in protein.
  • To test how your protein powder is affecting your blood sugar, take tests before and 30 to 45 minutes after consumption. Be sure to first mix your protein with water only to provide an accurate measure.
  • You should also test the health of your kidneys every 3 months or so to assess the protein’s impact. Helpful tests include ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (glomerular filtration rate) - but your doctor will be able to suggest the most effective and necessary tests for you.

If you've gotten the go-ahead by a health professional to increase your protein intake, the best rule of thumb when shopping for a low carb protein supplement is "the simpler the better". Many protein shakes and meal replacement bars are filled with added sugars, harmful artificial sweeteners like stevia, artificial color, preservatives, and refined oils. Always read the supplement facts panel and ask questions if you need to. Since collagen is the most prevalent protein in our bodies, and because collagen deteriorates more rapidly in diabetics, collagen supplements are a promising option. Additionally, both gelatin and collagen have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels more effectively than other proteins.

Amandean's premium Marine Collagen Powder is flavorless, odorless, and free of GMOs, artificial ingredients, and sweeteners, making it an easy addition to your favorite diabetic-friendly recipes. It has no carbs and only about 35 calories per scoop to avoid blood glucose spikes, while still providing you with protein nutrition. Gelatin, a partially cooked version of collagen that will gel in cold liquids, can also be a great choice for diabetics who like to get creative in the kitchen. It's another pure collagen protein supplement to help you manage diabetes and insulin production without making significant changes to your diabetic-friendly diet.

When compared to whey protein, collagen sourced from fish is more flexible for dietary preferences such as pescatarians and restrictions such as lactose intolerance.

As always, the best advice we can give you is that your doctor always knows best! There is no single foolproof diet or magic supplement that will make managing diabetes a breeze, but you may be able to use lean, pure protein supplements alongside exercise to help you get there. If you have more questions about Amandean's protein powders, ask away!

Summary Points

  • Whey protein can only be found in food such as milk and dairy products, alongside another type of protein called casein
  • When collagen levels are low, it can result in a host of issues from wrinkled skin to a slower metabolism and severe joint pain
  • People with diabetes should space their protein out during the day; for instance, if your daily recommended intake is 50g, you should spread that out into three meals rather than one
  • To test how your protein powder is affecting your blood sugar, take tests before and 30 to 45 minutes after consumption
  • Collagen is a protein that contains has no carbs and only about 35 calories per scoop to avoid blood glucose spikes, while still providing you with protein nutrition
  • When compared to whey protein, collagen sourced from fish is more flexible for dietary preferences such as pescatarians and restrictions such as lactose intolerance

Article References:

  1. https://www.furtherfood.com/collagen-protein-stabilize-blood-sugar-diabetes-restore-collagen-production-diabetics/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313553#types
  3. https://bonymuscle.com/best-protein-powders-for-diabetics
  4. https://act1diabetes.org/best-protein-powders-diabetics/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/tresiba
  6. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/nutrition/protein-and-diabetes.html
  7. https://www.thediabetescouncil.com/extraordinary-reasons-why-whey-protein-is-good-for-diabetes/
  8. https://diabetesstrong.com/why-collagen-protein-is-a-great-fit-for-people-living-with-diabetes/#:~:text=Collagen%20protein%20works%20incredibly%20well,improves%20digestion%20and%20joint%20health!




Also in Amandean Wellness Center

For Those Who Care: The Impact of Plastic Neutrality
For Those Who Care: The Impact of Plastic Neutrality

July 21, 2021

We are literally drowning in plastic - especially those in vulnerable communities. It's easy to assume your contribution to plastic waste is minimal; you bring your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store, say no to plastic cutlery with your takeaway food, and choose glass jars of almond butter over plastic ones. Undoubtedly, these small changes add up for the good! But if you take an audit of the products you use every day, you'd probably be astonished to see all the single-use plastic that's hidden in plain sight. But what if we went “plastic-neutral''? What if both brands and individuals made a vow to offset the amount of plastic they produce or use, and help to divert it from our waterways and landfills? And is plastic neutrality just for the large corporations or can we make an impact as individuals by offsetting our own plastic consumption?

Continue Reading

Biotin for Postpartum Hair Growth: Goodbye Baby Bangs!
Biotin for Postpartum Hair Growth: Goodbye Baby Bangs!

July 20, 2021

Postpartum hair loss is more common than you'd think! It differs for each new mother, but hair growth in the months following the baby can be characterized by unruly, thin, frazzled hair AND the dreaded "baby bangs"! If you're a new mom wanting to grow the same luscious locks you had pre-pregnancy or are hoping to avoid postpartum hair loss altogether, here's everything you need to know about biotin and our favorite hair-growth supplements.

Continue Reading

Diabetic-Friendly Supplements to Help Manage Blood Sugar
Diabetic-Friendly Supplements to Help Manage Blood Sugar

July 20, 2021

Many diabetic people are looking for a natural and gentle alternative to help manage their blood sugar levels and other common symptoms of diabetes. In fact, 30–70% of adults with diabetes in the United States use alternative medicine, with one-third using it specifically to improve diabetes-related symptoms. However, there is still debate as to which supplements are truly a safe and effective method of blood sugar control, and which are best left on the shelf. Here are five dietary supplements that may be worth adding to your diabetes management plan (and three you should avoid).

Continue Reading