Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

I have worked with quite a few people with diabetes (most of them have type 2), and through consistent work with a dietitian and my exercise programs, we’ve always been able to gain control of body weight.

But a lot of diabetics get to a stage where they also want to improve their fitness and build up some muscle mass. This is entirely possible without messing with blood glucose and insulin levels.

But before you just jump in and buy the first whey protein powder, I have done some careful research and analysis with my dietitian to come up with a list of the best protein powder for diabetics.

Top Protein Powders for Diabetics (2020)

1 - Transparent Labs Whey Protein (Editor's Choice)

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Here at Total Shape, we have become big fans of Transparent Labs’ protein powders and other nutrition supplements.

One of the biggest benefits of this whey protein powder is the total absence of anything other than actual healthy protein. The entire team, with our clients' feedback and in depth research, consider this as the best protein powder for diabetics because of this.

This particular product also contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates in each serving, meaning that it won’t cause havoc with your glucose and you won’t have to adapt your diabetic meal plans.

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Fat: 0g
Pros
  • 28 g of whey protein from grass-fed cows
  • No additives or fillers to worry about
  • Significant savings available on bulk orders
  • Available in tasty flavor options
Cons

With no sugar or artificial sweetening agents, a lot of online reviews highlight that the flavors are natural and tasty. The only downside is that you can’t get it as an unflavored option to mix it in with meals or snacks, but it's still one of the best protein powders for diabetics in my opinion.

2 - Plant Protein by Ladder

Ladder

Another protein powder I highly recommend is the Plant Protein by Ladder. If you're not into whey protein, Ladder offers a good alternative.

This protein powder provides a higher dose of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids, which is more than enough to fully repair your body after an intense workout.

This includes improving muscle mass, fat loss, and sports performance.

Check out our full Ladder protein powder review.

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 6g
  • Fat: 1g
Pros
  • 100% plant based protein powder
  • NSF Certified
  • Contains a higher dose of EAAs and BAAs
  • Contains probiotics
Cons
  • May contain more sugar than other protein powders

What I love about this protein powder is that it’s completely plant based making it easy to digest. With the improved absorption, you can ensure that your body gets the most out of drinking this.

You can choose from two different flavors. But regardless of which, you’ll definitely find your muscles recovered the next day.

3 - Orgain Organic Protein Powder

Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder Product

This is one of the more popular brands of organic plant based protein powders, with it being based on rice, pea, and chia seeds.

The protein powder blend is important as it provides the full range of amino acids needed for muscle growth and recovery.

It’s a low-carb protein shake with no added sugars that could lead to blood glucose spikes.

I saw quite a few comments from people with type 1 and 2 diabetes who found this did support their diet and exercise efforts.

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 21g
  • Carbs: 15g
  • Fat: 4g
Pros
  • Based on pea, rice and chia seed protein
  • No added sugar to cause glucose spikes
  • Contains fiber for digestive health
  • Low fat and carbs per serving, making it easy to support a diabetes diet
Cons
  • Currently only available as vanilla flavor

The only real downside is that you can only get it in vanilla flavor right now. If its a flavor that you like, then this is a solid choice to make.

4 - Transparent Labs Organic Vegan

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For many people, whey protein powder is not going to be an option due to lactose intolerance.

Vegans will also want to avoid all dairy sources, but Transparent Labs has created a great plant based protein powder option based on rice and pea protein.

Not only is it free from any milk or other animal ingredients, but it’s also GMO and gluten-free.

I’m a fan of the flavors as they are subtle and not fake tasting and a lot of users have commented that it’s easy to mix.

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbs: 7g
  • Fat: 2.5g
Pros
  • 24 g of pea and rice protein for a broad range of amino acids
  • Gluten and GMO-free
  • No added sugar, sweeteners or colors
  • Chocolate and vanilla flavors mix easily
Cons
  • The chocolate version has 7 g of carbs

One thing to keep in mind though is that compared to the above option, this protein powder does have up to 7 grams of carbs, including 4 grams of fiber. It’s not a huge amount, but just something to be aware of.

5 - Slim Fast Protein Shake

Slim Fast Protein Shake

My dietitian suggested a few years ago that I recommend Slim Fast products because they are generally low in sugar and carbs.

This one is available in two different flavors (chocolate and vanilla), which mix easily into meal replacement shakes.

This also makes it a great choice for weight loss efforts by helping you skip a meal or snack during the day.

  • Calories: 190
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbs: 24g
  • Fat: 6g
Pros
  • Less than 1g of sugar when mixed with water, not milk
  • Many positive reviews about working as a light meal replacement
  • Good source of vitamins and minerals
  • Low-fat content supports most diets
Cons
  • Contains soy and whey protein which may not be suitable for certain allergies

One thing to keep in mind is that it contains whey and soy protein, which does make it less suitable for many people with food allergies.

6 - Garden Of Life Protein Powder

Garden Of Life Protein Powder

This company has focused on creating a natural blend of protein and digestive support ingredients.

At the same time, they have managed to avoid adding unnecessary carbs and fat, which is so common these days.

The amino acid profile of this protein powder covers the full range of all essentials by blending a wide variety of plant products.

  • Calories: 170
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Fat: 2g
Pros
  • 0g sugar can help to avoid glucose spikes
  • Protein blend sourced from a wide range of plant products for best amino acid profile
  • Rich in vitamins for overall immune health
  • Includes probiotics and enzymes for digestive health
Cons
  • Some people have commented that it’s not the easiest protein powder to mix

I did find the flavors were good, and the unflavored option is great for mixing with smoothies. But there are several comments online that it’s not the easiest to mix in a shaker.

Ingredients That Diabetics Should Avoid

Whether it’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes that you have to deal with, it’s mainly sugar and carbs in general that you have to be very careful with. At the same time, it’s not enough just to look for “No Added Sugar” labels or avoid anything high in carbs.

A lot of sugar-free protein powders can still have a load of carbs listed in the content. And some supplements have added fiber, which increases the carb content but isn’t actually absorbed by your body (1).

So, basically, you need to check for the label of the protein supplement. Ideally, there should be no sugar and low in non-fiber carbs.

In terms of protein, a health care journalist reiterated that there's no correlation between protein and blood sugar.

Protein itself does not have much of an effect on blood sugar, though the food the protein is in may. Typically, people with diabetes don't need any more protein than people who don't have diabetes.

- Shereen Lehman, Health Care Journalist

See related articles:

FAQs

Protein Powder FAQ Banner

Can diabetics drink protein shakes?

Yes, diabetics can drink protein shakes, but they need to pay close attention to the labels - note, diabetics can eat protein bars too. Anything high in sugar or non-fiber carbs can cause blood sugar spikes. Additionally, the best protein powder may help them lose weight and manage their sugar levels.

Which protein is best for diabetics?

The best protein powder ideal for diabetics is whey as long as they don’t have any dairy intolerances. The advantage is that whey protein is absorbed fast and covers the full range of amino acids.

Is too much protein bad for diabetics?

Yes, too much protein is bad for diabetics but the same is the case in general. The more physically active you are, the more your body will be reliant on protein to repair muscle tissue, so keep that in mind before cutting down on intake.

Does protein raise blood sugar levels?

No, protein doesn’t raise blood sugar levels in any significant way. It is dependent on insulin from a metabolic perspective, but it doesn’t come with the same medical risk as carbs. The products included in this best protein powder list are all low in carb, thus ideal for controlling blood sugar level.

Our #1 Protein Powder For Diabetics

Whether you have general weight loss goals or want to bulk up and become a bit more athletic-looking, Transparent Labs Whey Protein Powder is going to provide the best effects.

Many of my diabetic clients have worked with it for years, and the fact that it has practically no carbs at all just makes meal planning so much easier. After the extensive testing, client interview, and research, our team is convinced that this brand has the best protein powder for diabetics.

What's the best protein powder for you?

If you’ve had your own good or bad experience with protein powders, then contact us through the website or on social media.

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Transparent Labs Whey Protein

Our #1 Protein Powder For Diabetics

  • 28 g of whey protein from grass-fed cows
  • No additives or fillers to worry about
  • Significant savings available on bulk orders
  • Available in tasty flavor options
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of November
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About the author

  • Hi, I’ve been drinking FitMiss Delight for a while now and I can say that it’s really effective for weight loss. I already lost 11 lbs by following a strict workout and diet plan. I tried a lot of protein supplements and this one is the best protein powder for women.