Yes; you can drink smoothies as a diabetic!
Smoothies as a diabetic are tricky because they normally have an unbalanced carbohydrate to protein to fat ratio. Not only that, but carbs in liquid form enter our system much more quickly than carbs we chew. That's already two strikes, and all you want is a delicious treat that won't spike your blood sugar. What about for those on-the-go'ers that grab a shake for breakfast? Fasting glucose is already tough and you can't risk shocking your system with a bunch of sugar (even if they are naturally occurring sugars) and getting a crazy high spike, throwing your glucose out of whack for the whole day! That's three strikes!...and you could very well be outta there.
The best smoothie for a diabetic is a homemade smoothie. Powdered and frozen smoothie packets, Jamba Juice, Smoothie King and other 'instant' smoothies either have added sugars, or excessive naturally occurring sugars that have an affect similar to table sugar. By making your own smoothie with real foods, you control the amount of sugar, and everything else, giving yourself a better macro-nutrient ratio.
You don't need protein powders, although they are helpful and there are some really good ones. (I really like the Atkins vanilla flavor and just about every flavor from Shakeology, but chocolate is by far the favorite.) You can use high-protein real foods like Greek yogurt, nut butters, etc. to get a balanced smoothie.
Smoothie making is an art - meaning it's left up to personal interpretation. As a diabetic, you can still have the flavors you like, but you have to put flavor second to achieving a balanced macro-nutrient ratio. To help with this, you should know the 4 necessary components of a smoothie - bases, flavorings, sweeteners, and liquids: additives are optional. To see which ingredients fall under each category, download this diabetic smoothie recipe PDF.
Diabetic-friendly smoothie recipes are continually added to this page, so check back often. Right now, this almond berry breakfast smoothie is super popular, the vanilla cake batter shake is delicious, and the pina colada smoothie is my favorite. More smoothie recipes are below.
Beware of gimmicks like "smoothies to reverse diabetes." Think about it: diabetes didn't come over night, or by eating one specific thing all your life, so there's NO smoothie recipe or single food that will simply reverse diabetes for you, even if you eat it every day for the rest of your life. This applies to gestational diabetes as well.
Also, fruit smoothies are still an option, but it makes sense to use fruits with lower sugars. Check out this interactive glycemic index chart to see the best fruits with the lowest sugars to use in your smoothies.
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