The Glucerna trademarked slogan is “Smart nutrition for people with diabetes,” but what are the ingredients in Glucerna’s products? As a fitness and nutrition expert, I wondered about the ingredients in Glucerna, but interestingly, couldn’t find the actual ingredients list anywhere on the Internet!
So I bought a case of Glucerna “snack shake,” because the ingredients list was too lengthy for me to copy down at the store. I thought that, even as a non-diabetic, I might benefit from Glucerna because, I figured, if something is supposed to be great for diabetics, doesn’t it stand to reason that it would also be great for everyone else, too? After all, even people without diabetes should be conscious of carbohydrate intake.
Here are the ingredients for Glucerna’s “snack shake,” chocolate (and these ingredients are similar to those of Glucerna’s chocolate bars):
Water, corn maltodextrin, fructose, milk protein concentrate, glycerine, high oleic safflower oil, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), less than 1% of: sodium caseinate, canola oil, soy protein isolate, fructooligosaccharides, soy fiber, cellulose gel, natural and artificial flavors, sodium chloride, magnesium phosphate, potassium citrate, calcium phosphate, soy lecithin, cellulose gum, choline chloride, ascorbic acid, carrageenan, acesulfame potassium, potassium chloride, gellan gum, sucralose, and the remaining ingredients are vitamins and minerals, though ascorbic acid is vitamin C.
Health conscious people, diabetic or not, will note that several ingredients in Glucerna’s products will get their attention. What really gets my attention, in the ingredients list for the Glucerna products, is the soy, canola oil, artificial flavors, sucralose (an artificial sweetener), acesulfame potassium (another artificial sweetener), and fructooligosaccharides (yet another artificial sweetener).
Canola oil contains hexane and trans fats. I won’t touch canola oil, which is the result of a complicated manufacturing process (you didn’t think that the oil comes straight from the “canola” tree, did you?).
Soy has been linked to a myriad of health issues. Visit http://www.thewholesoystory.com/index.php?pageID=Media for a very legitimate scare.
Need I say anything about artificial sweeteners? And as for “artificial flavors,” I won’t even try to guess what these actually are.
A diabetic may figure that controlled blood sugar trumps any possible harm linked to canola oil, soy or artificial sweeteners. The carbohydrates in Glucerna’s products are designed to be more slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, something that would appeal to diabetics, for blood sugar management.
Looking at strictly blood sugar absorption, I would say that a serving of Glucerna chocolate products are much better for a diabetic’s glucose metabolism than would be, say, a nice chunky piece of Betty Crocker devil’s food cake.
The Glucerna “snack shake” is gluten- and lactose-free, and an 8 ounce can offers: 140 calories, 5 grams fat, 230 mg sodium, 19 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber and 7 grams protein.