Even though many people with diabetes struggle to lose weight, some may have the desire to gain. Supplements may help you get the calories you need to gain the weight. But as with all your other food choices, it's important to consider the total carbs in the supplement and how it might fit into your diet plan so that your blood sugars stay within the normal range. You won't be able to put the weight on if your blood sugars are out of control. Consult your doctor or dietitian to help you work the right supplement into your diet plan.
Nutrition Shakes for Diabetes
To gain 1 pound a week, you need to eat an extra 500 calories a day. These calories should come from a mix of carbs, protein and fat, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. Nutrition shakes specifically designed for people with diabetes make a good choice because they contain a healthy mix of carbs, protein and fat. Most of these shakes have about 200 calories per 8-ounce serving, with about 50 percent of calories from carbs, 20 percent from protein and 30 percent from fat. These shakes also have 3 grams of fiber per serving, which may help keep blood sugar in control.
Nutrition Bars for Diabetes
You can also use nutrition bars specifically designed for people with diabetes to help add extra calories to your diet to gain weight. Nutrition information for these bars may vary, but they contain about 150 calories, with 50 percent of calories from carbs, 25 percent from protein and 25 percent from fat. The nutrition bars for people with diabetes are not as high in calories as the shakes, so you may need to eat more bars to meet your calorie needs for weight gain.
A weight-gain supplement purchased at a health food store may also provide the calories you seek. Read food labels to find one that provides a healthy mix of carbs, protein and fat. Some of these products are very high in calories, and you may need to make adjustments to the serving size to meet your calorie needs for weight gain. You should also monitor your blood sugar closely when trying these supplements to see how they affect your numbers.
While supplements are a convenient way to add calories to your diet for weight gain, food works just as well. Like your supplements, your weight-gain food should contain carbs, protein and fat. For example, a turkey sandwich made with two slices of whole-wheat bread, 2 ounces of turkey and one-eighth of an avocado has 275 calories with 45 percent of calories from carbs, 30 percent from protein and 25 percent from fat. Or try 1/4 cup of hummus with one-half of a 6-inch whole-wheat pita and 1/2 cup of carrot and celery sticks, which has 207 calories with 50 percent of calories from carbs, 19 percent of calories from protein and 26 percent of calories from fat.