Frequently Asked Questions and Answers | Glucerna® FAQ
view answers to commonly asked questions about glucerna® products, nutrition, and more.
Can Glucerna products be used by an individual without diabetes?
Individuals without diabetes can consume Glucerna products. Abbott Nutrition has many other options, such as Ensure®, ZonePerfect®, or EAS®, for people without diabetes to integrate into their meal plans. However, Glucerna shakes and bars are specially designed for people with diabetes. Glucerna products are intended to be used under medical supervision to support the dietary management of diabetes.
How are Glucerna shakes used?
Glucerna shakes can be used as a meal or partial meal replacement, or snack, as part of a diabetes management plan. For example, Glucerna shakes can be used in place of a skipped meal or to replace an unhealthy food choice. Shakes have also been used to replace a meal to support a weight loss plan.
For individuals who need extra calories and protein, such as those with, or at risk of, malnutrition, Glucerna shakes can be used to supplement their diet with additional nutrition to help meet nutrient requirements.
Are Glucerna products good choices for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)?
For people with diabetes, Glucerna products should not be used to treat hypoglycemia, insulin shock, or insulin reaction because the carbohydrates from the Glucerna portfolio are not absorbed quickly enough to restore blood sugar to a normal level. Talk to your healthcare professional about appropriate treatment options for low blood sugar episodes.
It’s important to point out that hypoglycemia can also occur in people without diabetes. However, we have not studied Glucerna products specifically in people without diabetes with low blood sugar. Consult your physician or healthcare professional for more information on hypoglycemia in people with and without diabetes.
What are low glycemic carbohydrates?
The Glucerna portfolio contains blends of carbohydrates which include modified maltodextrin (a portion of the maltodextrin has been modified so the body is not able to digest it), fructose, maltitol, soy fiber and fructooligosaccaharides. This helps minimize the peak in blood glucose. This carbohydrate that is not digested may be fermented in the large intestine. These ingredients, in combination with the other carbohydrates listed above, produces a lower blood glucose response compared to a higher glycemic carbohydrate. Refer to individual product labeling for specific ingredient information. Ingredients will vary per product and flavor.
What is galactosemia?
Galactosemia – A rare inherited disorder in which galactose builds up in the blood. Normally when a person consumes lactose (the sugar found in milk and milk products) the body first breaks down the lactose into glucose and galactose. Next, to change galactose into glucose, which the body can then use, several enzymes are needed. However, for people with galactosemia they are missing one of the enzymes that converts galactose to glucose causing a buildup of galactose. Galactose is also found in other foods and some drugs, but milk and milk products are the major source.
If patients are currently using Glucerna® Shake as a meal replacement, should they switch to Glucerna Hunger Smart® Shake?
All Glucerna Shakes can be used as a meal or partial meal replacement. Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes were specifically designed for use as a meal replacement with approximately 20% higher volume (10 oz in Hunger Smart vs 8 oz in Glucerna Shake) and an excellent source protein (15g in Hunger Smart vs 10g Glucerna Shake) to help manage hunger as part of a weight loss plan. Use under medical supervision as part of a diabetes management plan.
Will Glucerna Hunger Smart be available for institutional customers to purchase?
Glucerna Hunger Smart is intended to be a retail only product and will not have special institutional pricing available.
How much will Glucerna Hunger Smart cost at Retail?
Final pricing of products in retail is at the discretion of the retailers. We can provide Suggested Retail Pricing (SRP) to our customers.
The SRP for Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes is $10.99 for 6, 10 oz bottles. The SRP of the current Glucerna Shakes is $10.99 for 6, 8 oz bottles.
The SRP for Glucerna Crispy Delights Bars is $4.99 for 4-40g bars. The SRP for current Glucerna Mini Snack Bars is $4.99 for 6-20g bars.
Will using Glucerna Hunger Smart increase blood sugar levels?
Similar to consuming any food or meal, Glucerna Hunger Smart provides energy from carbohydrate protein and fat and will impact blood sugar level. However, Glucerna Hunger Smart is scientifically designed to help minimize blood sugar spikes. Carbohydrates, compared to fat and protein, have the biggest impact on blood glucose levels; this is why the carbohydrates in Glucerna were chosen for their low glycemic index which helps minimize blood sugar spikes.
How are Glucerna Hunger Smart products used?
Glucerna Hunger Smart is scientifically designed to help manage blood glucose response and hunger. Depending on the individuals nutritional and lifestyle needs, Glucerna Hunger Smart can be used as part of a meal plan to replace calories, such as a meal, part of a meal, or snack. Glucerna products should be used under medical supervision as part of a diabetes management plan.
When is the best time to use Glucerna Hunger Smart?
Use anytime to substitute a meal, or part of a meal, or as a snack. Use Glucerna Hunger Smart as a quick on the go breakfast. Or, bring it to work for a convenient on the go lunch. Also, may be used as a night time snack or before or after exercise. Use anytime in place of a skipped meal or snack. Products should be used under medical supervision as part of a diabetes management plan.
When used to replace a meal, is Glucerna Hunger Smart effective?
In today’s hectic world, trying to eat healthy can often be overwhelming, but poor food choices and skipping meals can inhibit efforts to manage diabetes. Meal replacements can be a helpful option for many individuals, especially when prescribed a lower calorie diet.
The use of meal replacements is suggested by the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a successful weight loss and weight maintenance strategy. In addition, a large study called the Look AHEAD study showed that meal replacements can be part of a successful weight loss strategy. Products should be used under medical supervision as part of a diabetes management plan.
Can Glucerna Hunger Smart products be used in people with pre-diabetes?
Glucerna Hunger Smart products have been designed for people with diabetes. They are scientifically formulated to help minimize blood sugar response. They can also help manage weight, when used as a meal/partial meal replacement as part of a diabetes management plan. The HCP has the primary responsibility to select the product most appropriate for their patient based on medical assessment.
Is Glucerna Hunger Smart a medicine for blood sugar control?
Glucerna products are not medicine for blood sugar control. Glucerna products are diabetes specific nutrition designed to help blunt post meal blood sugar response. Glucerna products are designed to meet the nutritional requirements of people with diabetes.
Can Glucerna Hunger Smart be used as part of a person’s current diabetes meal plan?
Glucerna products should be incorporated into a person’s diabetes meal plan and overall management plan. Studies support the use of Glucerna in conjunction with a diabetes management plan.
Can a child with diabetes use Glucerna Hunger Smart?
Glucerna Hunger Smart can be used by children nine years of age and older with the guidance of a pediatric healthcare professional. For children ages four to eight years, a healthcare professional will decide the best product (considering that one bottle of Glucerna Hunger Smart can provide over half of a 4-8 year old child’s estimated daily protein need and has a nutrient profile designed for adults). Products should not be used in children younger than four years of age. The decision to use these products for any pediatric patient, including those nine and older, ultimately rests with the child’s healthcare professional who will assess the child’s needs on an individual basis.
Do you recommend Glucerna Hunger Smart for patients with both diabetes and chronic renal failure?
The decision to use Glucerna products for any chronic kidney disease (CKD) patient ultimately rests with the nephrologist/healthcare professional who will assess the patient’s needs on an individual basis. Abbott Nutrition has other options for people with CKD, such as Nepro® and Suplena® to integrate into their management plans.
Are adjustments in insulin or oral agents necessary when starting Glucerna Hunger Smart?
Glucerna products are designed to minimize after meal peaks in blood sugar. When starting Glucerna Hunger Smart, the dose or timing of insulin may need to be adjusted, and this adjustment must be individualized. People with diabetes should carefully monitor their blood glucose before and 2 hours after consuming Glucerna products to determine how their blood glucose is affected. Once they determine this effect, dose and timing of injections can be adjusted as necessary. Consult your health care professional for guidance. Products should be used under medical supervision as part of a diabetes management plan.
Do Glucerna Hunger Smart products contain gluten or lactose?
Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes are gluten-free and suitable for lactose intolerance. Glucerna Bars are NOT gluten-free but are suitable for lactose intolerance.
Are Glucerna products appropriate for me if I have type 1 diabetes?
Glucerna products are appropriate for people with type 1 diabetes. It is important to monitor your sugar regularly to see how these products affect your blood sugar, as well as your insulin needs. Glucerna products contain blends of carbohydrates that are low glycemic to help minimize peaks in blood sugar. We encourage you to discuss any changes with your health care professional and, if you do intend to focus on weight loss, consult your health care professional on your specific goals. Weight loss does affect blood sugar levels and insulin needs.
Can Glucerna products be used during pregnancy for women with gestational diabetes?
Specific studies have been completed with Glucerna products in a population of pregnant women with diabetes or with gestational diabetes. Nursing and pregnant women with diabetes should be aware of the vitamin and mineral content listed on the labels and discuss their use when combined with other supplements (maternal vitamins and minerals) and with the daily food intake. Nursing and pregnant women should consult with health care professionals to see how Glucerna products would best fit into their lifestyle.
How many dietary exchanges or carbohydrate choices are there in a serving?
Glucerna Shakes provides 2 carb choices or, if using the exchange system, each shake provides 1 starch, 1 low-fat milk, and 1 fat.
Do Glucerna Shakes contain artificial sweeteners?
Yes, Glucerna Shakes contain sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
Are there sugar alcohols in Glucerna Shakes and Snack Shakes? If so, which ones and how much?
Glycerin, a sugar alcohol, is an ingredient in Glucerna Shakes and Snack Shakes. Glycerin is a low glycemic carbohydrate. Like maltitol, glycerin is classified as a sugar alcohol. However, unlike maltitol, which is only partially metabolized and provides 2 calories per gram, glycerin is completely metabolized and provides 4 calories per gram. This difference in metabolism is key to removing the risk for GI side effects.
How are Glucerna® Mini Snacks Nutrition Bars used?
Glucerna Mini Snacks Nutrition Bars are tasty, convenient snacks for use as part of a diabetes management plan. Glucerna Mini Snacks Nutrition Bars offer another option for people with diabetes to help manage their blood sugar at their snacking occasions. Glucerna Mini Snacks Nutrition Bars contain blends of low glycemic carbohydrates.