Glucerna Logo   Abbott, A Promise for Life
For Health Care Professionals Contact us Abbott Canada Abbott Global Français Reduce Enlarge


Optimal glycemic control means that your blood sugar levels are just as good as they can be, which is essential to the management of your diabetes. Glycemic response is a measurement of how much a particular food raises your blood sugar after you eat it. Foods that contain carbohydrates that are digested very quickly usually have a very fast effect on blood sugar, and rate high on the glycemic index.

Glycemic control is important in the long-term to help reduce the complications of diabetes.

Glycemic effect

Slow and steady wins the race
Slowly digested carbohydrates, however, have a low glycemic index, meaning that glucose is released into the blood very gradually, and the glycemic response is much more even.

Fibersol® (corn maltodextrin), the kind of carbohydrate used in Glucerna Nutritional Drink has been shown to help attenuate the rise in blood sugar level compared to a standard nutritional drink.1,2

Normal digestion and absorption vs. slow digestion and absorption

On the left, a look at the normal digestion and absorption of sucrose, glucose and starches; on the right, the slow digestion and absorption that occurs when Fibersol and FOS are a part of the carbohydrate blend. Improvement in meal tolerance and control of diabetes may result from a reduction in the rate of carbohydrate absorption.1

Glucerna Nutritional Drink has been improved with a new carbohydrate blend. The unique slow-release carbohydrate system delivers a glycemic response that is even lower than that of the previous Glucerna Nutritional Drink formulation.1 This slow-to-digest carbohydrate in Glucerna Nutritional Drink helps to smooth peaks in blood sugar – good news for you.

Study shows significant results
Our clinical research3 compared the glycemic response of three nutritional products: standard nutritional drink, previous formulation of Glucerna Nutritional Drink and the brand new Glucerna Nutritional Drink. The purpose of the research was to see what would happen to blood sugar levels consuming each one of these products. All of the people who participated in this study had type 2 diabetes, and were taking oral medication to manage their diabetes. Their blood sugar was measured at different times after they took the product they were assigned to. Those who consumed new Glucerna Nutritional Drink had peak blood sugar levels that were significantly lower compared to those people who consumed the two other products.3

New Glucerna Nutritional Drink helps smooth the sugar spikes: study highlights3

When compared to the previous formulation of Glucerna Nutritional Drink and a leading standard nutritional drink, new Glucerna Nutritional Drink was found to produce the lowest rise in blood sugar levels. The study was conducted in people with type 2 diabetes, ages 18-75, taking an oral medication to manage their diabetes.

3. J.A. Williams, J. Garcia Almeida, M. Matia Martin et al. Lack of Glycemic Response at 120 minutes post prandial with a New Diabetes Specific Nutritional Formula (Abstract). Clinical Nutrition Supplements. Sept 2009; 4(S2).LB003.

Protect your heart!

Understand your risk for heart disease, and have a look at this cardiovascular self-assessment tool.

Fast facts on Glucerna Nutritional Drinks5

Glucerna nutritional drink complies with the 2008 Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines by providing 20% of total energy as protein, 33% as fat and 47% as carbohydrate.

chart comparing the glycemic response of three different nutritional drinks

Sometimes, less means more

Glucerna Nutritional Drink provides 23 g of available carbohydrates (net carb) in each bottle. Glucerna is clinically shown to help smooth sugar spikes over time.

New Glucerna Nutritional Drink does not contain maltitol. Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that is used in products like sugar-free gum to replace sugar. In some people, sugar alcohols may cause abdominal discomfort.4

top of page

Other health-related benefits

  Health benefits

You may already know that having diabetes puts you at higher risk of getting heart disease. Why does this happen? If your blood sugar levels are not properly controlled, there is a higher risk of:

  • high blood pressure
  • hardening/narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • coronary artery disease
  • stroke

In addition, you need to consider more than just your blood sugar levels. You have to think about ways to manage your overall health … from head to toe, and everything in between, including the health of your heart. You need to consider other dietary component such as fat.

A healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats may reduce the risk of heart disease. Glucerna nutritional Drink is low in saturated fats and free of trans fat.

The new formulation of Glucerna Nutritional Drink contains ingredients that have been formulated with your heart in mind, one more reason you can feel good every time you reach for a Glucerna Nutritional Drink. Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients.

  Glucerna Nutritional Drink is still low in saturated fats and is trans fat free!

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, lowering the amount of trans fat and saturated fats in your diet may help reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.6

  Monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids

Glucerna Nutritional Drink is also rich in monounsaturated fat (MUFAs); in fact, almost 50% of its fat content comes from MUFAs. People living with diabetes need to incorporate monounsaturated fats and plant oils into their meal plans.5 The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that all Canadians consume more monounsaturated fat, which help to decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.6

Glucerna Nutritional Drink also contains 0.4 g/237mL of omega-3, an essential fatty acid that we can only get from the foods we eat. Every time you enjoy a Glucerna Nutritional Drink, you’ll get 33% of the omega-3 fatty acid daily intake that health professionals recommend.7

  Controlling your weight and eating well

Maintaining or achieving a healthy weight is important for your overall health. If you are overweight with type 2 diabetes, even a small weight loss – 5 to 10% of your current body weight – may have a significant effect on your overall diabetes management.5 For more on how to manage your weight, and some helpful tips to consider before you head for the kitchen, visit

  Healthy eating is a cornerstone of diabetes management

Glucerna Nutritional Drink is a complete and balanced product that makes an ideal snack (1 bottle) when you need one now … while waiting in the check-out line, in your doctor’s waiting room, or in between meetings or a convenient meal replacement (2 bottles). With its well-balanced proportion of carbohydrates, protein and fat, it can help you maintain a healthy weight and help decrease those hunger pangs. Smart nutrition, great taste, and 26 essential vitamins and minerals.

Glucerna Nutritional Drink gets it right. It’s easy to include Glucerna Nutritional Drink in your daily eating plan. Ask your health care professional how to include Glucerna Nutritional Drink in your diet, or see our section on Living with Diabetes for more information. You can also visit to learn more about how to manage your diabetes.

Open a bottle today. And enjoy.

top of page

Who are the members of your health care professional team?

They could be:

  • A family physician
  • An endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in diseases like diabetes)
  • A diabetes educator or nurse
  • A dietitian or nutritionist
  • A pharmacist

1. Fibersol Web site.
2. Jenkins DJA et al. Relationship between rate of digestion of foods and post-prandial glycaemia. Diabetologia 1982;22:450-55.
3. J.A. Williams, J. Garcia Almeida, M. Matia Martin et al. Lack of Glycemic Response at 120 minutes post prandial with a New Diabetes Specific Nutritional Formula (Abstract). Clinical Nutrition Supplements. Sept 2009; 4(S2).LB003.
5. Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines.
6. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
7. Dietary reference intakes – Reference values for Macro nutrients (accessed June 2009).

Glucerna drinks and bars

Glucerna Nutritional Drinks are available in four delicious flavours – and every drink comes in an easy-to-open, reclosable bottle. And when you’re in-between meals, or looking for a little bedtime treat, indulge in a Glucerna bar.

learn more

Please note that the information provided on this website is intended for Canadian residents and is not meant to replace any advice from your healthcare professional.
Copyright © 2010-2012 Abbott Laboratories, Limited. St-Laurent, Quebec, Canada. All rights reserved