Many individuals adore drinking milk, whether cow's milk, almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk. If you have diabetes, however, not all varieties of milk are acceptable.
The American Diabetes Association promotes personalised diet regimens for patients with diabetes.
Therefore, you need to establish which kind of milk will help you maintain your blood sugar under control and optimise your nutrient consumption. Read on to grasp more about what milk is beneficial for diabetes.
Is milk healthy for diabetes?
It depends on the sort of milk, and your intake depends on your 1glucose level.
Milk includes much-needed nutrients for a well-balanced diet, therefore it offers high nutritional value for persons with diabetes, despite its influence on glucose levels.
For instance, diabetes may make certain individuals more prone to osteoporosis. Since milk includes calcium, it may help to keep your bones healthy.
However, cow's milk includes carbs, so persons with diabetes need to incorporate this into the quantity of milk they consume.
However, particular forms of milk, such as skimmed milk, have fewer carbs, which may make it a more viable alternative for diabetic persons who don't have a lactose sensitivity.
Bear in mind, nevertheless, that low-fat drinks and meals such as skimmed milk might boost your blood sugar levels owing to quicker absorption.
Therefore, it's necessary to check your glucose level to decide whether skimmed milk is best for you.
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Milk and Type 2 diabetes
Several studies have sought to connect cow's milk with the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
In a 2011 study¹ of over 82,000 postmenopausal women who had not yet been diagnosed with diabetes, it was discovered that the patients had reduced diabetes risk owing to a diet low in full-fat dairy products.
In another study analysing the association between Type 2 diabetes and dairy intake throughout adolescence, researchers discovered that eating more dairy products reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
However, there's a lot of discrepancy in establishing if consuming full-fat dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, and butter decreases the risk of diabetes.
For instance, in a 2014 study done in Sweden, researchers discovered that a greater diet of full-fat dairy products is related to a decreased risk of diabetes.
The researchers determined that a diet high in saturated fat in cow's milk had a preventive effect against Type 2 diabetes.
Based on this study, patients with Kind 2 diabetes have distinct criteria to consider when picking the optimal type of milk for them. Focus on managing your carbs rather than your fat consumption.
Milk and Type 1 diabetes in children
While some studies have suggested milk intake may lessen the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in adults, it has been connected with an elevated risk of Type 1 diabetes in children.
Research in Finland indicated that siblings of children with Type 1 diabetes tended to be more at risk of acquiring diabetes themselves if consuming a lot of cow's milk.
What sort of milk is best for diabetes?
If you'd prefer to avoid cow's milk owing to the inconsistent recommendations, there are alternative forms of milk safe for persons with diabetes.
Note that all the following varieties of milk are unsweetened. If you add sugar to them, you'll be adding additional carbs to your diet, which will boost your blood sugar levels.
Unsweetened almond milk
Many varieties of almond milk on the market include added sugar. However, sugar-free almond milk comprises 2% carbs.
This is substantially lower than low-fat cow's milk which contains up to 5% carbs.
Unsweetened or no-protein flax milk
This is another kind of milk with minimal amounts of carbs. Unsweetened flax milk has as little as 1.02g of carbs, therefore is a good alternative for persons with diabetes.
Flaxseed milk has no lactose or cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy alternative to cow's milk.
Unsweetened soy milk
Unsweetened soy milk is another non-dairy milk that's acceptable for persons with diabetes.
It includes 4.01g of carbs, which is greater than flaxseed and almond milk but safe enough to prevent boosting your blood sugar levels.
Dairy products for persons with diabetes
You don't have to avoid dairy products. There are particular dairy products that you can eat even if you have diabetes. These alternatives include:
Fermented dairy products like Greek yoghurt are usually healthier alternatives owing to the probiotics.
Probiotics favourably affect your digestive health and help enhance the body's glucose and insulin levels.
In a study published in 2017, researchers noticed that probiotics reduce fasting glucose and insulin levels.
How can I find the best milk for my use?
If you have diabetes, you need to be cautious about the kinds of milk that you consume. You should follow particular rules while picking the most suited milk for you.
There are two nutrients you should consider while selecting your milk:
Adults between 19 and 51 years need 1,000mg of calcium daily. A glass of low-fat cow's milk has 300mg of calcium, while other dairy products have more. Check the labels of your milk and dairy products to understand their contents.
Carbohydrates have the most important influence on blood sugar. People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have varying daily carbohydrate needs. Limiting your calories may help you regulate your condition.
Note that no precise amount of carbs is safe for diabetic individuals; it depends on your unique requirements. Work with your healthcare team to decide on the optimal eating plan for you.
Meal plans with milk examples
Aim to decrease carbs in your meals and beverages to prevent rising blood sugar levels. Other variables that impact food choices include:
Balancing your carb consumption with the usage of insulin and activity levels
Consuming lots of fibre can maintain your blood sugar levels and minimise the risk of high cholesterol
Avoid processed carbs such as cookies, soda, and candy
Managing your weight increase
Using these things in mind, here are two such examples of meal ideas with milk products that you may adopt:
Meal plan 1
Breakfast: A cup of unsweetened almond milk, a piece of Ezekiel bread smeared with a tiny avocado, one poached egg, and an orange (about 40g of carbohydrates) (approximately 40g of carbs)
Lunch: A Mexican dish consisting of two-thirds of a cup of low-sodium pinto beans, a quarter cup of diced tomatoes, 1 cup of chopped spinach, a quarter cup of green pepper, and a teaspoon of salsa (about 30g of carbohydrates) (approximately 30g of carbs)
Snack: 20 x 1g baby carrots with 2 tbsp hummus (about 21g of carbohydrates) (approximately 21g of carbs)
Dinner: 1 cup of cooked lentil penne pasta, 1.5 cups of veggie tomato sauce, and 2oz of lean turkey (about 35g of carbohydrates) (approximately 35g of carbs)
Meal plan 2
Breakfast: A cup of unsweetened flax milk followed by one dish of muffin-tin omelettes comprising broccoli, ham, and cheese, and one big pear
Lunch: 1 serving of spinach and strawberries as your meal-prep salad
Snack: 1 medium apple
Dinner: Filled potatoes with beans and salsa, 2 cups of mixed greens, and 2citrus vinegar
This meal plan contains a total of 148g of carbs and 81g of fat.
Risks of milk to individuals with diabetes
Milk presents a few dangers to persons with diabetes. For instance, it includes harmful fats that might elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease connected with diabetes.
What's more, the carbs in milk are broken down into sugar. Therefore, you need to maintain your milk intake minimally to prevent increasing your blood sugar levels.
Types of milk to avoid
There are some varieties of milk that you should avoid owing to their high carbohydrate content.
Chocolate or other flavoured milk
Chocolate milk has 8–10g of added sugar per serving. Some kinds, like TruMoo's chocolate milk, include 20g of carbs.
This is a high amount that might increase your blood glucose to life-threatening levels if you have diabetes.
Whole milk is rich in calories and includes fat. Look for low-fat choices to receive the same amount of calcium without too much fat.
Other milk substitutes
Other lactose-free alternatives to cow's milk include:
- Macadamia nut
If you're being treated for diabetes, it's crucial to evaluate your milk intake.
However, this doesn't imply that you have to fully avoid all kinds of milk, and it's necessary to incorporate some in your diet owing to the nutritious benefits.
The best method to decide on your milk consumption is to seek the counsel of a dietician.
They will help you establish a diet plan that incorporates the sorts of milk most suited to your situation.
Additional resources and citations
- 2citrus vinegar