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What Milk is Good for Diabetic Patients?: Considerations for Choosing

What Milk is Good for Diabetic Patients?: Considerations for Choosing

What is the best type of milk for diabetic patients? It is a known fact that milk contains vitamins and nutrients needed by our body not to mention the amount of calcium that it contains helps keep the bones healthy.

Milk is also rich in carbohydrates which is a great energy-booster but for diabetic individuals, this can pose a problem.

When a person is diabetic, they either cannot produce any insulin or they are unable to utilize the insulin in their bodies, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar.

To stay healthy, diabetic individuals need to not only take their medication as prescribed but also implement a lot of lifestyle changes focusing mainly on their diet. It’s not as easy as eating fruits and vegetables.

What is the Diabetic Diet?

Milk for Diabetic Patients: Avoid High Fat and Carbohydrate Content

Those with diabetes have to carefully select the food that they take in keeping in mind that it should keep their blood sugar levels at normal. Food with a lot of carbohydrates or sugars are definitely off the table.

Whether drank straight out of the box or mixed in other food products, milk is definitely found in a lot of food that we eat.

Milk is rich in carbohydrates which come in the form of lactose. When digested, lactose is broken down into the simple sugar glucose, which is absorbed in the bloodstream.

Lactose can influence a person’s blood sugar level which is why diabetics must be careful in choosing the milk they consume.

Milk is also rich in fat, which might not directly affect the blood sugar levels but can influence the amount of time it takes to digest carbohydrates. Fat is also not advisable for diabetics especially those who are suffering from high blood pressure.

Milk for Diabetic Patients

milk for diabetic

Milk doesn’t have to be entirely removed from a diabetic person’s diet. There are types of milk for diabetic patients.

We now live in an age where milk does not only come from one source: cows. Milk from other mammals and milk extracted from plants are now being used and even readily sold in grocery stores.

Ideally, milk low in fat and sugar can be beneficial to a person with diabetes.

Here are some of the types of milk for diabetic patients:

Skimmed Milk

Skimmed milk is a kind of milk wherein all the milk fat is taken out. This is a healthier option especially for those diabetics who are also suffering from high-blood pressure.

Skimmed milk normally contains only 0.1% – 0.3% fat but still contains most of the nutrients in the milk and other non-fat-soluble vitamins.

Unsweetened Almond Milk

Almond milk contains about 2.5 grams of fat and 8 grams of carbohydrates in an 8-ounce serving. This type of milk is very rich in calcium but it is good to take note that it only has 1 gram of protein.

Almond milk has a very creamy and rich, nutty taste that can be a perfect addition to beverages such as coffee.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a perfect choice of milk for diabetic patients. It contains the same amount of protein but contains less fat and carbohydrates. Soy milk contains about 4.5 grams of fat and 9 grams of carbohydrates in an 8-ounce serving.

Soy milk has more calcium than whole milk which makes it a great source of calcium for diabetics.

Milk for Diabetic Patients: Types to Avoid

In general, milk is healthy but there are some types of milk that might not be good especially for diabetics.

Lactose-Free Milk

Although the label says lactose-free, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it does not have any sugar. Lactose-free milk usually contains enzymes that pre-digest the glucose into simple sugar so that people with lactose intolerance can consume it.

Whole Milk

Whole milk is the milk that is readily available anywhere and is widely used in a lot of food products. This type of milk contains about 11 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat in an 8-ounce serving which can be unhealthy for diabetics if not consumed in moderation.

Sweetened Plant-Based Milk

Plant-based milk such as almond milk and oat milk are healthy alternatives to dairy but many plant-based milks in the market have added sweeteners to make it taste sweet.

Make sure to check the nutritional facts at the back of the box for any sugar added in the milk. Even if the milk is plant-based, if it has sugar, it may have a bad effect on people with diabetes.

Key Takeaways

Whole milk, the milk commonly consumed and used, contains a lot of carbohydrates and fat making it unsuitable for diabetics. Milk is an important source of calcium making it a necessary staple to one’s diet.

Although diabetics are not advised to drink whole milk, there are some alternatives available for them. Milk for diabetic patients includes unsweetened almond milk, skimmed milk, and soy milk.

Learn more about Type 2 Diabetes here.


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Written by Hazel Caingcoy Updated May 12
Fact Checked by Chris Icamen