can diabetic patient drink milk
Nutrition

Is Milk Good for Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot control the sugar levels in the blood. The insulin secreted by the pancreas is unable to balance the level of glucose present in the blood as the levels of glucose rise at a higher rate. The causes of diabetes can be both genetic and environmental. However, it is crucial to follow a strict and rigid diet for patients with diabetes as it cannot be genuinely cured but can still be managed by using simple and effective home remedies. 

So, the question arises, is milk good for diabetics. Since milk is a part of our daily diet and one cannot truly leave its consumption, therefore, it is indispensable to know all about the pros and cons of consuming milk for diabetes. The article below describes the possible risks of milk in type-2 diabetes, the nutritional values of milk, and its benefits. 

Milk and Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Milk and milk products are highly rich in calcium which is necessary for the healthy bones of the body. However, milk is high in carbs, and therefore, its regular usage can be risky for a diabetic patient. So, the question arises of whether milk is good for diabetic patients. One serving of whole-fat milk can contain approximately 150 calories, while the skimmed low-fat milk has up to 80 calories. The high carb and calorie diet can lead to cardiovascular diseases in diabetic patients. Therefore, if a person with diabetes wishes to consume milk, then there are several options, such as almond, cashew, coconut, soy, etc., that can be an alternative to cow's milk. Several American journals suggest that low-fat milk and milk products, when consumed in regulated amounts, can decrease the chances of type-2 diabetes. So, can diabetic patients drink milk? The answer is Yes, absolutely, but milk that has low carbs, fat, and calories is better for consumption.  

Nutrition Profile

Milk and milk products are a regular part of our diet; hence, we cannot get rid of them entirely. Therefore, we can tabulate the nutritional value of the most common milk diets in our diet and consume them accordingly. The milk sold at the grocery shops has several varieties: cow milk, soy milk, almond milk, flax milk, and rice milk. It is important to evaluate the calorie content of each type in approximately 1 serving of unsweetened milk (8 ounces). Is milk good for diabetics? Let’s tabulate the best options.

  1. Cow milk – The whole fat cow milk has approximately 150 calories, 12g of carbs, and 8g of fat. The calcium amount is up to 276 mg.
  2. Soy milk has approximately 80 calories, 4g of carbohydrates, and 4g of fat. The calcium content is 300 mg.
  3. Almond milk – The calorie content in almond milk is very less and is up to 40 calories, while the carbs are 1.5g and fat is 3g. The calcium content is also high in almond milk, up to 500 mg. 
  4. Rice milk has approximately 110 calories, 20g of carbohydrates, and 2 g of fat. The calcium content is 280 mg.
  5. Flax milk – This is the least number of calories of all and is the healthiest option for diabetic patients. It has approximately 24 calories while the carbs are 1g and the fat is 2.5g. It is 300mg of calcium present in one serving. 
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Benefits

Milk and dairy products are rich sources of calcium, vitamin D, and proteins and can help better digest the human body.

However, the question is, can diabetics drink milk at night?

Well, it is not recommended for people with diabetes to drink milk during the night since there are high chances of the danger of consuming calories at night. It is safe to drink a small serving of milk during the day for bone health.

People who are lactose intolerant can drink other alternatives to cow milk, such as cashew milk, hemp milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc.

Milk is also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, zinc, potassium, proteins, fatty acids such as omega-3.

It contains antioxidants that are healthy for the body. However, milk consumed should be unsweetened for people with diabetes as their body is already struggling to get past excess glucose in the blood. Hence, foods or drinks that contain excess sugars should be strictly avoided. 

Bottomline

The article describes the risks, and benefits of consuming milk for people with diabetes and answers the question, is milk good for diabetics? So, the answer is somewhat in and against the favour of people with diabetes. While it is a source of rich nutrients that are highly necessary for the body, the unregulated consumption of milk can be unhealthy for patients with diabetes. It is therefore advisable to always consume low-fat unsweetened milk with the least number of carbs and fats and those that are high in calcium. 

The best and most reasonable choices of milk are flax milk, almond milk, and soy milk, available at the local stores or even from online grocery marts. Diabetes is a serious ailment that can be fatal if taken leniently. However, it is especially important for people with diabetes to take extraordinary care of their health. This can be done by checking blood sugar levels regularly and by monitoring the number of calories consumed in each food. Diabetes is manageable with proper care such as regular exercise, change in lifestyle patterns, getting enough sleep, eating food rich in nutrients, and drinking enough water daily. 

FAQs

1. Can milk raise blood sugar levels? 

Milk is known to raise blood sugar levels in the body due to its fat content. This is the reason why most dieticians recommend a person with diabetes consider low-calorie or low-fat milk instead of whole milk. Condensed milk should be strictly off-limits for people with diabetes owing to the high sugar content. 

2. Can diabetes patients drink milk at night? 

The high calories in milk can make it slightly unsuitable to consume at night. The lactose present in milk can get broken down and converted into sugar. This can raise blood glucose levels, especially at night when there is no activity to burn the sugars in the body. Consuming milk in the morning would be better when the daily activities will use up the sugar as energy. 

3. How much milk should diabetics drink a day?

The ADA recommends that a person with diabetes can drink about 2-3 servings of milk each day. While this food can be avoided during nighttime, it can be a good way to start the day. Choosing low-fat milk, cheese, and other dairy products would provide more benefits. Pairing milk with almonds, walnuts, or oats can also be a good option.

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