Whether served in your morning cereal or afternoon latte, milk is a common part of people’s diets. But if you’re a diabetic, consuming milk is trickier as it contains carbohydrates (carbs) which can impact blood sugar*.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition where your blood sugar (glucose) level is too high. There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2**.
While there are big differences between these two types of diabetes, both are serious and to manage either of them, you need to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
This is managed partly through diet, more specifically that means being aware of the amount of carbs you consume (based on your type of diabetes and specific health situation).
Diabetes and milk
Lots of foods contain carbohydrates including pasta, bread and beans. The common mistake those with diabetes make is forgetting to add milk’s carbohydrate count into their daily intake, and that can potentially have a negative impact on blood sugar levels.
Being conscience of the number of carbs in different kinds of milk can help those with diabetes enjoy its benefits while keeping healthy blood sugars.
Cow’s milk can contain a significant amount of carbohydrates – a 200ml glass of whole milk contains nearly 10g. While this isn’t necessarily unhealthy for a diabetic diet, if your intention is to lower your carb intake, a milk alternative might be a better option.
Diabetes and almond milk
Almond milk contains nearly zero carbohydrates. Our Almond Breeze® contains only 0.2g of carbs (per 100ml), which is over 20 times less than whole or semi-skimmed milk.
|Calories (per 100ml)||Fat (per 100ml)||Sat fat (per 100ml)||Carbohydrates (per 100ml)|
|Unsweetened Almond Breeze®||13||1.1g||<0.1g||0.2g|
Comparison based on Tesco semi-skimmed milks and Tesco whole milk as at 10/05/18.
If you’re interested in making the switch from cow’s milk to almond milk, you can start with small steps. Try pouring almond milk into your morning porridge or afternoon coffee. Before you know it, you’ll be adding it to your soups and even Friday night curries!
Be mindful of saturated fats
It’s helpful to note that whole milk contains a significant amount of saturated fat (around 2.3g per 100ml). Consuming too much saturated fat causes your cholesterol to rise and that can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). For those with diabetes, vascular problems are more commonº, so there’s possibly more reason to be conscience of the saturated fat you consume daily. So limiting whole milk consumption or opting for a lower fat milk or milk alternative could be a better way to manage a diabetic diet.
Is there a best milk for those with diabetes?
Knowing the carbs in cow’s milk and milk alternatives like our Almond Breeze® will help those with diabetes make more informed decisions when managing their blood sugar levels. However, you can’t say that one type of milk is better than another for diabetics. Factors including type of diabetes, current health situation and diet plan all play a part in how someone with diabetes manage their health.
If you would like to know more about diabetes and managing blood sugar levels, take a look at this (https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Enjoy-food/Eating-with-diabetes).
Information from Goodness+ is not intended to be used for medical purposes or as a substitute for professional medical or health advice.