Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Can you drink milk with diabetes?

There is a misconception that people with diabetes and insulin resistance shouldn't drink milk because of the lactose and fat content. Does milk actually harm diabetics? Or is lactose-free milk preferable? Here are some tips from nutritionists.

 Milk and its products are an important component of the diet of every human being. This drink contains what the body needs:

  • calcium - well absorbed (100 g of milk provides 120 mg of calcium),
  • magnesium, iron, 
  • B vitamins (B 1 , B 2 , B 6 , B 12 ), vitamins A and D and trace amounts of vitamin C.

Milk has a high nutritional value, and the amount of fat determines how much energy it contains. From 0.5 to 3.5% of milk is made up of fat. Yellow cheese (between 20 and 30%) and cottage cheese (between 1 and 10%) both contain more fat. Cheeses that are maturing are very high in cholesterol. The sugar and fat content of milk, which have an impact on glycemia, may cause concern for diabetics (glucose levels in the body). Do diabetics then need to avoid milk?


Can you drink milk with diabetes?

You don't have to give up milk if you enjoy it and have diabetes; in fact, you shouldn't. The Institute of Food and Nutrition recommends consuming 2-3 servings of milk and dairy products daily. A serving is something like a cup of milk, a container of yogurt, or a big piece of cottage cheese. However, when it comes to diabetes, it's crucial to adhere to a few guidelines.


Milk can prevent diabetes.

What may seem surprising, milk is not only a recommended component of the diet of diabetics, but also, according to research, it can prevent type 2 diabetes and hypertension.


The content of calcium and vitamin D in dairy products can have a positive impact on glucose metabolism and the renin/angiotensin system, which ensures the balance of the entire body. It can also regulate body weight, as demonstrated by Brazilian researchers in the journal Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia. On the other hand, excessive milk consumption has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.


Lactose in milk and diabetes

The lactose in milk, or milk sugar, which is made up of glucose and galactose, may be the cause of the diabetes problem. Lactose makes up about 4% of cow's milk (sheep and goat milk contain less lactose). Furthermore, because lactose is a sugar, there is concern that diabetics' blood sugar levels may rise excessively as a result.


Since skim milk has a low glycemic index, it doesn't significantly increase blood sugar levels after eating. Nutritionists caution against drinking milk in the morning and on an empty stomach, though, to avoid sugar spikes. Later in the day, when you can combine it with a meal, would be preferable. It's important to note that not everyone will experience hyperglycemia after milk, so pay attention to your body.


Is lactose-free milk better for a diabetic?

Many diabetics reach for lactose-free milk . Diabetics can drink lactose-free milk, but not without restrictions. You need to know that lactose-free milk has a greater ability to raise blood glucose than classic milk. Still contains sugar.


Fatty milk is not for diabetics

Another important consideration is the fat content of milk. Diabetics are advised to consume low-fat dairy products (but not completely skimmed). Skim milk may contain more sugar. Furthermore, some compounds are better absorbed in the presence of fats (e.g. vitamins A, D, E, K). Skim milk is devoid of vitamins A and D. Milk with a low fat content, on the other hand, contains everything you require (what whole milk contains). Diabetics should therefore choose milk with a fat content of 0.5-2%.


To summarize, diabetics can and should consume milk, but it should be low in fat and unsweetened. It is preferable that they consume them during the day with a meal rather than in the morning on an empty stomach. Lactose-free milk is available for diabetics who are lactose intolerant. Otherwise, because lactose-free milk still contains sugar and has a higher glycemic index than regular milk, it is not the best option. You can also substitute other products for milk, but keep the calcium content in mind.


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