Dairy is a valuable source of calcium, protein, and Vitamin D, but its fat and carbohydrate content can increase blood sugar levels. As a result, diabetics may be unsure whether it is safe to consume milk. To address this question, we turn to the advice of a diabetologist.
To prevent complications, individuals with diabetes must select appropriate foods for their diet. A balanced diet that is low in fat and high in fiber is always advantageous because it reduces the likelihood of blood sugar spikes. To manage their condition, individuals with diabetes are typically advised to consume low GI foods. Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, lean protein, nuts, and seeds are all part of a diabetes-friendly diet. However, dairy is a food group that can be confusing for people with diabetes.
While milk contains fats that can increase blood sugar levels, it also contains essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, and Vitamin D, which can help manage diabetes. Some health studies suggest that consuming no-fat milk can provide the maximum benefits of this “complete food” for people with diabetes. It is important to note that each individual’s response to milk consumption may vary, and monitoring of blood sugar levels after drinking milk is recommended.
According to Dr. V. Mohan, the Chairman and Chief Diabetologist at Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialties Centre, there is no evidence that milk causes or worsens diabetes, and it may actually be beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Milk is also an excellent source of calcium, particularly for pregnant women and growing children, and should be encouraged for use among the general population.
How much milk is ideal for people with diabetes
According to Dr. Mohan, while a glass of milk can be beneficial for people with diabetes, it is important to avoid consuming multiple glasses of milk. He also advises those who have lactose intolerance and experience diarrhoea after consuming dairy products to refrain from drinking milk.
According to Dr. Mohan, their Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiological study (CURE) has revealed that individuals who consume milk and other dairy products have a lower risk of developing diabetes. This is the first evidence that suggests dairy products, including milk, may have a protective effect against type 2 diabetes.
“We conducted prospective long-term longitudinal studies involving more than 130,000 individuals from over 20 countries and 5 continents to examine the relationship between various dairy products and new-onset diabetes. We found that both dairy and milk were protective against diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome,” according to the diabetologist.
Drinking milk can actually be beneficial in diabetes
The evidence strongly supports the notion that milk is actually beneficial for people with diabetes. Thus, the belief that milk is the cause of diabetes or the reason why diabetes is not well controlled is a myth.
“The initial studies from Scandinavia suggested that introducing cow’s milk to infants too early may be associated with childhood-onset type 1 diabetes. However, this has been disproven, and it is not the cow’s milk that may have caused the problem but the weaning from breast milk before the recommended six months of exclusive breastfeeding. If breast milk is not provided and cow’s milk or any other milk is introduced too early, some antigens may enter the body, but this also remains unproven,” explains the expert.