Is milk good for Diabetes

Is milk good for diabetics?

We have all learnt from our ancestors that milk is a complete food. It contains all the nutrients required for the human body to function properly. However, diabetics should be concerned about the amount and type of milk they consume. Milk, as a whole food, contains carbohydrates as well, which can increase blood sugar levels. Some milk products also contain significant amounts of fat and cholesterol. On the other hand, regular consumption of milk has been associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. A study shows that drinking high protein milk can reduce blood sugar levels.

high protein milk

There are various sources of milk. Cow’s milk is the most commonly available type and is rich in protein, calcium and vitamins. On the other hand, the absorption of plant milk is low and contains very low amounts of cholesterol and lactose. Experts recommend alternating between different types of milk to get the maximum value of nutrients.

The nutrient content in different types of milk is given in the following table. All the data are given for 1 cup of milk (225g).


Calories Fat (g) Carbohydrates (g) Fibres (g) Proteins (g) Calcium (mg)
Whole milk 149 8 12 0 8 276
Skim milk 91 0.61 12 0 9 316
Almond milk 39 2.88 1.52 1 1.55 51
Soy milk 79 4.01 4.01 1 7 300
Flax milk 24 2.50 1.02 0 0 300
Rice milk 113 2.33 22 0.7 0.67 283

Various nutrients in milk

  • The carbohydrates, proteins and fats in milk contribute to the slightly higher amounts of calories. Calorie intake reflects in the body weight and high-calorie intake can lead to obesity, which is one of the risk factors for diabetes. Flax milk contains very few calories and it is preferred by people trying to reduce their body weights.
  • Diabetics should be aware of the number of carbohydrates consumed. Carbohydrates can increase blood glucose levels. Rice milk contains very high amounts of carbohydrates and should be avoided in case of already high blood sugar levels. Whole milk and skimmed milk also contain significant amounts of carbohydrates. These types of milk should not be consumed in large quantities.

high protein milk

  • Diabetics who also have the condition of lactose intolerance should avoid drinking milk. Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the lactose cannot be broken down and is passed further down the digestive tract. It is then fermented by the gut bacteria and can lead to conditions like bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea. These conditions may lead to low blood sugar levels. Lactose-free or reduced lactose milk are available for people with this condition, but consumption of these types of milk has resulted in insulin resistance in a few cases.
  • Cow’s milk consists of a type of protein known as casein protein. A variant of casein protein is implicated to cause Type 1 diabetes. This variant of protein triggers an immune response against the beta cells of the pancreas which are responsible for the secretion of insulin. Genetically vulnerable children who consume cow milk are more prone to Type 1 diabetes. While many scientists oppose the study which proved this, experts believe that children should be kept away from cow milk until they are more than 1 year old.
  • Diabetics are more susceptible to bone fractures. Therefore, a diet rich in calcium is essential to maintain good bone health. Almond milk contains high amounts of calcium and also contributes to very fewer calories.
  • The fats in milk pose a danger to diabetics, as increased levels of fat in the body can lead to heart diseases. Skim milk has near-zero amounts of fat and is preferred when the objective is to reduce fat intake.
  • Trans-palmitoleic acid is a fatty acid found in milk. It is proven that this can increase insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. In a study, people with the highest level of trans-palmitoleic acid had a 60% reduced risk of diabetes than people with the lowest levels.

Cases where drinking milk is dissuaded:
drinking milk is dissuaded

  • Lactose intolerance
  • Increased intestinal permeability
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Milk is a staple of all nutrients. It is obvious that different kinds of milk have their own pros and cons. It is the responsibility of the diabetic to choose the right type of milk, according to their body conditions. While some research shows that milk is beneficial to diabetics, others oppose this with the harmful effects of milk. There is no clear-cut answer for whether one can consume milk with diabetics. 

It can only be understood with experience and monitoring the various changes occurring in the body after consumption of milk. One should check for the blood sugar levels after consumption of milk and look for spikes. Any discomfort caused as a result of consumption of milk should be taken seriously and the person should consult with the doctor immediately.

Twin measures your individual metabolism by collecting 3000+ data points every day and based on these inputs, we personalize your meal with the right mix of fruits and vegetables to heal the exact damage caused to your metabolism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.