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What milk is best for diabetic person?

Is skim milk better than whole milk for people with diabetes?

Skim milk has all of the same nutrients as whole milk but without extra fat. If whole milk is not homogenized to reduce the size of fat particles, it naturally separates into skim milk with the cream layer on top. Skim milk has the same amount of calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, and protein as whole milk does. However, skim milk is a better dietary choice for managing diabetes because of its lower fat content making it a healthy heart choice and its lower caloric content to prevent weight gain. Skim milk has less calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol. A cup of skim milk has 12 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 128 mg of sodium.

Transitioning from whole to nonfat milk is a good place to start to assist with weight management and a healthier heart since skim milk provides all of the essential nutrients without extra calories from saturated fat. Make it a gradual process to let your taste buds adjust to a new flavor and texture by switching to 2% milk first. Another option is to begin by substituting nonfat milk in your favorite recipes, beverages, and with your cereal.

dLife - It's YOUR Diabetes Life!

Just about every piece of dietary advice out there recommends that you consume low-fat or nonfat versions of milk, yogurt, or other dairy food. The fat in dairy foods, even reduced-fat versions, is roughly 50 to 60 percent saturated fat, which is supposed to be bad for your heart. However, a growing number of experts say this is nothing more than a mistaken interpretation of the science.

And recent research suggests that the other fats in milk and other dairy foods can be good for you. For instance, dairy fat contains lots of oleic acid (the stuff that makes olive oil so healthy), along with a type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that may help with weight loss.

In addition, a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health has identified a natural substance in diary fat that may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The substance, called trans-palmitoleic acid, is a fatty acid found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. Trans-palmitoleic acid may be the reason behind recent studies that show dairy-rich diets are linked to lower risk of type 2 and related metabolic conditions. In a study of 3,736 participants, higher levels of trans-palmitoleic acid were linked with healthier levels of blood cholesterol, inflammatory markers, insulin levels, and insulin sensitivity. Participants with higher levels of trans-palmitoleic acid also had about a 60 percent lower risk of developing diabetes compared with people with low levels of the fatty acid. But more research needs to be done to determine the therapeutic value of trans-palmitoleic acid.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body’s way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

What to Know About Diabetes and Milk

Milk contains much-needed nutrients for a well-balanced diet. But is milk safe to drink if you have diabetes? Here’s what to know.

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Understanding Diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas makes little or no insulin. It’s an autoimmune disorder that usually starts suddenly during childhood. Only about 5.2% of adults have type 1 diabetes. It can be managed but not prevented.

When you have type 1, you have to offset your intake of carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fiber that your body uses for energy) with insulin injections at each meal. This means counting carbs so you know how much insulin to use.

With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas may not make enough insulin. Or your body may not use it the way it should. It develops slowly and closely linked with obesity. You’re also at higher risk if you:

  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Have a history of gestational diabetes
  • Have a declining glucose metabolism
  • Are older‌
  • Are not physically active

You may also be diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, even if you didn’t have diabetes before you were pregnant. This condition usually goes away once your baby is born, but it puts you at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.

Milk Nutrition

Dairy is important for your diet because it’s an excellent source of calcium. But it may also be high in fat and carbs, making it risky for people with diabetes.

One cup of whole-fat milk has:

  • 152 calories
  • 7 grams of fat‌
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates‌

One cup of reduced-fat milk has:

  • 122 calories
  • 4.5 grams of fat‌
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates

One cup of low-fat milk has:

  • 106 calories
  • 2.5 grams of fat‌
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates

One cup of fat-free milk has:

  • 84 calories‌
  • Less than 1 gram of fat
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates‌

Diabetes and high-fat diets raise your risk of cardiovascular disease. By managing the fat in your diet, you can help lower this risk. Keep in mind that you want to cut unhealthy fats while eating a good amount of healthy fats. Good fats help you manage your diabetes.‌

Most of the fat in milk is an unhealthy kind. When you can, choose low-fat or fat-free milk, so you get calcium and other nutrients without the added fat.‌

The carbs in milk break down and become sugar in your bloodstream. With both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, you have to watch your carbs. Drinking too much milk may cause a spike in your blood sugar.

By eating a consistent amount of carbs throughout the day, you can keep a steady blood sugar level.‌

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If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will probably refer you to a registered dietician. This specialist calculates the number of carbohydrates you can eat each day and then teaches you how to count carbs when you read nutrition labels.

It’s important to understand that living with diabetes isn’t as simple as counting carbs. Snacks and meals that are high in fat and protein may affect how your body digests and uses carbs.

You may start with a smaller serving of milk to see how it affects your blood sugar. Over time, you’ll understand how milk and other foods affect you personally. This can help you plan meals and know how much insulin you’ll need, or what other foods to eat or avoid with milk.

Milk Alternatives

You may look for an alternative to cow’s milk if you have a lactose intolerance or dairy allergy. Dairy alternatives include:

  • Almond
  • Cashew
  • Coconut
  • Flax
  • Goat’s milk
  • Hazelnut
  • Hemp
  • Macadamia nut
  • Oat
  • Pea
  • Peanut
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Soy
  • Sunflower

Read the labels on each type of milk before choosing one. Be aware of added sugar. Look for fat and carbohydrate content. If possible, choose a sugar-free milk. Make sure that the milk you choose offers nutrition that fits your personal diet goals. Some, like soy, rice, quinoa, and oat milk, may have more carbs than cow’s milk.‌

You’ll also want to look for calcium and protein. If they’re not in the milk, look for ways to supplement your diet with other foods rich in these nutrients.

Show Sources

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Understanding Diabetes.”

American Diabetes Association: “Carb Counting and Diabetes,” “Fats.”

The John Hopkins Patient Guide to Diabetes: “The skim on non-dairy milks.”

University of California San Francisco: “Dietary Recommendations for Gestational Diabetes.” USDA: “Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added vitamin A and vitamin D (fat free or skim),” “Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D,” “Milk, lowfat, fluid, 1% milkfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D,” “Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat, with added vitamin D.”

Milk for Diabetes [Good or Bad??] How Much And When Should Diabetics Consume It?? Learn More!!

Milk is a nutrient-rich food and is full of health benefits for all. Milk is especially beneficial for people with diabetes because it is low on the glycemic index. Know the goodness of milk for diabetes. How much milk should you consume in diabetes, and how frequently?

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Dr. Pakhi Sharma , MBBS General Physician , 6+ Years
Published On : 24-Sep-2021 Read Time : 2 minutes

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Milk is a nutrient-rich food and is full of health benefits for all. Milk is especially beneficial for people with diabetes because it is low on the glycemic index. Though, diabetics should avoid sweetened milk or milk that is high in saturated fats.
To know in detail “Is milk good for diabetes?”, “Can diabetic patients drink milk” read the article.

  • Milk: Nutritional Profile
  • Advantages of Milk for Diabetes
  • How to Consume Milk?
  • When to Consume Milk?
  • Risks of Over Consumption of Milk
  • Other Health Benefits of Milk
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

Milk: Nutritional Profile

The glycemic index (GI) of food determines how fast it can increase blood glucose levels in the blood. Diabetic patients can consume food items low or medium in glycemic index. Milk in diabetes is good because the glycemic index of milk is 31, which is relatively low.

Doctors suggest milk for diabetes because it is high in nutritional value. One cup of whole milk contains:

  • Calories: 149 grams
  • Water: 88 %
  • Protein: 7.7 grams
  • Carbs: 11.7 grams
  • Sugar: 12.3 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Calcium: 307 mg

Milk in diabetes is good because it provides potassium, B12, calcium, and vitamin D.

Advantages of Milk for Diabetes

  • Sugar-free milk is beneficial, especially for type 2 diabetics, because it keeps the sugar levels in control. Therefore, there is a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes can lead to bone fractures. Vitamin D and calcium in milk can help diabetic patients keep their bones strong.
  • The nutritional value of milk makes it a power-packed drink for diabetic patients.

How to Consume Milk?

  • Mix sugar-free milk with cereals or oats for breakfast.
  • Make a smoothie with milk and papaya or other low glycemic index fruit.
  • Make desserts with sugar-free milk.

When to Consume Milk?

Diabetic patients can consume two or three servings of sugar-free or low-fat milk each day. It is best to drink milk in the morning as it helps to keep sugar levels in check.

Risks of Over Consumption of Milk

Milk is low in glycemic index, but it contains sugar in the form of lactose. Therefore, overconsumption of whole fat milk can raise blood sugar levels. Moreover, it can lead to acidity and digestive problems.

Other Health Benefits of Milk

  • The calcium and vitamin D in milk promotes bone health.
  • Milk reduces the risk of obesity. A glass of milk makes you feel full, reducing hunger.
  • Milk can control high blood pressure and stroke. Lactose in milk reduces the formation of bad cholesterol.
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Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Milk and diabetes go hand in hand because milk is low in glycemic index.
  • Milk is rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin D, which makes it suitable for diabetes.
  • Overconsumption of whole fat milk can lead to a rise in sugar levels. It is better to drink sugar-free milk.
  • Milk reduces the risks of hypertension and stroke.
  • Use Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate Accu-Chek instant and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Let’s treat diabetes together.



Frequently Asked Questions

Is Milk Good for Diabetes?

Yes, milk is good for diabetes because it is low in glycemic index. Milk has a GI of 31. But whole fat milk contains sugar in the form of lactose. Therefore, it is best to drink low-fat milk for diabetic patients.

Does Milk Contain Sugar?

Yes, milk contains sugar in the form of lactose. Therefore, doctors advise sugar patients to drink low-fat milk or sugar-free milk. Sugar-free milk will balance sugar levels while providing all the essential nutrients.

Does Milk Balance Blood Sugar?

Milk consumed in the morning keeps the stomach full, which prevents overeating. This aids in the slower digestion of carbohydrates and consequent balance in blood sugar.

Does Milk Increase Blood Sugar?

Yes, whole fat milk contains sugar in lactose, which can increase blood sugar. Therefore, people with diabetes should drink sugar-free or skimmed milk.

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