Type 2 diabetes: Soy or almond milk best type of milk for lowering blood sugar – expert

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Type 2 diabetes means a person’s pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, a person with type 2 diabetes has to seek alternative means to control their blood sugar levels. This means being vigilant with foods and drinks particularly in the morning.

According to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science, drinking high-protein milk at breakfast keeps blood sugar levels stable even after lunch.

H. Douglas Goff, PhD, and the team of scientists from the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit at the University of Guelph, in collaboration with the University of Toronto, examined the effects of consuming high-protein milk at breakfast on blood glucose (sugar) levels and satiety after breakfast and after a second meal.

Milk consumed with breakfast cereal reduced blood rises after eating compared with water, and high dairy protein had an even greater effect compared to normal dairy protein concentration.

“You want to control your blood sugar levels as much as possible,” Doctor Brewer emphasised.

“Plant-based milk that is low in sugar, like almond or soy milk, can be a healthy addition to your diet,” Doctor Brewer confirmed.

Soy milk, for instance, is considered a “great option since it contains no cholesterol”.

The milk is also high in omega-3 fatty acids and complete proteins, however Doctor Brewer advised people who want to manage their blood sugar levels to “opt for an organic and unsweetened version”.

Doctor Brewer added: “Almond milk is the result of adding water to the almond pulp, as almonds do not naturally contain liquid like coconut does, for example.

“It may be suitable for pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals, but again, make sure to choose unsweetened or sugar-free products with limited to no chemical additives.”

Whatever milk you choose – whether it be soy, almond, oat or rice milk – Doctor Brewer advised you to “choose a milk product that is low in sugar”.

According to Diabetes UK, certain breakfast options can contain hidden risks for people with type 2 diabetes.

Cereals such as granola can seem healthy on the surface, but they often have a high sugar and fat content.

The charity advised playing it safe with porridge oats or the instant equivalent, “just avoid those with added sugar, honey, golden syrup or cocoa powder”.

The health body added: “Wheat biscuits, shredded wheat or muesli (with no added sugar) are also great alternatives. For sweetness, add chopped fruit.”

When it comes to food to reduce blood sugar, high GI foods are the main types.

High GI foods include:

  • Sugar and sugary foods
  • Sugary soft drinks
  • White bread
  • Potatoes.

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