Can Unsweetened Almond Milk Help To Lower Blood Glucose?
Keeping blood glucose -- or blood sugar -- levels in check means leading a healthy lifestyle, controlling your carb intake and taking medications if your doctor recommends them. Though your body does require carbs daily to function properly, excess carbohydrate consumption can cause spikes in blood sugar. Drinking unsweetened almond milk instead of higher-carb beverages won’t increase your blood sugar as much. Choosing unsweetened almond milk over cow’s milk, sweetened almond milk or regular soy milk can help minimize blood sugar increases. This is because unsweetened almond milk contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per cup and will cause little -- if any -- increase in blood sugar. This would be beneficial for people with diabetes, or prediabetes, and anyone who wants to control overall carbohydrate intake to keep blood sugar levels under control. Benefits of Almond Milk Unsweetened almond milk is a low-calorie beverage rich in heart-healthy fats. A cup contains just 30 calories, making it beneficial when you’re trying to shed pounds. In comparison, 1 cup of skim milk contains about 85 calories and 12 grams of carbs, and a cup of unsweetened soy milk provides about 80 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Many types of unsweetened almond milk are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, zinc, riboflavin and vitamins A, D, B-12 and E. Potential Drawbacks The unsweetened version of almond milk lacks the protein found in cow's and soy milks. While skim and soy milks often contain 7 to 8 grams of dietary protein, unsweetened almond milk provides just 1 gram. Furthermore, since carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy and protein helps boost satiety, drinking unsweetened almond milk may not curb your hunger, unless pair Continue reading >>
Dairy And Its Effect On Insulin Secretion (and What It Means For Your Waistline)
206 Comments Insulin is an old, old hormone. Evolution has preserved its structure across hundreds of millions of years and hundreds of thousands of species. Fish, insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals all secrete insulin with fairly similar amino acid arrangements (insulin from certain species of fish has even been clinically effective in humans), so, clearly, it is a vital hormone. But insulin gets a bad rap in our circles. Why? With metabolic syndrome laying waste to the citizenry and with insulin playing an undeniable role, it’s difficult not to be soured on this hormone. And yet we need insulin to shuttle all sorts of nutrients into cells, like protein and glycogen into muscles. It’s there for a reason, so to demonize it is misguided. It’s chronically elevated insulin and insulin resistance – you know, the hallmarks of metabolic syndrome – that are the problem. You might have noticed a softening stance on carbohydrates around the paleo and Primal blogosphere. I think it’s simply an acknowledgment that in healthy people with healthy glucose control and healthy insulin responses who engage in glycolytic activity, starch is fine in measured amounts. And if insulin increases to shuttle that starch and protein into the insulin sensitive muscle cells, so be it. That’s why it’s there. But not everyone (anyone?) lives a perfect Primal existence. And even if you did an understanding of how insulin works and what foods and behaviors affect it’s production should be high priority. Especially for the millions of people immersed in the modern, industrial lifestyle, with deranged metabolisms from years of poor eating habits (i.e. most of us). Which brings us to dairy and its effect on insulin. Dairy intake, you see, stimulates insulin secretion. Lots and lots o Continue reading >>
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How Almond Milk Can Help You If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
Almond milk can be a great substitute for dairy, in fact, it is also a healthy option. If you’re lactose intolerant, you should give almond milk a try but that doesn’t have to be the only reason you consider almond milk. It’s also great as an organic, non-GMO way to get the taste of milk without all the issues. Almond milk is a good way to round out your diet or nutritional needs. If you’re diabetic, it is a good way to get your “dairy” without increasing your carbohydrate intakes. I actually prefer to drink almond milk even though I have no issues with lactose intolerance and I also prefer the taste of almond milk when you compare it to the options out there. Almond milk has such a better taste when you think about it, some other milk alternatives can lack taste altogether. Almond milk isn’t like that at all because almonds have that natural quality. There’s also a lot of nutrition to be found in almond milk. Some of the things almond milk can do for you include: Lots of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and nutrients including vitamin E, potassium and magnesium (to name just a few) An excellent replacement for dairy Full of healthy, non-saturated fats Low calories, high in protein and low in fat The best part about almond milk, you can find it in many stores in the healthy section. You may even find it in the cooler next to the milk or yogurt. It is very popular and easy to find. What You Need to Know About Diabetes & Almond Milk Just because almonds are small, doesn’t mean they don’t have some big benefits to your health. In fact, almonds are a good way to supplement your diet. If you have diabetes, you should know that almonds are a good way to get your daily intake of protein and other nutrients. Almonds are so high in protein, they are som Continue reading >>
Can I Drink Milk If I Have Diabetes
One of the most controversial issues in the nutrition community is whether milk consumption is healthy or an agent of disease. And what if you have diabetes – should you steer clear of milk? Short answer: it depends. This article will help you determine whether to consume milk or not and how to make the best choices if you decide to include dairy products in your diet. What is milk made of? Before we get started on the factors to consider before consuming milk, it can help to understand the composition of milk. In a nutshell, cow’s milk contains water and about 3 to 4% of fat, 3.5% of protein, 5% of a natural sugar called lactose as well as various minerals and vitamins. The following table shows the nutritional composition of various types of milk. As you can see from the table above, compared to human milk, animal milk contains a significantly higher amount of protein. That’s because calves need to grow much faster than babies and thus require much more protein. Is consuming milk from another species an issue? Keep reading to find out. Milk consumption and Type 1 diabetes – is there a link? There have been some controversial studies that have associated cow’s milk consumption with juvenile onset diabetes, more commonly known as type 1 diabetes. Scientists have found that the protein composition of cow’s milk, especially the A1 beta-casein molecule, is radically different from that of human milk and can be extremely hard to digest for humans. Although more research is needed, studies suggest that this A1 beta-casein along with bovine insulin present in cow’s milk can trigger an autoimmune reaction in genetically susceptible children who have a particular HLA (human leukocyte antigen) complex. This autoimmune reaction causes the body to produce antibodies Continue reading >>
What Are The Best Milk Options For People With Diabetes?
Many people have childhood memories of parents urging them to drink lots of milk. When you’re a child, you typically have to drink whatever milk your parents provided for you. It may have been a more traditional option such as whole milk or a sweet alternative such as almond milk. Now that you’re the one doing the choosing, you can pick the best type of milk for you. If you have diabetes, you should know that not all types of milk are beneficial for you. Although you need the nutritious calcium and protein found in milk, it’s important to note the saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar levels in each. This information will help you pick the best milk for your dietary needs. People with diabetes are not able to make, or use, insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. When insulin isn’t doing its job efficiently, blood sugar levels can spike. There are two kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. No matter which type you have, managing your sugar intake is important. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, which is why carb counting is often recommended for people with diabetes. People with diabetes may also have high cholesterol or triglycerides in their blood. Triglycerides are a type of fat, which can increase the risk for a heart attack. Keeping an eye on the saturated and trans fat content in your diet is important. Diabetes can also make some people more susceptible to bone fractures. A diet high in calcium can help keep bones strong. One way to do this is by drinking milk daily. Adding calcium-rich milk into your diet may take a bit of planning. Creating a meal plan specifically designed for people with diabetes can be a good place to start. The American Diabetes Association recommends several meal plans geared toward keeping blood s Continue reading >>
8 Fruit Smoothie Ingredients That Won't Spike Your Blood Sugar
8 Fruit Smoothie Ingredients That Won't Spike Your Blood Sugar Need a smoothie fix but would rather skip the excess sugar? These nutritionist-recommended ingredients should be your go-tos. They pack tons of nutrition into a small transportable cup, and often, they taste more like a dessert than a healthy snack or meal, but smoothies arent without their faults. If you concoct or order the wrong blend, your refreshing drink can spike your blood sugar , leaving you queasy and feeling overall blah, rather than satisfied. Unfortunately, I discovered this the hard way. Ive tried numerous times to hop on the smoothie bandwagon. They seem like the perfect post-workout snack when I cant go home to eat, or an easy option when I need to have breakfast on the run. But no matter what I order, smoothies always seem to leave me feeling nauseouslike Ive just taken averybumpy ride in the back of a car while reading a book. (You know the feeling.) And being that Im a full-time health editor, I was determined to find out what could be going on. So I turned to the pros: According to Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, the creator of the Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan , even if a smoothie is overflowing with healthy foods, it can cause blood sugar levels to spike if it isnt made with the right blend or ratios of ingredients. This, of course, leaves you feeling not-so-awesome. When blood sugar levels rise and fall quickly, the body's metabolism may get interrupted which can lead to feelings of nausea, Zanini says. Whats more, the insulin that rushes to get excess sugar out of your blood and into your cells can cause a blood sugar crash. This can leave you feeling fatigued and hungry, explains Alissa Rumsey MS, RD, CSCS, owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness in New York City. Those with diabetes wi Continue reading >>
What Is The Best Milk For People With Diabetes?
Whether served with cereal or an afternoon snack, milk is a dairy product that's a common part of many people's diets. But for those with diabetes, milk's carbohydrate count can impact blood sugar. Milk contains lactose, a natural sugar or carbohydrate the body uses for energy. An 8-ounce serving of milk has 12 grams of carbohydrate. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend eating between 45 and 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. A standard glass of milk will then represent one-third to one-fourth of a recommended carbohydrate intake for a meal. While cow's milk offers calcium and taste benefits to those with diabetes, its impact on blood sugar may make other choices better ones. Milk nutrition facts for people with diabetes Many milk options can be found at the grocery store. These include varying percentages of cow's milk to rice milk to almond milk. Consider the nutrition facts for some of the following milk options (all serving sizes are for one cup, or 8 ounces, of milk): Calories: 149 Fat: 8 grams Carbohydrate: 12 grams Protein: 8 grams Calcium: 276 milligrams Calories: 91 Fat: 0.61 grams Carbohydrate: 12 grams Protein: 8 grams Calcium: 316 milligrams Calories: 39 Fat: 2.88 grams Carbohydrate: 1.52 grams Protein: 1.55 grams Calcium: 516 milligrams Calories: 113 Fat: 2.33 grams Carbohydrate: 22 grams Protein: 0.67 grams Calcium: 283 milligrams While these aren't the only milk options for those with diabetes, they show how there are many different types of milk. Each milk type has its own qualities, from more to less calcium and more to fewer carbohydrates. For example, almond milk has nearly zero carbohydrates while both whole and skim milk have 12 grams of carbohydrates. Some varieties of almond milk also have more calcium per cup than dairy milk does. So Continue reading >>
Can Milk Raise Glucose Levels?
Blood glucose levels are directly affected by the amount of sugar we eat. Sugar is found in foods in the form of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are then broken down in your body into sugars that your body can use for energy. Whether you drink skim milk, whole milk, 1 percent or 2 percent, all milk contains a type of carbohydrate sugar called lactose. When you drink these milk sugars they will raise your blood glucose levels. Video of the Day How Much is a Serving of Milk? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a serving of skim, whole, 1 percent or 2 percent milk is considered 8 oz or 1 cup. The nutrition label on the milk carton tells you all the nutrients contained in 1 cup. It may help to use measuring cups initially until you can visually determine what 1 cup of milk looks like. Will it Raise my Blood Glucose? A 1-cup serving of milk contains about 12 g of carbohydrates. Milk carbohydrates are also known as lactose. The lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose for your body to use for energy and causes a rise in blood glucose levels. A 1-cup serving of orange juice contains close to 30 g of carbohydrates. They both contain a type of sugar and will both raise your blood glucose, but the milk will raise your blood sugar much less because it contains fewer carbohydrates. Chocolate milk has added sugar for sweetness and this will raise your blood sugar higher than skim or low-fat milk -- and likely more than orange juice. While it does have some carbohydrates, and it can raise your blood sugar, low-fat milk is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Milk can easily be included in a healthy diabetic-friendly diet plan. Like any food, it is important to keep serving sizes in mind and be aware of how much milk you are drinking Continue reading >>
7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar
1 / 8 7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar If you have type 2 diabetes, you know about the importance of making healthy mealtime choices. But just as important is staying away from the wrong foods — those that can spike your blood sugar. That's because simple carbohydrates, like white bread and sugary soda, are broken down by the body into sugar, which then enters the bloodstream. Even if you don't have diabetes, these foods can lead to insulin resistance, which means your body's cells don't respond normally to the insulin produced by the pancreas. Here are seven foods you should avoid for better blood sugar control. Continue reading >>
Almond Milk And Diabetes
Almond Milk in a Diabetes Diet Looking for a healthy substitute for cow's milk or soy? Diabetics in particular should consider almond milk. You can buy or make the drink yourself with ground almonds and water. Add non-calorie sweetener, if you like. In addition to the variety of benefits in a diabetes diet, almond milk is dairy-free and vegan. It is also an excellent replacement for those that are lactose-intolerant. Like regular milk, it contains protein, calcium and Vitamin D. When you purchase or make unsweetened almond milk, the total calories for an 8 ounce (1 cup) serving is less than half that of skim milk (40 calories vs. 90 calories). It also has about 1/6th the number of carbohydrate grams (2 grams vs. 13 grams). Almond milk in a diabetes diet can help you lose or maintain weight, and may potentially prevent dangerous rises in blood sugar levels. This is due to its lower carbohydrate count and reduced calories compared to regular milk. You can make almond milk by straining water through crushed almonds, to create a milky, nut-flavored liquid (directions below). People enjoy almond milk as a beverage and/or as a substitute for milk in recipes. Almonds and Diabetes Did you know that consumption of almonds can improve your diabetes health? Medical studies have shown that consuming one ounce (approximately 10-12 almonds) before a meal may result in 30% lower blood glucose levels thereafter in diabetics, compared with 7% lower sugar levels for non-diabetics. Over time, the benefits of almonds on diabetics are worth noting. People with Type 2 diabetes who had one ounce of almonds daily over a 12-week period experienced a 4% reduction in the three-month measure of average blood glucose levels known as hemoglobin A1c.* This means that an A1c of 7% could be lowered to Continue reading >>
5 Reasons Why People With Diabetes Need To Eat Fat
5 Reasons Why People With Diabetes Need to Eat Fat In our personal coaching program we work with hundreds of clients who have diabetes and, time and time again, we see their need for blood sugar reducing medications (like insulin and Metformin) decrease when they eat more fat. A common misconception when you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is youre doomed to forever be a diabetic and your need for pills and insulin will continue to increase for the rest of your life. This flat out isnt true. We can prevent and reverse the damage in our cells when we are eating the right foods in the right amounts, and this includes plenty of fat. We know that healthy fat is important for everyone, for a million different reasons. If I were to pick one population who especially need to eat fat, even more than most, it would be people with diabetes.Ironically, this is the exact opposite of what we are being taught by the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These same associations are known to cover up blood sugar imbalances with prescription medication, not the functional medicine, real food approach we embracehere. The standard diabetes treatment approach is a backwards, after the fact approach because it focuses on treating the symptoms rather than the underlying cause. With proper nutrition, medication isnt needed to target elevated blood glucose levels. Carbohydrate counting is still considered the gold standard, ensuring that people with diabetes are getting enough carbohydrates for blood sugar control, with the general goal being 45-60 grams at meals and 15-30 grams at snacks. This boggles my mind since carbohydrates are the VERY thing that cause spikes in blood sugar levels! Fat doesn't spike blood sugar levels, carbohydrates do. Once you u Continue reading >>
Diabetes-friendly Drink Recommendations
Food and eating can be a stressful thing when you have diabetes. If you're living with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, meal times can be a cause of stress; but another source of worry is what to drink when you have diabetes. If you're controlling your diabetes and blood sugar by diet and exercise or with medications and insulin, you still need to be cautious of the food and drinks that enter your body. Living with type 1 diabetes myself, I know first hand how much one wrong drink choice can affect my blood sugar levels. A type 1 diabetic does not produce insulin themselves so they must inject insulin with each meal. Making sure what you consume including drinks in between meals is important. In fact, drinking just one sweetened drink a day can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes by 25 percent. People tend to think that fruit juice is a good choice, but with a high concentration of fructose, diabetics should only consume fruit in its whole form. When fruit is juiced it is stripped of all its fiber, and fiber is what helps to slow down the blood sugar spike. Consuming fruit juice will set you up for a roller coaster of blood sugar levels all day. Fruit juice should be reserved only when you're dealing with hypoglycemia - in this case you are drinking it to increase your already too low blood sugar. Read more about foods that naturally lower blood sugar levels Alcohol is another beverage that diabetics should be wary of. Alcohol is a contributing factor to hypoglycemia. You will first experience an increase in your blood sugar levels due to the sugar content, then a reactive drop in blood sugar, resulting in cravings, headaches, dizziness, fainting and more. Avoid alcohol altogether, or minimize to one low-sugar drink once or twice a week. I don't think I really hav Continue reading >>
Can Coconut Milk Contribute To High Blood Sugar?
Candygirl, coconut milk is the same thickness as milk. It should not be thick like a syrup. Coconut milk is available in a carton just like almond milk. Make sure it says unsweetened. If your glucose reading was 190 and taken fasting (no food or drink after going to bed and before taking blood sugar reading) you are diabetic and need to see your doctor. What you had eaten or drank several hours before would not cause this high of a reading several hours later. Make sure your blast have more vegetables than fruits. Exercise is also very important in the management of blood sugar and diabetes. It can drastically improve insulin resistance. Controlling blood sugar is all about dietary balance and limiting high glycemic foods. You want foods rich in fiber if they have higher sugar values. A recent article by Jeannene Davis, R.D., L.D., CDE. gives good advice. Keep us informed of your progress! Healthy wishes Wally Bishop C.N.C. Continue reading >>
Is Milk Bad For You? Diabetes And Milk
Is cow’s milk good food for people, especially people with diabetes? The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) say yes. Given how I feel about ADA and USDA’s record on nutrition advice, I think we should check for ourselves. ADA recommends two to three servings of low-fat milk (or other low-fat dairy food such as cheese and yogurt) each day. “Including sources of dairy products in your diet is an easy way to get calcium and high-quality protein,” according to their nutrition page. USDA says three cups a day for people age nine and up. But what do independent experts say? And what does the data say? Many disagree about milk’s being healthy. Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, wrote, “I typically advise most of my patients to avoid dairy products completely… From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn’t domesticate animals and weren’t able to drink milk… The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme needed to [deal with] lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five.” OK. So some experts disagree with the government. But we have to start at the beginning. What is milk anyway? What milk is made of Milk is food produced by mammal mothers to feed their young. Mammal milks are all similar, but they have important differences in the specific proteins. It may be that cow’s milk is not a good match for most human populations. Milk has significant amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate in one package. Normal cow’s milk contains 30–35 grams of protein per liter, mostly in the form of casein. It also contains dozens of other proteins in small amounts, various mi Continue reading >>
Low-gi Breakfast Prevents Glucose Spikes For Hours
It has often been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and another piece of evidence has just been added in favor of this statement: Research recently presented at the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) Wellness 12 meeting shows that what you eat in the morning — and in particular, the glycemic index of what you eat — can have a significant impact on your blood glucose levels throughout the day. The glycemic index of a food is a ranking from 0 to 100 indicating how much that food raises a person’s blood glucose level. Foods with a high glycemic index are quickly digested and can cause spikes in blood glucose levels, while foods with a low glycemic index are digested more slowly, resulting in a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels. A number of factors can affect a food’s glycemic index, including how finely milled the food is, what type of fiber it contains, and what type of starch it contains. At the recent IFT conference, researchers presented information indicating that eating foods with a low glycemic index at breakfast can help with blood glucose control through lunchtime. In particular, a study by Richard Mattes, MPH, RD, showed that eating approximately 33 whole almonds, a low-glycemic food, as part of breakfast caused participants to feel full for longer and to have lower blood glucose levels after breakfast and lunch than people who had not included almonds as part of their breakfast. According to Mattes, while it is important to take the calorie content of foods into account, a moderate amount of almonds can be incorporated into the diet without affecting a person’s weight. Other low-glycemic foods suggested by the IFT include rolled oats and groats, whole grains, and flaxseed. A database of the glycemic index of hundr Continue reading >>