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Jan 3, 2013 08:22 AM

Diabetics and Low Carbers: Dairy or Dairy Alternative?

Hi all--Happy, Healthy 2013!

My DH used to enjoy drinking a large glass of cold whole milk a few times a week. Though whole is better than skim in terms of BG, we need to cut further.

Have any of you experimented with how soy or almond milks affect your blood glucose levels? I would like to be able to offer DH a small (4-6oz) glass of somethin' to go with some of the awesome strict low carb treats that I make on special occasions. All suggestions welcome. Thx!

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  1. Have you tried watering heavy cream down to milk levels of fat?
    I have only done so for recipes, not for drinking, but I know a lot of Atkins dieters used to do it to save on carbs in milk.

    I've tried the rest, but real dairy is best! The other milks have various degrees of sweetening from none to a ton, so that will determine the bg effect. The most satisfying in terms of creaminess is probably the coconut stuff from So Delicious.

    1. You can try soy or almond milk. There are several brands, and you would want to try some of them. There is a low carb milk beverage but I don't recall the name of it. I really didn't find it good drinking though.

      Alternatively, you can offer a mug or cup of green tea with your treats.

      12 Replies
      1. re: sueatmo

        I think it's Hood Calorie Countdown, which originally hit the market as Carb Countdown... does that ring a bell? It has added sucralose, I think, not for me.

        1. re: mcf

          Yes, that is the product. I don't remember it containing sucralose, but I'll take your word for it. I just didn't care for the taste. You couid use if for cooking but drinking it was not a really pleasant experience.

          1. re: sueatmo

            It has a another sweetener in it now.

        2. re: sueatmo

          I am married to the only Irishman on earth who will not drink tea in any (and I mean any) form. Do they still make the Hood stuff? I know what you're talking about.

          1. re: pinehurst

            Here's the product info... has sweetener added to compensate for lactose, I guess, and gums to make it feel higher fat.

            1. re: mcf

              If I can find a small container, I will try it this weekend. I used to drink tons of milk as a child but don't now, since I like whole milk and would rather use the calories elsewhere.

              1. re: pinehurst

                Sometimes I drink a small amount of buttermilk as a carb snack.

              2. re: mcf

                Just saw your post. Yes, Calorie Countdown tastes just like real milk with like 2 carbs per serving.

            2. re: sueatmo

              WAIT...please...I just checked my Almond Breeze unsweetened almond serving is 1 g carb. 0 g sugar...looked at son's whole milk serving is 12 g carbs, 11 g can dairy milk be better for diabetics??? am just wondering...thanks!

              1. re: Val

                Dairy milk is not good for diabetics in significant quantities due to lactose content. But some low carbers get around that problem by watering down half and half or heavy cream to milk fat levels. Much lower carb that way. And has quality protein content.

                1. re: Val

                  When I read the label for almond milk, I was disappointed in the lack of protein. I believe I was looking at the Diamond brand, but, I assumed the others wouldn't magically be much better.

                  1. re: johnseberg

                    Yes, that protein not only adds nutritional value, but it helps to control blood glucose for hours after a meal in type 2.

              2. Hi Pinehurst, I have read a lot of rave reviews from happy almond milk drinkers. Almond milk comes in several varieties (vanilla, unsweetened, etc.). Check out the Almond Breeze website. Good luck.

                1. If I want milk that tastes like milk but without the carbs I drink Calorie Countdown. Otherwise I drink unsweetened almond milk. It has little to no effect on my bg.

                  1. I have IR and am on a diet for people with IR. I eat normal dairy. I use whole milk. The doctor and nutritionist who designed my diet say that lactose does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels, largely because of the protein & fat levels in milk.

                    If the goal is to cut his BG levels somewhat, have you considered cutting carbs or sugar elsewhere?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: reptilegrrl

                      Not only does lactose affect blood glucose levels, it does it so rapidly that it's used in place of orange juice to counter hypoglycemia.

                      I guess if all we had to do to prevent glucose from rising was to eat adequate protein and fat, we wouldn't get IR or DM?

                      1. re: mcf

                        There is a lot more to it than eating "adequate protein and fat". Basically, the way I have been eating is to combine starches with protein in a 2/1 ratio. The amount of starches I can eat is also limited. Sometimes it is really annoying because I can't just go to the kitchen and eat anything, I have to balance it out.

                        Basically, what the ones who created the plan I am on say is that lactose does not cause a spike in BG. (All foods will obviously affect your BG in some way.) And I have noticed that when I am hypoglycemic, a cup of milk raises my energy without causing a crash, whereas OJ would cause a crash (I have reactive hypoglycemia, so a spike in BG is a very bad thing for me. RH is also how I became IR, and I have had RH since birth, so I am pretty sure I would have become IR regardless.)

                        Any food will counter hypoglycemia. You know that, right?

                        1. re: reptilegrrl

                          Darlin,' you're new at this.

                          I've been controlling my diabetes and reversed my reactive hypos within a week, severe kidney and nerve damage not long after by using a glucose meter to document my responses to foods for over a decade. I don't eat in a way to ever need to treat a hypo nor do I need any meds for my diabetes even after decades.

                          I haven't had a hypo in over a decade. Quite a few foods won't counter a hypo as quickly as milk, or not before it's too late, anyway. But that's not a problem I have any more. I only eat foods that prevent them by not causing a hyperinsulinemic response or any glucose spikes, even if I go without eating for half the day.

                          If you're still having hypos while following medical advice, you're getting bad advice. If a food needs to be countered or "balanced out" it should be off your diet because it's bad for you.