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Is Almond Milk Good for Diabetics? The Facts

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In recent years, plant-based foods have gained popularity. There is a growing demand for plant-based milk alternatives due to veganism, lactose intolerance, or a dislike of cow’s milk.

In that case, almond milk can be the most nutritious option. It works perfectly as a dairy-free milk substitute because of its nutritional content. Additionally, you may occasionally wonder, “Is almond milk healthy?”

Can People with Diabetes Drink Almond Milk?

Almond milk may be an excellent choice for people with diabetes. It has fewer calories and carbohydrates than cow’s milk. But it is essential to check the label and pick a product with no added sugars or sweeteners.

Please remember almond milk does not contain the same nutrients as cow’s milk like , protein, calcium and vitamin D. When you switch to almond milk, it is important to incorporate these nutrients from other sources.

Read on to understand the correlation between almond milk and diabetes.

Almond Milk – Is It Healthy for Diabetics?

Almond milk is a plant-based milk made from ground almonds and water. It is an excellent alternative to dairy milk for people with lactose intolerance or those who prefer plant-based milk. 

One serving of almond milk (1 cup or 240 mL) is lower in calories and carbohydrates than cow’s milk. It is also a good source of plant-based protein and healthy fats.

In addition, it contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. As a result, it can help lower cholesterol levels. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, calcium, and potassium.

It is important to note that not all almond milk products are created equal. For example, some almond milk products may contain added sugars. As a result, it can increase carbohydrate content making them unsuitable for people with diabetes. 

People with diabetes need to pay attention to their overall carbohydrate intake in order to keep blood sugar levels under control. Always prefer unsweetened almond milk. 

It is also important to note that almond milk is not a substitute for insulin or other medications used to manage diabetes. Therefore, speaking with a healthcare professional is always a good idea.

In addition, always consult a qualified dietitian or a doctor before making any dietary changes. It is true, especially if you have diabetes. They can help you determine the best nutritional choices for your specific needs and goals.

Why Should You Eat Almonds If You Have Diabetes?

Almonds contain beneficial nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. As a result, they help to improve overall health. In addition, Almond milk can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. 

Here are some potential benefits of incorporating almonds and almond milk into a diabetes-friendly diet: 

Low in Calories and Carbohydrates

Almond milk is naturally low in calories and carbohydrates.

According to USDA, 100 mlof unsweetened almond milk contains only 15-20 calories and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates. Therefore, it is ideal for people with diabetes.

Low Glycemic Index

Almonds have a low glycemic index (GI). It means they are absorbed slowly. Therefore, they have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels. Also, research shows that consuming a low glycemic index food helps regulate blood sugar levels.

In addition, it can prevent blood sugar spikes. As a result, it decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

High in Nutrients

Almond milk is a good source of nutrients. Also, it includes vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. They may help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation which are risk factors for diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Study shows magnesium is involved in glucose metabolism. Also, it may help improve insulin sensitivity. It also lowers blood sugar levels.

It May Help Improve Blood Sugar Control

Some studies have suggested that consuming tree nuts like almond milk improve glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes, supporting their inclusion in a healthy diet.

May Lower Blood Pressure

Some research suggests that consuming almonds or almond milk may help lower blood pressure. It is suitable for people with diabetes. Also, it is a rich source of magnesium.

For example, one study found that consuming a diet high in almonds lowered systolic blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes.

Overall, almond milk can be a healthy and tasty choice for people with diabetes. However, it would help if you consumed it in moderation. HealthifyMe’s team of nutritionists can provide personalised plans. For example, such a plan may or may not have almond milk for managing your blood sugar levels. 

HealthifyMe also offers a variety of educational resources. They include articles and videos. These help you learn more about managing your diabetes and healthy lifestyle choices.

The HealthifyMe Note

Almond milk may have potential health benefits for people with diabetes. However, one should consume it in moderation. It needs to be a part of a well-balanced diet. It is also important to choose unsweetened almond milk. Sweetened versions may contain added sugars. Those, in turn, can increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is also essential to monitor your blood sugar levels. Also, consult a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dietary guidelines for your needs.

Conclusion

Almond milk is a rich supply of plant-based protein and healthy fats.  Also, they can help regulate blood sugar. However, it is essential to read the nutrition label to choose diabetes-friendly almond milk. In addition, you must select an unsweetened product with a low carbohydrate content. 

As with any food, it is crucial to be mindful of portion sizes. It would help if you considered the overall balance of your diet when choosing milk alternatives. It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can almond milk raise blood sugar?

A. In general, almond milk is considered to be low in carbohydrates. Therefore, it should not significantly affect blood sugar levels. However, it is essential to note that the carbohydrate content of almond milk can vary depending on the brand and the specific product. Almond milk, with added sugars, could increase the carbohydrate content and affect blood sugar levels.

Q. Can diabetics drink almond milk at night?

A. Yes, people with diabetes can drink almond milk at night. Almond milk is an excellent alternative to cow’s milk because it is low in calories and carbohydrates. It is also high in healthy fats and protein. However, it is crucial for people with diabetes to be mindful of their overall intake of carbohydrates. They also must monitor their blood sugar levels. In addition, some almond milk brands have added sugars. Choosing unsweetened almond milk or reading the label to check for added sugars is a good idea. 

Q. When should you not drink almond milk?

A. There is no general rule about when you should not drink almond milk. However, there are some situations where almond milk may not be suitable or may not be the best choice for you.

  • If you have a nut allergy:
  • If you are following a low-carb or ketogenic diet
  • If you are following a low-oxalate diet
  • If you are on a low-protein diet
  • If you are looking for a source of calcium

Q. Is it okay to drink almond milk every day?

A. It is generally safe to consume almond milk as a balanced diet. Almond milk is a good source of nutrients. It can be a healthy alternative to cow’s milk for lactose-intolerant people. However, it is crucial to remember that almond milk is only a part of the protein source. It does not contain all of the nutrients found in cow’s milk. Such as calcium and vitamin D. If you rely on almond milk as a primary source of nutrients, you need sufficient nutrients from other sources.

Q. Is almond milk good for high blood pressure?

A. Some evidence suggests that almond milk may benefit people with high blood pressure. For example, Almond milk is a good source of monounsaturated fats. They are known to be heart-healthy. It is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. These can help lower blood pressure. Additionally, almond milk is a good source of calcium and potassium, essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

However, it is essential to note that almond milk is not a substitute for medications or other recommended treatments for high blood pressure.

Q. Does almond milk cause kidney stones?

A. There is no evidence to suggest that almond milk causes kidney stones. However, almond milk may be a good choice for people at risk of developing kidney stones because it is low in calcium and protein. These two nutrients can increase the risk of kidney stones when consumed in excess.

The Supporting Sources

1. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1999631/nutrients

2. Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ. Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World J Diabetes. 2015 Aug 25;6(10):1152-7. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v6.i10.1152. PMID: 26322160; PMCID: PMC4549665.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4549665/

3. Viguiliouk E, Kendall CW, Blanco Mejia S, Cozma AI, Ha V, Mirrahimi A, Jayalath VH, Augustin LS, Chiavaroli L, Leiter LA, de Souza RJ, Jenkins DJ, Sievenpiper JL. Effect of tree nuts on glycemic control in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled dietary trials. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 30;9(7):e103376. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103376. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2014;9(9):e109224. PMID: 25076495; PMCID: PMC4116170.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4116170/

4. Guerrero-Romero F, Rodríguez-Morán M. The effect of lowering blood pressure by magnesium supplementation in diabetic hypertensive adults with low serum magnesium levels: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Hum Hypertens. 2009 Apr;23(4):245-51. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2008.129. Epub 2008 Nov 20. PMID: 19020533.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19020533/

5. Zhe Li, Akshaya Srikanth Bhagavathula, Mitchell Batavia, Cain Clark, Hebatullah M. Abdulazeem, Jamal Rahmani, Fuyu Yin. The effect of almonds consumption on blood pressure: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomised control trials, Journal of King Saud University – Science, Volume 32, Issue 2, 2020, Pages 1757-1763, ISSN 1018-3647,

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S101836472030015X#:~:text=There%20is%20no%20significant%20effect,%2C%20Pheterogeneity%20%3D%200.001)

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