Good Milk Alternatives For Diabetics or Weight Loss

milk alternatives

Best Milk Alternatives for Diabetics. Which to Avoid and My Top Pick!

Today, I’m going to review all the milk alternatives that are either best-tasting milk alternatives or healthiest milk alternatives, or both. I will give you my professional opinion on which to use and which to avoid as a diabetic. Keep reading to the end because I’m going to tell you, which milk I think diabetics should use more of.

Hey everyone! Welcome to SugarMDs. I’m Dr. Ahmet Ergin, Endocrinologist, Certified Diabetes Educator, and a milk lover- in my coffee only.

I’m going to start with a review of real milk first before I get into the alternatives.

Whole milk, is about 3.2% fat which is the natural amount of fat that milk has straight from the cow! Milk is something to watch out for in your diabetic diet.

Whole milk has about 8 grams of protein per cup plus you’ll get 25% of your daily vitamin D and 30% of your daily calcium. If you want to learn about how much milk can a diabetic drink read this.

Now, let talk about the carbs…1 cup of whole milk contains about 12 grams of carbohydrates with 11 grams being sugar. If you think this amount of carb is good and won’t spike your blood sugar because you do not really have any other carbs with it, go for it but remember it is liquid. Anything liquid will get absorbed faster and will spike your blood sugar. If you are making smoothies you can add some avocado to slow down the absorption of the carbs in the milk.

Whether you’re just drinking a glass of milk or using it as a food additive, make sure you’re not consuming with a high carbohydrate food (like cereal-my least favorite food choice for any diabetic).

I’m starting with Oat milk. Lately, Oat milk has been such a craze, it made it all the way to the Starbucks menu!

Everywhere I’ve been lately, Oat Milk has been a featured choice. So, what’s the nutritional deal?

Plain, Original Oat milk contains only about 1.5 grams of fat non of which is saturated fat which is good per cup, 2 grams of protein, 20% of your Vitamin D, and 25% of your daily calcium. BUT! Since Oat milk is made from well….Oats! It’s much higher in carbohydrates.

1 cup contains about whopping 19 grams of carbs with 2 grams of fiber with a total net carb of 17 grams. Even plain Oat milk has about 4 grams of added sugar. Yes, it’s creamy and tastes pretty good but overall, Oat milk is not the best choice for diabetics or for people watching carbohydrates. If added to a smoothie you can be well over 30 grams of carbohydrates with only a few additions.

 

Here are my top picks for anyone watching carbohydrates like my keto friends, diabetic or non-diabetic.

 

#1: Almond milk

Almond milk would be the healthiest milk alternative if not the best tasting milk alternative. Almond milk is one of the top-selling plant-based milk because of its rich texture and flavor.  However, since it’s a processed beverage, you may wonder whether it’s a nutritious and safe option. Most milk substitutes whether be it almonds or any other nuts or oats are blended with water then strained to remove pulp. Of course, there may be some preservatives in store-bought ones, but making this milk at home isn’t hard at all.

So, the great thing about almond milk is that it is creamy, a little sweet, calcium-rich with 450 milligrams of calcium, and lactose-free. One cup has only 40 calories, 0 grams of saturated fat, and just 2 grams of carbs. It has a natural, nutty flavor and is great in smoothies or steamed with your morning latte. Just make sure you stick with the unsweetened one.

#2: Unsweetened Soymilk

Soymilk is rich in calcium, high in vitamin B-12, and of course dairy-free. Soymilk has 4 grams of total fat with (0.5 grams being saturated), 7 grams of protein and only 4 grams of carbohydrates. Since soymilk is smooth and has a natural taste, this is also a go-to choice for smoothies.

#3: Low-fat Goat Milk.  If you are not familiar with goat milk, you may be thinking that sounds gross.  But if you want an option a little closer to cow’s milk this is a good choice. It has 8 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbs per cup. It’s rich in calcium and tastes great in milkshakes or smoothies! Just make sure to use a healthy sugar substitute like stevia or monk fruit. If you haven’t watched it already, please check out my new video on sugar substitutes.

#4: Unsweetened Flax Milk

This is not a very popular choice because it can be a little bit harder to find.  But you can find this in most health food stores. Flax Milk has only 1 gram of carbs and 25 calories per cup.  What makes this option amazing for anyone is that it contains around 1,200 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids! Plus, it’s free of most allergens.

#5 Coconut milk?

Coconut milk would be the best-tasting milk alternative if not the healthiest milk alternative. A cup of coconut milk is about 7 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of carbs, and 0.5 grams of protein which is great. Now you need to like the coconut because it is flavored milk. It will still be great for those doing keto or if you are using it in smoothies as the taste will blend in a smoothie. You can add full-fat coconut milk to soups, stews, casseroles, and curries for a rich, creamy texture unless you have a cholesterol issue. Oops! Nothing is ever perfect, right?

What else to pay attention to when choosing a milk alternative?

Although regular, full-fat, canned coconut milk is great for a keto diet, other types may not be as good.

For example, sweetened versions may contain way too many carbs to push you over your daily carb allowance. So, check the nutrition label to make sure you do not buy sweetened coconut milk.

Verdict

My personal recommendation for diabetics or the carb-conscious is…Almond milk!  Like I said 1 cup has just 2 grams of carbohydrates and only 40 calories! It’s lactose-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and vegan and most importantly it is smooth and delicious.  It also works well in most recipes as well as my morning latte.  Not to mention it has 50% more calcium than regular cow milk.

That ends the video, and hey!

If you enjoyed this about the best milk alternatives and hope it helped you to decide on the healthiest milk alternative or the best tasking milk alternative for you.

Dr. Ahmet Ergin

Endocrinologist

Diabetes Educator

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply