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If you have diabetes or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels is an important goal. If you can control your blood glucose, you lower your risk of developing kidney disease, heart disease, and loss of vision that can come from having diabetes.
Thankfully, you can help control your blood sugar through things like medication, physical exercise, and eating the right foods.
It’s important to make the distinction here that there is no one food or drink that can lower your blood sugar on its own. Instead, it’s more about eating a diet that helps you to manage your blood sugar levels while avoiding certain foods and drinks that can lead to blood sugar spikes.
We talked with Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, and a member of our medical expert board, about certain drinks that can help you to manage your blood glucose. Her suggestion? Cow’s milk!
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“The reality is, many people are sipping down lots of sugar in soda, sweet tea, sugar-sweetened beverages, fancy coffee beverages, store-bought smoothies, and more, which can contribute to blood sugar spikes and drops,” says Goodson. “When it comes to keeping blood sugar levels stable, a drink that contains the combination of carbohydrate and protein is essential.”
Protein helps slow down digestion, so it helps you feel full faster, stay full longer, and can help blunt blood sugar spikes,” says Goodson. “While water is an excellent source of hydration, it does not really affect your blood sugar levels.”
The combination of protein and carbohydrate is what makes cow’s milk a great drink for helping those with pre-diabetes or diabetes manage their blood sugar.
A study published in Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews found that drinking dairy milk not only helped to manage blood sugar, but also helped improve insulin response-another crucial component of managing diabetes.
“With 12 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of high-quality protein in an 8-ounce serving, it helps satisfy hunger and hydrate you without contributing to a blood sugar spike,” says Goodson. “Not to mention milk has 13 essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, the antioxidant selenium, and more. So, not only are you getting a balanced blood sugar, you are also getting a plethora of nutrients as well!”
For more drinking tips, here’s The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Says Science.
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