Lately, it seems dairy milk is the culprit for any and every ailment. All sorts of ads want us to switch to alternative milks, like almond or oat, instead of drinking cow’s milk. But all the bad press might not be warranted. It turns out that regular old cow’s milk could actually help lower blood sugar, thanks to the complex proteins it contains.
Keeping blood sugar levels down is always important, especially for those struggling with diabetes and pre-diabetes. But diabetics aren’t the only ones who could benefit from lower blood sugar levels. Having high blood sugar for extended periods of time can lead to heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.
A major way of keeping blood sugar levels within normal range is to eat a diet low in glucose and other sugar-boosting foods. One great food item that checks this box? Cow’s milk.
Does milk lower blood sugar?
A study from 2019 found that dairy milk helped to manage the blood sugar levels and improved insulin response in people with type 2 diabetes. And in 2018, a study found that drinking milk with cereal in the morning reduced blood sugar levels throughout the day. This is likely due to the high levels of protein found in milk. Believe it or not, the complex proteins in cow’s milk — the same ones that make it difficult for many adults to digest — are behind this potential benefit.
“When it comes to keeping blood sugar levels stable, a drink that contains the combination of carbohydrate and protein is essential,” Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD told Eat This, Not That. “Protein helps slow down digestion, so it helps you feel full faster, stay full longer, and blunt blood sugar spikes.”
Bonus: dairy milk is also full of health-boosting nutrients, including vitamin D and calcium. So if you’re reaching for a drink to help your overall health, milk might not be a bad option! Of course, one solution is be right for everybody, so it’s important to consult your doctor first and slowly introduce milk into your diet if you are diabetic, or have had previous issues with dairy products.
Now, if we can only find a study that says cookies are good for you, we’ll be all set for a healthy snack! (We’re baking these easy peanut butter ones this afternoon.)