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Avoiding Diary | Managing Diabetes

When it comes to effectively managing your diabetes we recommend avoiding dairy. While dairy on paper is a relatively low carbohydrate food, when we look at the insulin index of foods it actually has a disproportionately high insulin effect.

In fact, the insulin index of both low fat and high fat milk are the equivalent to the insulin index of white bread.

The insulin index measures the level of insulin the body secretes after the consumption of a food. Unlike the glycaemic index which just measures the blood sugar response of a particular food the insulin index is perhaps a better indicator of how a food may contribute to chronic elevated insulin levels and insulin resistance.

The reason diary raises insulin levels may be due to the lactose present in it. Lactose is a simple sugar composed of glucose and galactose which is thought to cause insulin to spike. But it may also be due to the type of protein that is found in milk, either caseine or whey which may both stimulate the production of insulin from the pancreas.

Indeed, research seems to show that low-fat dairy fails to improve insulin sensitivity in obese and overweight subjects. Another reason to avoid dairy is that it actually has been implicated in the course of Type I diabetes.

Studies show that the incidence of Type I is higher in countries where dairy consumption is also high. So countries like Sweden and Norway seem to have very high rate. Whether this is specific to diabetes or autoimmune disease in general, I believe it may have a lot to do with the impact of daily on the gut mucosal lining. So I’d really not be taking my chances with dairy.

Albeit low fat dairy foods have often been said to be the perfect weight loss food, you are really better off without it. In fact, your calcium needs can be obtained from calcium rich food such as sesame seeds, almonds, dark leafy greens and even oily fish such a sardine or a supplement if required, and if you’re planning conception then we would normally recommend a supplement.


About Gabriela Rosa MScM, ND

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