Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The group of carbohydrate foods from dairy products was called the “milk and yogurt” group in the diabetes exchange lists because other carbohydrate-containing dairy products were listed elsewhere or not at all. This is an interesting group for several reasons, not least of which is that maybe 70% of the world’s adult population cannot efficiently digest “milk sugar” (lactose). Join me as we discuss what you need to know about dairy, carbohydrates and how they can affect diabetes.
Table of contents
Let’s Talk Dairy – Lactose Intolerance
In this video, part of my series examining the different groups of carbohydrate foods, I’m going to talk about dairy. This might not be a great subject choice since YouTube is about getting lots of views, and people with lactose intolerance might just skip this one. If that doesn’t sound like such a big deal to you, it’s because many of us in the U.S. see this as a fairly rare condition. The truth, however, is that if you CAN tolerate lactose, milk sugar, you have a somewhat rare genetic mutation. Worldwide something like 70- 75% of humans lose the capacity to digest milk after infancy, as do virtually all mammals. Biologically, milk is to nourish infants. But, if you’re a mutant, like me, milk products may be part of your daily diet. For the majority of you, keep watching. I have other twists that may interest you.
Here’s the twist
My First One
Strictly speaking, this group of carbohydrate foods is not “dairy” but the “milk” group, which is basically milk and yogurt. Other dairy products like cottage, cream cheese, sour crèam, and hard cheeses are classified as “fats” or “meat and meat substitutes” on the diabetes exchange lists. While the first three contain do carbohydrates, they are generally eaten in small portions. And with hard cheese, most of the carbohydrate is consumed in the cheese-making process. For our purposes, I want to mention them all, partly because of a very important nutrient.
If you see milk as a great source of vitamin D, it isn’t……well, it isn’t until vitamin D is added, then it is. Commercially produced milk and yogurt are fortified with vitamin D., But there’s a good reason for that. See, Vitamin D and calcium sort of work together, one depending on the other to be most beneficial. And dairy products are a great source of calcium….in fact; it’s not so easy to get adequate calcium from other food sources. So, adding vitamin D to milk puts calcium and vitamin D in one convenient source.
Be Sure To Check Out – Vitamin D May Cut Diabetes Risk
The Big One
Now for the diabetes nutrition info you came to hear. Milk has 12 grams of carbohydrate per cup….a cup is about 235 milliliters for our metric friends. Plain yogurt falls into that same neighborhood, except there are low carbohydrate yogurts. Always check nutrition facts labels for the product serving size and TOTAL carbohydrate per serving. Be on the lookout for kinds of milk and yogurts with higher carbohydrates from added or natural sugars in flavorings….chocolate milk, for instance….. or from fruit and fruit-like substances.
Did You Know?
Hard cheeses are a different story, and this is often good news for those people who can’t digest lactose. A full cup of shredded cheddar cheese has only about 3 grams of carbohydrate…..that’s why cheese isn’t in the milk group on the diabetes exchange lists. The nutrition label on prepackaged cheese slices will often show 0 carbs per slice. Cheese also concentrates many of the nutrients found in milk. One cup of Provolone brings 1000 milligrams of calcium, 34 grams of protein, 65% of our daily requirement for phosphorous, and between 25% and 30% of the recommended intake of riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, and selenium. However, that cup of Provolone also comes with more than 1100 milligrams of sodium and 22 grams of saturated fat….more than the recommended daily intake of saturated fat. Also of note, most cheese IS NOT fortified with Vitamin D.
This is an odd group of carbohydrates. It’s the only carbohydrate food not from plants, and there’s that issue that most people can’t tolerate lactose- the carbohydrate in milk. But now that the two “odd” groups are done…..nonstarchy vegetables and dairy….we’ll be getting into the other groups that are more straightforward.
Be Sure To Check Out – Diabetes and Carbohydrates – What You Need To Know About Nonstarchy Vegetables
Next……. We’ll visit grains.
Until next time, cheers to your health.
Don’t forget to take a look at our most frequently asked questions.
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