Is Milk Bad for You? Diabetes and Milk

Is cow’s milk good food for people, especially people with diabetes? The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) say yes. Given how I feel about ADA and USDA’s record on nutrition advice, I think we should check for ourselves.


ADA recommends two to three servings of low-fat milk (or other low-fat dairy food such as cheese and yogurt) each day. “Including sources of dairy products in your diet is an easy way to get calcium and high-quality protein,” according to their nutrition page.

USDA says three cups a day for people age nine and up. But what do independent experts say? And what does the data say?

Many disagree about milk’s being healthy. Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, wrote,

I typically advise most of my patients to avoid dairy products completely… From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn’t domesticate animals and weren’t able to drink milk… The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme needed to [deal with] lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five.”

OK. So some experts disagree with the government. But we have to start at the beginning. What is milk anyway?

What milk is made of
Milk is food produced by mammal mothers to feed their young. Mammal milks are all similar, but they have important differences in the specific proteins. It may be that cow’s milk is not a good match for most human populations.

Milk has significant amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate in one package. Normal cow’s milk contains 30–35 grams of protein per liter, mostly in the form of casein. It also contains dozens of other proteins in small amounts, various minerals, and vitamins A, B complex, C, D, K, and E.

What could be wrong with that? Let’s look a little more closely.

Milk protein linked to Type 1 diabetes?
There are four different types of casein proteins, called alpha-S1, alpha-S2, beta, and kappa caseins. Other milk proteins are called “whey” proteins.

A variant of beta-casein known as A1 beta-casein has been implicated in causing Type 1 diabetes. In genetically vulnerable children, A1 beta-casein may set off an immune response that later turns against the beta cells in the pancreas.

Children who drink cow milk have been found more likely to develop Type 1 later on. Other scientists say this evidence is weak and the studies were flawed. I think children should be kept off cow’s milk formulas at least until their first birthday.

Milk fat
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) defines a serving of dairy as 8 ounces of nonfat or low-fat milk or yogurt.

This low-fat advice appears unsupported by science. Most of the good stuff in milk is in the fats. According to Wikipedia, “the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K along with essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acid are found within the milk fat portion of milk.”

Some evidence supports milk fat as being protective against Type 2 diabetes. A study published in the December 2010 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine followed 3,736 men for 10 years and found that those who had the highest blood levels of a type of fatty acid from whole-fat (not nonfat) dairy foods had 60% less chance of developing Type 2 diabetes than men with the lowest levels.

As one of the authors commented, “This is an extremely strong protective effect, stronger than other things we know can be beneficial against diabetes.”

Several other studies have demonstrated that dairy consumption lowers risk for insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, or diabetes. Researchers credit a fatty acid found in dairy products, trans-palmitoleic acid, as the possible protective compound.

In various studies, higher levels of trans-palmitoleic acid were associated with numerous desirable outcomes: lower body-mass index, smaller waist circumference, lower triglyceride levels, lower levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation), lower fasting insulin levels, and less insulin resistance.

Milk sugars
Milk sugar is called lactose. Lactose gives milk its sweet taste and contributes approximately 40% of whole cow’s milk’s calories.

Lactose can definitely raise your blood glucose. An enzyme called lactase splits it up into glucose and galactose. Because this split takes time, some nutritionists say lactose converts to blood glucose relatively slowly (that is to say, it has a low glycemic index or GI).

But others say that dairy may have a low GI but it stimulates insulin as if it had a high GI. Loren Cordain, PhD, of Colorado State Department of Health and Exercise Science, believes this may be due to the combination of lactose and some of the amino acids in whey proteins.

Cordain, author of The Paleo Answer, says the insulin response to milk is “extreme,” and advises people concerned about diabetes to avoid milk products.

It’s hard to reconcile the supposedly healthful affects of dairy fat with the supposedly harmful effects of dairy sugar. Should we drink it or not?

Different kinds of milk
There are other milks besides human and cow. Goat milk is gaining popularity. Camel milk is said by many to be extremely nutritious. It’s now for sale in the U.S. Vegan milks include soy milk, rice milk, and almond milk.

You might consider buying either free-range, grass-fed organic milk or using a vegan alternative. According to Discovery Health, milk cows are given hormones to increase their milk production and antibiotics to decrease infections. Neither of these is good to eat.

Lactose intolerance
People who don’t have sufficient lactase to digest lactose will be “lactose intolerant,” and may suffer diarrhea, intestinal gas, cramps, and bloating from drinking milk.

It is estimated that 30 to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, including up to 75% of Native Americans and African-Americans, and 90% of Asian Americans.

Lactose-free or reduced lactose milk is available. It has been treated with lactase to break lactose down, so it doesn’t cause abdominal problems. It is sweeter than regular milk and has a higher glycemic index.

So is milk good or bad? I am confused. How has it been for you?

Want to learn more about milk? Read “Full-Fat or Low-Fat Dairy: Which Is Best?” by certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian Amy Campbell.

Learn more about the health and medical experts who who provide you with the cutting-edge resources, tools, news, and more on Diabetes Self-Management.
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  • John_C

    Well I do use milk (actually a ‘small’ scoop of high fat ice cream) to treat a hypo.. Turns a bad situation into a treat ūüôā

    Couldn’t agree more with your conclusions — lactose is sugar! And it certainly takes very little time to raise blood sugar.

    I avoid milk for lots of reasons (many in your blog). I do eat a fair amount of ‘real’ cheese, but the fermentation process gets rid of the sugars. Read the back of package: Carbs = 0.

    Gee David, I would be careful if someone comes to your door with a violin case that has an ADA sticker on it.

  • Dawn

    I drink milk, but for the protein, only after I have been to the gym or worked out at home. One glass a day during the week. If I drink it any other time my blood sugars go crazy, even though I pump one unit for each 15 grams of carb and have no trouble with my other carbs! Not sure why it happens. I love milk but no can do on a regular basis!

  • Smith

    I don’t think any one should stop having milk for diabetes. Milk is natural sugars which are beneficial to health. I was brought up drinking milk at every meal, and I still drink fat free milk every day with meals, and sometimes as my snack as well.
    Our bodies deal differently on the food we eat, we are all different and declaring that one-food-type is good or not good over another-food-type can be misleading.
    AS my personal experience i want to suggest it is good to have one and half glasses of milk daily including tea. is it applicable for the patients with diabetes and Stay Diabetes Free.

  • Joe

    Skimmed milk contains roughly the same amount of sugar as fruit juice or soda pop and should be handled roughly the same way -as a treat, not a daily food.

  • Mishelle Whitmire

    If you enjoy milk and it doesnt make your blood sugars go crazy… then have some. I tried so hard to keep my mom away from the milk (before she passed away) She LOVED milk. BUT it would take her blood sugars to 350 ish. She was just a milk lover. My 17 yr old son was having trouble with digestive issues. He would get bouts of diarrhea at school (during class) which was really embarrassing to him. This happened about 3 times.
    Went to gastroenterologist, they asked him to get off milk. What do you know?? It all went away. He no longer has those stomach issues and he no longer drinks any milk. Will have ice cream from time to time. We are the only animals on the planet that still drink milk AFTER we have been weaned. Just like the article above, we dont have the enzymes anymore. But as far as blood sugar..for most people it raises blood sugar. It just does. Everyone is different and can tolerate different foods. But for our family…Milk is NOT a good addition.

  • James

    I used to have lots of health problems that I found was caused by milk and other dairy products
    and after I quit them my health was much better,just go online and ask if milk is healthy for you and you will find much good advise.

  • Greg Nowlan

    I have found that staying with a healthy serve on my diabetes approved cereal and a little drizzle in my 2 or 3 coffees a day has helped me lose weight and get more improvement in hypertension and type 2 diabetes with high lipids and ldl levels reducing too.My Doctor has had a pleasant surprise with my hba1C and ldl and lipid falls from blood tests at
    I have read a lot on cinnamon and intend chatting with my doctor and specialists asap to look at offerings in my local health store, the proprietor of which is quite well informed on miracles and reality for most of us here in the Australian Capital.
    I have quite enjoyed reading your chats with people on this site too. Good luck always and I will let you know if Cinnamon becomes more high profile in my diet.
    Ys Greg.

  • Greg Nowlan

    Sorry I should have expressed skim milk – cows.
    Find it quite inexpensive here and it lasts with refrigeration much longer than 2% or any alternative in cows milks.

  • renu bala

    my mom have deibteis problem need information about it

  • terence martin uk

    how much sugar in 1 litre skimmed milk,also how much sugar in 1 litre of whole milk.??

  • Patrick O’Rourke

    I asked the docs about milk and they told me it was okay for diabetics. What I don’t think they realized is that I can easily drink a gallon a day. But now I realize also why my sugar has been 250-300. I think I will just drink water because if Ihave my low-fat milk in the house I will guzzle it down like water.
    That will be my new years resolution to break.

  • Bharti Patel

    Lately my blood sugar is high some day and normal on another day and as i was concern about this i googled and came to this site. I don’t usually drink milk at night before going to bed but i have done it for last couple of weeks and as my sugar is now high i am going to stop drinking milk and let you guys know of my result.

  • David Spero RN

    Thanks, Bhari. Please keep us posted.


  • Rudolph Cambridge

    Thank you for the information I’ve received reading your experiences with cow’s milk and the problems with diabetes. My experience with whole milk after drinking it causes the same reaction. My number rises to 300-400 after a good glass of milk. Does eggs and cheese, also dairy have the same effect? Please advise.

  • Pedro Brandão

    Some useful reading:

    “Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk”, from Keith Woodford

    “Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases”, Technical Report nº 916, WHO and FAO

    “Don’t Drink Your Milk! New Frightening Medical Facts About the World’s Most Overrated Nutrient”, from Frank A. Oski MD

    “Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care”, from B. Spock and R. Needlman

    “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs”, from Neal Barnard

    “Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Food and Food Additives”, from D. D. Metcalfe and Hugh Sampson

    “Hold the Cheese Please! A Story for Children About Lactose Intolerance”, from Frank J. Sileo

    “Mad Cows and Milk Gate”, from Virgil M. Hulse

    Hope that helps.

  • Suzanne Connelly

    I have today discovered this site. I was looking to confirm what I thought I discovered. I am Type 2 Diabetic. I thought I had a thought to discontinue dairy as an experiment about six weeks ago. I don’t usually drink milk but do put either milk or cream in my coffee. To make up for the that lack of calcium, I eat cheese and yogurt. Well, I guess per this site a lot of people do know what I did not. My blood sugar has gone down. I am amazed and happy about it. I thought it was just me. Thank you, all.

  • Addy

    Interesting article, though I do take issue with one of the quotes provided:

    “The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme needed to [deal with] lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five.” it basically states that “the majority of humans” stop producing the enzyme needed to deal with lactose at a very young age; and thusly that “the majority of humans” should – by that assumption – therefore be lactose intolerant to some degree; lacking a substantial enough amount of the enzyme to process it.

    While there are quite a many out there who are – or who experience adverse effects due to the blood sugar problems – this is very simply and quite obviously NOT the case. It is nowhere near a “majority” that can’t handle lactose. At least half if not more people out there are capable of handling and digesting it just fine, with no problems.

    Obviously, if an individual experiences any sort of problems with lactose-based products, they should most definitely look into reducing and/or cutting out intake of them altogether; however, purporting a statement such as the above as all-around fact as Dr. Mark Hyman was quoted as doing does disincline me to bother with anything else he would say.

    I personally think that all things considered, the advantages and/or disadvantages of milk/lactose-products as a whole is something that can really only be gauged on an individual level. As with most things related to food intolerance / allergies / blood sugar, it’s really up to each individual to figure out the “best mix” for themselves with the aid of their doctor/nutritionist. It’s really just trial and error until a good, stable solution is found (and even that may change eventually).

    There are just some things that “studies” can’t give answers for to everyone across the board. Honestly, that’s most things in general; but in my opinion, this is definitely one of them.

  • framklin panama

    i am having a type 2 diabetics, i am having problem making love to my wife, secondly i don’t see fluid coming from my penis each time i make love pls advise

  • David Clark

    People have commented that we are the only species that drink milk after having been weaned.

    That is true, I have never seen a tiger drawing milk from a cow. Nor a chimpanzee in Asda, buying milk. Nor a rattlesnake have a cappuccino in a coffee shop.

    What a ridiculous thing to say.

    We are the only species to cook food. Does this mean it would be more sensible and healthy to eat everything raw?

  • Linda Ingram

    I came to this site after querying diabetes and dairy. Like an earlier poster I stopped drinking dairy about 3 weeks ago to see if I have lactose issues. Besides clearly up some gastro issues I was having my blood sugar test has been dropping steadily. I am now getting the lowest readings I have had in years! I was sitting here thinking about the trend this morning and realized the only difference in my diet, medicine, and exercise has been the elimination of dairy. I am drinking unsweetened almond milk and find it a very pleasant substitute. Experiment over…this is now a permanent change!

  • Sandra Dovali

    I use full fat goat’s milk (mostly in yogurt form) – less carbs and more diabetic friendly. I eat unprocessed “raw” cheeses – also more diabetic friendly. Where I live in Berkeley, California all are readily available even at our Trader Joe’s!

  • william

    I am completely confused. Is milk good for diabetics or not.
    A simple yes or no will suffice.

  • David Spero RN

    Hi William,

    I’m afraid there is no simple yes or no for everybody. You have to test to see how it affects you. One thing I would say is that nonfat milk doesn’t make much sense for most people. The good stuff is in the fats, so if you’re going to drink it, drink the real thing. But that’s just my opinion, based on the research I quoted in the blog. Sorry I can’t be more definite.

  • william

    Hi David Sperno. I thank you for your reply, however I guess I already knew the answer but was looking for a new revelation. Whole milk, 2%, and buttermilk (low-fat) all have 13 grams of sugar per cup. I don’t know about skim milk. This has been bad news for a diabetic who was a milk lover. With Oreos of course.



  • Jhen Lao

    Hi, my DM has just been recently diagnosed. I love milk and I was so sad when I read this page but still very thankful for the information. I don’t eat a lot of rice or chocolates that’s why the DM came as a big surprise. But I love milk and yogurt and cheese! So recently I am trying to stay away from all this and tomorrow I will have another round of medical laboratory to know my recent FBS, Sgpt and others and I will see if staying away from milk will make any difference. I just want to know what alternatives to milk can we take now, I mean to get the calcium that we need? I read here about almond milk, can that fill our need for calcium? Thank you!

  • Linda Vaughn

    It’s no secret milk has carbs/sugar (via lactose): 11 grams per cup. Why is that a problem? Just include it in your carb count per meal, and watch what you have with it. Milk has protein, which is especially good for diabetics (good to have protein w/carbs.) I don’t get how milk could be considered a “weird” food that we invented: babies are breastfed the stuff.–And surely, that happened long before those invented foods. It’s not like “fake” foods, such as Margarine, which is like eating plastic. So why is it again that you think it’s bad? I agree the hormones they add is sooo wrong, but as long as you buy the stuff that manufacturers haven’t messed with (except homogenized, of course) why is it a problem? Besides, the govt. doesn’t say ONLY milk. As you pointed out, that milk quota includes cheese, yogurt, etc. Without those, yikes, we’d be missing tons of nutrients.

    • Cathryn Kay

      You answered your own question there Linda. BABIES are BREASTFED the stuff. Human BABIES, human BREAST. COW babies, COW udder. Cow’s milk is not the correct formula for a human and vice versa. A calf fed on human milk would be a sickly little runt of a thing And no animal milk is suitable for ADULTS. Sure you may not drop down dead from drinking it, but then my grandfather smoked for 80 years and died at 92, never having been in a hospital – that doesn;t mean it will work that way for most people. The human body is a wonderful, resilient device, and constantly works to heal itself from the harm we do to it with our eating, drinking and other lifestyle habits. But look at the price we pay in terms of the health of western humans!
      I’ve not knowingly consumed any animal products for 16 years in June, I sailed through the menopause, I take no prescription drugs, and apart from hand eczema caused by overuse of cleaning products I am in perfect health at 57. No missing nutrients. We don’t need milk, it contains things that can injure us, and I don’t understand why people are so resistant to being weaned.

  • m

    To Linda,

    The problem with milk and yogurt is that they seem to spike blood sugar much more than you would expect for their level of carbs. It’s not a severe problem for everyone, but for others it is, and something that everyone should be aware of so that they can keep an eye out for it. Scientists aren’t sure of the reasons behind this unusually large insulin or blood sugar spike as the result of dairy consumption. One suspected reason is that there are many growth hormones naturally present in milk. Not just synthetic hormones fed to cows by dairy farmers, but natural hormones naturally present in milk, no matter how the cows are treated by farmers. Why? You said it yourself – babies are breastfed the stuff. It is naturally meant to be something that rapidly growing people eat. Perhaps if you are a dedicated athlete looking to grow a lot of muscle, regular milk consumption makes sense for you. But for most adults with only normal levels of exercise, such a surge in sugar and growth material may not be a good idea. While some people seem able to consume dairy with no ill effects, many do not even realize the number of medical problems that have been linked to milk – spikes in insulin and blood sugar, all manner of digestive issues, migrains, and for some children, ADD and ADHD. Do your research.

  • m

    p.s. – as long as you avoid junk food and eat a varied diet, it is not at all difficult to find all of the nutrients you need without consuming any dairy. Many lactose intolerant people do just fine!

  • Dahad Pune

    I am diabetic type 2 for 16 yrs. I just bumped onto this site and now I realised the surprise unbelievable and shocking reason for sudden jumps in my sugar levels time and again. WHENEVER I DRANK MILK THE PREVIOUS NIGHT, MY SUGAR LEVEL WENT SKY ROCKETING!! This is my conclusion after realising and recollecting past history OF 16 YEARS! Just 2 days ago my fasting sugar was 102 and next day it was 158. The only change in 2 days was 2 large cup of milk previous night and that too INSTEAD OF NORMAL DINNER!
    I have now decided to experiment NO MILK FOR ABOUT A MONTH AND REPORT BACK.

  • David Spero RN

    Hi Dahad,

    Yes please do report back. Hope the no milk diet helps.

  • tomas

    To be short and concise,my (a1c) plummeted, (9.6) to (5.5)when i stopped drinking milk….Milk sucks !!

  • visalasree

    after having a look into all the above discussions and suggestions , i want to give one small suggestion that don’t take milk or any high sugar containing foods in the night because of lack of work night times we wont be able to utilise the sugars properly especially in diabetics, so please don’t avoid milk completely, instead of night you please try to take in the mornings , so that full day you will do some work and your blood glucose will not be so high for a long time, and try to finish of your dinner by 7:30- 8:00pm and then see the result. daily do 30 min yoga prpoerly it will help you a lot in order to regularise your metabolism.

  • samandar

    I am a mild type 2 diabetic , my diet consisted of daily cereal and a full glass of reduced fat milk .Since I stopped my overall blood sugar has reduced, my fasting sugar has dropped an average of 15 units.I think its due to the combination of avoiding both the cereal and milk. good luck to all you type 2 diabetics !

  • Dr Deborah Shulman

    you have a lot to learn – maybe nutrition 101 in university would heal your ignorance issues:
    -Your feelings about the ADA and the USDA matter? I mean who in the devil are you? you don’t have a pertinent degree or education (obviously) and parade yourself as outside the mainstream? Yes, outside the mainstream of knowledge about the human body, history and nutrition
    -You cite an MD with an agenda as an expert negating a whole body of academic research?
    -We are not the only species to drink other mammals milk – dogs and cats will lap it up when they get it and that is the point. We are the only species capable of milking another species. mammal means of the mammary gland – we can drink their milk and they can drink ours
    -Anthropologists, physiologists (like me and I also have a BS in nutritional science) and the bible consider milk the perfect food
    -your discussion on lactose and the components of milk demonstrate your superficial knowledge of nutrition, physiology and the glycemic index
    — milk is made of grass (ideally) – it is fermented by bacteria in the rumen which create the milk. Ruminant animals are able to convert inedible grasses into a highly nutritious substance. It is never part of the rumninants body and the components do not come from the blood stream.

    • t.w.

      Dr Deborah Shulman …… I drink a (4 ounces) glass of milk and my blood sugar spikes over 200 (my daytime baseline blood sugar sits around 120-130) can you explain that to me ?

  • Dr Deborah Shulman

    so – I noticed that you filter comments. i’ll check back to see if you have the honesty and integrity to post mine. Also, please address the considerable body of research that show numerous beneficial aspects of milk. I was trained in research – there is not a nefarious exclusion of research against milk (the negative press is generated by uneducated pop nutrition outside of academia). MDs who are not trained in nutrition in school and from my experience know next to nothing about nutrition write books – this is who you believe? So, since there is a huge body of research that does not support your contentions, please address why this might be.

  • Helen

    I recently became interested in gluten sensitivity problems, and one of the issues raised repeatedly in the research is cross-reactivity of gluten and milk protein. Thinking that gluten might be the cause of my blood sugar issues (pre-diabetic), I bit the bullet and did a 3-week elimination diet — no gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts or sugar. It was tough, but I got through it, and by the end of the first week my bg averages dropped 20 points, and were staying under 100 all day! I added eggs back in… still fine. Even a small amount of gluten didn’t raise the number much. But yesterday for the first time in 6 weeks I ate 2 large servings of my beloved raw milk whole fat yogurt, and this morning my fasting bg was 141! Whatever the reason, it’s now clear to me that dairy can’t be part of my diet if I want to keep my bg low. Those wonderful readings in the 70s and 80s all day are plenty of evidence for me!!

  • dinesh butola

    I am really confused, can u tell us what is the good & bad percentage in having milk for diateses patient.

  • Carlos

    I think you should include cinnamon to your skim milk. and drink apple cider vinegar,2tbsp with water morning and night

    • Niku

      Thanks for reminding me about cinnamon.

  • Barry

    I am a molecular biologist at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and recently an article came out providing a mechanistic link between dairy consumption and a number of diseases including diabetes. The article is scientific in nature but it can be assessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nihigov/pmc/articles/PMC3725179/pdf/1475-2891-12-103.pdf (Melnik (2013) Nutrition Journal 12:103 ‘Milk is not just food but most likely a genetic transfection system activating mTORC1 signaling for postnatal growth’.)
    At least one person on the blog mentioned that milk may aggravate blood sugar levels apart from the actual sugar in milk. The attached article provides a basis for this response. The protein in milk has a very high content of leucine and tryptophan, and these amino acids act as endocrine messengers to turn on metabolism. There is evidence that daily consumption of milk can cause insulin insensitivity over time in part because of the activation of hormones like IGF-1 and insulin.
    I believe that the dairy industry has some concern over these recent findings, since the paper I have referenced provides a mechanistic link between dairy and certain diseases. This mechanistic evidence is much stronger than clinical studies in showing the relationship between milk, metabolism and how they are linked to certain diseases. I don’t have diabetes, but I tried the 3 week fasting experiment with milk and I have felt better since significantly reducing dairy products from my diet. Now I mainly eat cheese, and I drink very little milk except for tea and coffee.

  • John Martynski

    You really didn’t answer the question. Can a type 2 diabetic drink 2 percent or skim milk, yes or no.

    • sragdhara

      yes or no

      • Niku

        Yes and no.

  • David Spero RN

    I don’t have an answer for you, John. Of course a person with Type 2 can drink whatever kind of milk he or she wants. I believe whole milk is probably healthier, and no milk at all may be best for most people with diabetes. But it’s very individual. I would advise doing some glucose monitoring after drinking to see how different milks affect you personally.

  • Norman

    My wife and I both have Diabetes and my wife drinks a lot of Skim mile and I just use a little on ceral. My A1c is 5.6 and hers is over 10.
    This should tell her something is not right but she will not stop drinking milk. If your going to drink milk, why not just get a spoonfull from the sack of sugar.

    • kev

      5.6 isn’t diabetes

  • Flemming

    I have diabet 2. I have always been drinking a lot of milk. 2-3 liters per day. I used to drink light milk, but someone suggested to dring A2 ful cream milk. I tried this for a few days and my sugar level seems to go up.
    I am otherwise healthy for my age. Everything is normal blood preasure, colesteral etc. Have no headaches, no rebuilds joints. So maybe me drinking milk does some good. Trying to find low sugar milk when I saw this site. Very interesting

  • snehal

    This has done wonders in many diabetic patients, apple therapy has given wonderful results. It is founded by Mr. Prakhe. He is from Poona, India. A patient should eat a medium size apple or to begin, half apple in the morning on empty stomach and then take a walk for minimum 20 mints. Apple initially increases sugar and then brings it down but does not take a patient to hypoglicemic condition. Try it.

  • SAN

    I am type 2, and drink Hood Calorie Countdown 2 percent milk. It is ideal for diabetics, because there’s no sugar and only 3 grams of carbohydrate per cup. The chocolate version is excellent, and very low carb too. This is the only milk I have found that does not spike my glucose levels. Unfortunately, the chain of grocery stores I shop at has suddenly stopped carrying this milk.

    I am searching for it elsewhere, but no luck so far. If anyone knows where to find this product in the Seattle area, please let me know – I am extremely upset and angry over the sudden difficulty in finding this milk.

  • ARBlair

    Probably should only eat or drink very little dairy products wether you are diabetic or not. A friend of mine who is Type 1 and has been insulin dependent for the past 25 years as recently discovered that tequila and vodka make his sugar levels go down. In the past months he has lost 45 pounds been working out religiously(working out I believe is the big key to all this) and he has been able to take himself off of insulin. He doesn’t drink or intake hardly any dairy as a rule. He sticks to vegetables, grilled meats and exercises alot but this is what he has to do to maintain his current situation. I think we all have to find what works best for us individually because no two of us are the same. Working out is the key.

    • Mark Workman

      I believe you mean he has Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependant no matter how much they exercise or how well they eat.

  • Screenname404

    I got suspicious about milk’s effect on blood sugar becoz I went through some drastic changes in life which saw me going from with milk – to without milk – and then to with milk again. During the “milkless” period my blood sugar was going pretty well, but since I started drinking milk again, even just a little bit in my coffee and porridge, my blood sugar has gone up quite a bit. It is exactly this experience that drove me to go Googling and the first page I landed is this one. It’s helpful to see that there are others with similar experiences as I do. I hope those who posted and said that they will post back really do post back.

    • Louann Lamphere Moffett

      I agree with you. I was not using milk Andy sugar was doing good then I started eating creal with milk no sugar subs. And my sugar went from 127 to 150-140. Today I did not eat cereal so I will see how I do tonight when I take my reading

    • Raul S.

      Milk has 5 grams sugar per 100 grams milk with 1% fat. 1 cup of milk has 13 g. sugar.

  • HadesImmortalArmy .

    Simple answer, it’s both the milk and the cereal. Also if your blood sugar was 300-400 you would be dead.

  • mingocarlo

    i think i should try and experiment to stop drinking milk for a week…i just want to check if my sugar will get low

    • Raul S.

      That’s the best thing anyone should do, EXPERIMENT. Record everything you eat and find out if that affected your blood sugar. Don’t eat that food if it does spike your sugar level. Then check the next food you eat, etc.

  • pete

    I am reading this simultaneously while watching an infomercial about “hidden sugar”. So far, no milk, no fruit, no yogurt, no cereal, no dried fruit, etc. I guess it is tree bark for me.

    • Niku

      But not Maple.

    • It is not about the sugar, it is about what that sugar comes with…… this is a difficult subject. a BASIC and GENERAL tip is fiber, fiber, fiber…..plant based fiber that comes along with the carbohydrates you take in is key to proper digestion of the carbohydrates in the PLANT BASED FOOD you eat in your plant based diet. Yes, bark is fine…..:)

  • Corey

    You are a hypochondriac. It’s a serious condition. You should talk to your doctor about it.

  • Niku

    So, I guess your answer is, “yes and no”.

  • Rodney James Sellers

    I am a type 1 diabetic who lifts weights three times a week and drinks a gallon of milk a day. I have been drinking a gallon of milk a day for over 2 years now. my last A1C was 6.7. Doctor was shocked and said keep doing what you’re doing because it is working for you. I have gained quite a bit of weight, most of it being muscle and that was my goal.

    • Gary Dhillon

      im gonna start the GOMAD diet too. did you have increased cholesterol or any side effects?

  • Sean Corcoran

    I am recently diagnosed type 2. I have given up so many things I like, but kept milk because I really like it and consider it comforting. Unfortunately I have definitely noticed that it spikes my glucose unless only small amounts are ingested. OK to have in my tea or coffee, but 2 big glasses after dinner can cause my post glucose friendly meal reading to be in the 230 range compared to the same meal with no milk reading of around 150.

  • Wolfman Thomas

    I have stage 2 diabetes and high blood pressure seems like they go together if you are overweight and I feel terrible with no energy to do anything except watch TV and the computer. Help !

    • Wolfman, please keep reading our site and other diabetes sites and learn how to get your sugar and blood pressure down. There are many ways to do that, some with medicines, some without.

  • Viola M

    Whenever I used to had milk in my cereal my blood sugar spikes to uncontrollable levels. I think my body has started to expect the milk because when I eat the cereal (frosted flakes) dry without milk it still goes way up to the 6 hundreds. I wish I could add the milk back because dry cereal is destroying my mouth and the sensitive cheek lining and watered down frosted flakes isn’t as good.

    • Viola, please stop eating those frosted flakes NOW. You say your sugar goes to the 600s? And with milk it went even higher? That’s way too high. It’s dangerous. Switch to an unsweetened cereal, preferably something like oatmeal. It won’t hurt your mouth.

      • Viola M

        But I’ve been eating frosted flakes for almost my hole life. What if I switched to the frosted flakes kind with the energy clusters? The clusters should give my body more energy to break down the sugar and efficiently use insulan.

        • Viola, the energy clusters are worse. In food marketing, “high-energy” means “high-sugar.” They have17 grams of sugar per bowl and 41 grams of carbs. Regular Frosted Flakes has 9 grams of sugar per bowl and also 41 grams of carbs. That is not enough to raise your glucose to 600, so something else must be going on. But they’re not a good food for people with diabetes to eat. If you’ve been eating them all your life, could it be time to try something new? Some unsweetened cereals have only 1 gram of sugar and less than 30 grams of carbs. There are low sugar ways to sweeten them if you want. Read some labels and take a chance!

          • Viola M

            Thanks! Frosted Flakes Gold says it has “long lasting’ energy instead of high energy clusters so this I might try. Goddaughter is a stay-at-home nutritionist and said cocoanut milk is better for health since its natural and veggetarian. She says the Captain crucnberries are also not very good without the milk so no more of that. Thank you doctor!

          • King Douchebag

            He is a registered nurse, not a doctor.

          • JustJenna

            Your goddaughter should know that both those cereals are horrible for a diabetic. You are going to kill yourself.

          • Rabbi Yhoshua Cohen

            Viola stop eating the frosted flakes, and the granola clusters. Use you brain. Stop or loose your eyesight, stop or loose a foot or a leg, stop or you will DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY father had diabetes and controlled it well and live to 90. He ate the right foods walked 30 minutes for 20 minutes after each meal and he was 91 when he died. Grown up and be responsible for you health or grown down and get planted in the ground.

          • bowen

            I take my hat off to you miss, that is if you really are trolling because you have given me much mirth. Otherwise i’m really worried if you are being serious.

          • Awesome Bryner

            Wow, I even know that frosted flakes are bad. I am not no doctor but just another diabetic type II, and if I did that I would be way worse than I am now and I am not nearly close to your levels of high blood sugars. Why do people think more sugar is better? I have no clue.

        • Sanjay Ramkissoon

          Seems you have made up your mind to justify eating sugar flakes! Just ignore all the good advice given by others. You are the expert in the superfood frosted flakes!

        • Jennifer Mitchell

          You have been eating it your whole life and now you have diabetes. Do you see a link there? Too much sugar. Switch to oatmeal like everyone is saying.

    • Tye

      It’s The Cereal Your Eating..

      • Viola M

        No because I stopped having milk and switched to store brand frosted flakes cereal and my sugars are much better in the 3 hundreds. Dr. @david4peace:disqus told me something else was going on and I believe him. If I can make changes, you can to!

        • King Douchebag

          “Frosted” flakes, mean flakes LOADED with sugar. LOL, How can you not understand that is what is causing the rise in blood sugar levels? SMH

    • Mary

      Stop eating the frosted flakes and eat oatmeal with a little honey or some real maple syrup. Both have a lower glycemic index. The sugar breaks down slowly and doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Honey has antibiotic properties and real maple syrup contains iron. The sugar coating on the frosted flakes contains no nutrient value. My aunt who has been a registered nurse for over 60 years has been eating a bowl of oatmeal ever since I can recall. Her mother (my grandmother) taught home economics (nutrition, cooking, and sewing) to high school girls. She would have never bought frosted flakes for any family member, nor recommended it as being nutritious. Stop believing the garbage they write on the cereal box. It is bad for you unless you are like my oldest son who is a part time personal trainer that works out for hours in a gym after getting off of work as as a security guard for having to walk around in a 20-pound protective vest during 8 to 12 hour shifts. You are not burning calories in that manner, therefore you cannot afford to eat frosted flakes at your age. If you really want a high energy breakfast food, scrambled eggs with a couple of tablespoons of canned salmon will give you energy that will last for hours and help your brain. If you want to kick it up a notch, also add some some chopped spinach and mushrooms to the scrambled eggs. Cooking mushrooms helps human bodies more easily digest the zinc in them that is good for preventing illness. Adding some cinnamon to oatmeal is also good for blood sugar control.

      • Viola M

        Thank you @mary but I don’t know about all this, Grandson made me try a big thing of ground cinnamon and it made me cough real bad and the powder got into my lungs. Blood sugar didn’t improve afterwards so it didn’t seem worth it. And outmeal is rich people food, isn’t it? I can afford the cereal which has high energy so isn’t it more economical?

        • Jennifer Mitchell

          Your grandson is messing with you or tricked you. Take cinnamon in supplement form(capsules) or sprinkled lightly in coffee or on oatmeal is good for blood sugar but still won’t replace common sense, a good nutrition based MD, or insulin should you need it. He had you do the cinnamon challenge which can kill people. Look it up on youtube or google.

    • Frosted Flakes and ANY other processed cereal is BAD for anyone, let alone diabetics. It does not matter what it says on the box, no matter whether it says “diabetes approved” it is BAD. If you are a diabetic with the numbers you say you have, you need to consider speaking with a physician knowledgeable in nutrition about your diet AND medications. There is no such thing as a good processed cereal. None.

      Ben Gonzalez, MD
      Medical Director
      Atlantis Medical Wellness Center

    • Mitt Zombie

      Frosted Flakes is close to half sugar…

    • Alma

      The Frosted Flakes postings by Viola M has got to be a joke. Search Viola”s photo for her image elsewhere on the net. Somebody was definitely having a bit of fun.

  • This is not a good forum for discussion and advice for specific patients issues. Your father is a very poorly controlled diabetic. 160 to 262 as consistent blood sugar checks is an indication of very poor control. To worry about milk advice is like worrying about what kind of mop to use in a tsunami flood. Your father needs an MD physician who has a good nutritional background.

    Ben Gonzalez, MD
    Medical Director
    Atlantis Medical Wellness Center

  • Stop the cereal. No matter what kind of processed cereal it is, stop it. milk or not….

  • Solange Joseph

    The point is that means we have to know how much of grams of milk per day to our blood sugar healthy .we’re not talking about size of coffee ‘s cup,but the measure of Apothecary. 1cup is 240ml, or 8oz./12 g/sugar for milk.
    1g is 1000mg.So,convert 12g.
    I like milk, to be changed in less sugar. So I don’t have a high level of sugar than 76-140mgs/dl upon checking.

  • Joy stewary

    Yes I too would like to know what was his diet

  • Farjana Yeasmin

    My father is diabetics patient.His suger level is under control from last check up few days ago. He is feeling weak nowadays.. is a cup of milk with honey, turmeric powder, cinnamon are helpfull to his health.?

    • Hi Farjana,
      Many things could be making your father weak. If his sugars are under control, it might not be his diabetes. It could be his medications, or many other causes. To answer your question, turmeric and cinnamon are known to be good for diabetes. Honey and milk are not, but to be sure, you could test his sugar before and one hour after drinking the mix you described.

    • Graham9772

      honey is just sugar and very bad for diabetics.


    Dear Pratyush ,

    Thanks for your message .Really motivating .Myself Shetal diagnosed with diabetes ,taking glycomet sr 500 daily twice ,now my FBS is 99 & PPBS is 140.Need your advice on diet & excercise .I am 33yr old mother of 2year old child .I was really heart broken om hearing that iam diabetic ,also i have BP & my cholestrol is high ……

  • Rakesh


  • Mike McRoberts

    It spikes because you are choosing the low fat option. Low fat milk has a much higher sugar content than full fat. Choose full fat milk.

    • Marion Hohensheldt

      Mike McRoberts.Hana is correct.Read the Dawn Phenomenon or Dawn Affect.
      Many have higher bs in the morning.It’s your liver’s way to get you going but can be bad for diabetics.

  • In Canada the milk pouches (2%) contain 12g sugar per 250ml. So in the morning I have my cornflakes (3g sugar), then some milk, maybe 12g sugar (who really measures milk out?) then I have a sprinkle of sugar, maybe 2g. I have some Cranberry juice, 11g sugar. So before I have started the day I have already munched into 28g of sugar.
    Milk originally is used for calves to grow. It is high in nutrients and also has nutrients added to it. It also is high in sugar.

  • Jennifer Kattsvans Wettervik

    I have diabetes type 1 and I’m not lactose intolerant, but my tummy is sensitive so I drink lactose free milk. For the last couple of weeks my blood sugar has been almost constantly high and I’ve tried many things to make it better. Then this monday it was completely fine! Until I drank milk when I got home from school… So since yesterday I’ve decided to not drink any milk (in food it doesn’t matter) until sunday morning. So far my blood sugar is much better, so if it stays that way and then goes up on sunday when I start drinking milk again I’ll know for sure. I’ve read alot about milk being good for diabetics, but for me? I guess not so good.

  • Alma

    Excellent posting by JohnY of the effects of dairy. I especially appreciate his pointing out the connection between consumption of cow’s milk & pre-diabetic tingling of the feet, which I too have experienced (especially after consuming Half n’Half), which I did not connect to dairy until reading this posting. I had previously noticed that after heavy dairy consumption, my right leg would “go to sleep.”

  • murray Alex


  • sonia

    i am type 2 diabetic. my blood sugar goes up, if I drink milk in the night time. I am so used to drink milk. started Gym last month. was eating whole wheat tortilla. at least 3 a day. trying to cut down. I am 52 years old. please suggest me more about diet. thank you.

  • TrainChaser

    I don’t drink milk, but I do cook with it. I’ve looked for the carb/glucose rate for whole milk, and I’m finding figures all over the place: 15 gms, 12 gms, 4 gms per cup. What is the truth??? And PLEASE give your source.

  • Amjad Ashraf

    Pratyush i have diagnosed diabetes in January 2017 i have lost 6 kg till now, you can say i am underweight. Still some times but often my pbs spikes at 270 even taking metformin 500mg. I am looking so skinny people are irritating me because of my skinny wrists, arms and body. Nothing is coming into my mind what i can do for me or whst i have to do. Please reply I will be there for receiving your answer.

  • Veronica

    What milk is good for us?

    • Veronica, there’s no clear answer for this. Some people say raw milk; some say various animal milks. Some say vegan milks like almond milk. I don’t know. I believe whole milk is better than skim, as the article explains.

      If you want to keep drinking milk, you may have to experiment and find what works for you.

    • Slam

      Any raw milk from animals that are adequately fed and raised is very good for the health. Unless you are lactose intolerant, of course.

      • Graham9772

        Unless it contains sugar. Normally it has three teaspoons per cup!!

  • Steelmania

    FAKE NEWS ALERT – any type of milk will raise your glucose levels – the other substitutes like Almond, Soy, Goats all taste horribly unless loaded up with sugar. If you need milk to lighten your coffee just try few tablespoons – if you use Lactose Free 2% Milk see if you can get away with 1 tablespoon – this will spike your readings for a hour but decrease rapidly without having to take Humalog or another fast acting Insulin.

    • Seth Koch

      I make homemade almond milk. I add no sugar. I like it.

    • joe smith

      As for sugar in milk, lactose is naturally occurring in milk. Milk has no added sugar (the stuff you really need to worry about). If you watch your milk intake, like everything else, you could probably still enjoy milk. Always check with your doctor instead of relying on useless articles like this one. The conclusion, by the way, was honest, but why even bother writing a persuasive paper and then have no concrete opinion??

  • Nishi Hundan

    That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Where do you get your alternative facts?

  • xyz

    Your reasoning is absurd, but I agree with your last statement. My 15 years of diabetes is also resolved completely after eliminating all dairy product from my diet.