Your refrigerator is filling up with healthful foods! This week, we’ll start to take a look at beverages. In general, drinks that people usually keep in the fridge include an assortment of soda, juice, bottled water, and milk. Sometimes iced tea or coffee makes its way in there, too. What you keep in your fridge can depend, in part, on who else is in your household.
The issue of the “best” beverages for people with diabetes can sometimes be controversial. There are those who feel that any beverage that contains calories and carbohydrate should be limited or even avoided. Then, there are those who would rather drink a little bit of a carbohydrate-laden drink than a drink made with artificial or nonnutritive sweeteners. What’s the right answer? It just depends on what you like, what works best for you, and what your own take is on sugar versus nonnutritive sweeteners. Let’s take a look at some of the options — and of course, feel free to share your own favorites!
Soy milk comes in fat-free, low-fat, and regular varieties. It contains about the same amount of protein as milk, but has very little calcium, so calcium is usually added. It doesn’t contain lactose (milk sugar) or casein (milk protein), so it’s appropriate for people with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. One cup of light, plain soy milk contains 70 calories, 8 grams of carbohydrate, and 2 grams of fat. But be careful: Plain soy milk isn’t all that tasty, so soy milk manufacturers offer flavored varieties (usually vanilla and chocolate), which can significantly boost calories and carbohydrate. Always check the Nutrition Facts label.
Be careful about using almond milk if you have any kind of nut allergy — talk to your physician or dietitian first. Also, keep in mind that the appearance, texture, consistency, and flavor of nondairy milks is usually pretty different than that of cow’s milk. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you may need to adjust your expectations accordingly if you use any of these. You might find them easier to use, at least initially, in cooking or baking rather than for drinking.
Lactose is a type of carbohydrate that’s found in milk. Many people are unable to digest it because they lack the lactose enzyme to properly do so. In lactose-free milk, the lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose, which are simple sugars and can be readily absorbed in the GI tract. Lactose-free milk is otherwise just like cow’s milk, with the same amount of carbohydrate (13 grams per 8 ounce serving). Choose the nonfat or low-fat varieties for heart health. Also, keep in mind that lactose intolerance is not the same thing as a milk allergy. Anyone with a milk allergy should avoid animal milk altogether.
More on beverages next week!
Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/stocking-your-healthful-fridge-part-5/
Amy Campbell: Amy Campbell is the author of Staying Healthy with Diabetes: Nutrition and Meal Planning and a frequent contributor to Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes & You. She has co-authored several books, including the The Joslin Guide to Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association’s 16 Myths of a “Diabetic Diet,” for which she received a Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication and a National Health Information Award in 2000. Amy also developed menus for Fit Not Fat at Forty Plus and co-authored Eat Carbs, Lose Weight with fitness expert Denise Austin. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Simmons College and a master’s degree in nutrition education from Boston University. In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, she is a Certified Diabetes Educator and a member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Amy was formerly a Diabetes and Nutrition Educator at Joslin Diabetes Center, where she was responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of disease management programs, including clinical guideline and educational material development, and the development, testing, and implementation of disease management applications. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education Content Development and Training at Good Measures. Amy has developed and conducted training sessions for various disease and case management programs and is a frequent presenter at disease management events.
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