Can Diabetics Drink Milk at Night? Is it a Safe Choice?

Confused about whether you should drink milk at night or not if you have diabetes? Discussed here are the myths and facts about milk and diabetes.

Diet plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. They need to be vigilant about what, how much, and what time to eat. Milk is considered a complete food in terms of the balanced nutrition it provides, but is it as good for people with diabetes too, especially at nighttime? 


Milk And Diabetes

Besides fat, calcium, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, milk also contains carbohydrates in the form of lactose, which is the cause of concern for people with diabetes, as they need to check their carbohydrate intake to manage diabetes. Lactose present in the milk gets converted into sugar in the body, raising blood glucose levels.

Can Diabetics Drink Milk at Night?

Milk spikes up the blood sugar level as the lactose breaks down into sugar; hence sugar patients may avoid drinking milk at night. Moreover, at night, the body does not utilise the energy released with the breakdown of lactose. It would be more beneficial to drink milk at breakfast, as the body’s sugar levels are low, and the body also gets the energy required during the daytime. However, milk promotes good sleep, and therefore, turmeric milk can be a good option at bedtime. Turmeric is known to increase insulin, which can take care of the rise in blood sugar due to the carbohydrate in milk.

Can Milk Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

Yes, milk can raise blood sugar levels due to its high carbohydrate content.

One cup of whole-fat cow milk (8 oz) contains:

Fat – 7 g

Calories – 152

Carbohydrates – 12 g=

One cup of low-fat cow milk contains:

Fat – 2.5 g

Calories – 106

Carbohydrates – 12 g

Thus, skim milk which is low in fat and calorie counts, is recommended for persons with sugar, as it will not increase the blood sugar level as much as whole-fat milk. Unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, and flax milk have lower carbohydrates and calories than cow’s milk. 

How Much Milk Can A Diabetic Consume Per Day?

People with diabetes need to consume milk in moderation to check their blood glucose levels. The effect of any food on every individual differs slightly, and thus an individualised meal plan needs to be made according to the body’s response. Usually, it has been seen that up to 3 servings of milk per day are acceptable, but they should start with 1 and monitor their blood sugar before and after consuming milk and decide accordingly.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Milk is a versatile food, and people with diabetes need not deprive themselves of the nutritional benefits of milk. They need to be a bit cautious about the quantity and the time of milk consumption.
  • If you have diabetes, you should drink milk at breakfast and in the morning as opposed to at nighttime. If, however, you want to drink milk at night, turmeric milk is a safer option.
  • Low-fat, low-calorie skimmed cow milk is better for people with diabetes as against whole-fat cow milk. Other milk options such as unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, and flax milk are also good due to their extremely low carbohydrate and calorie counts.
  • Milk consumption should be limited to about 3 cups a day only.
  • Use Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate Accu-Chek instant and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Let’s treat diabetes together.

Friendly Asked Questions

What can a diabetic drink before bed?

Drinking a tall glass of water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime helps with sugar control in diabetic patients. You must, however, consult your doctor before starting it.People with diabetes can also drink turmeric tea or turmeric milk before going to bed, as curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, has several beneficial effects for diabetics, including increased insulin production, which helps with sugar control.

What are the side effects of drinking milk at night?

Lactose present in milk gets converted into sugar in the body and increases the blood sugar level. This may result in a concerning spike in blood sugar levels at night during sleep.

Does milk raise insulin levels?

Yes, milk and other dairy products cause a surge in insulin levels because the body produces increased insulin to take care of the sugar released by lactose breakdown. Though this can benefit patients with sugar in controlling their blood glucose levels, studies indicate that persistent hyperinsulinemia can result in more excellent insulin resistance.

What time should a diabetic stop eating at night?

It is suggested that a person with diabetes should stop eating 2 hours before going to bed to avoid high blood sugar levels at night. This principle may not hold for all patients, as some do need to take a bedtime snack, or else they develop hypoglycemia during nighttime. Thus, persons with diabetes need to observe what works best for them and do accordingly.