Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed with diabetes or have been managing the condition for years, it can be tricky to plan meals that both optimize nutrition and keep your blood sugar in check. Navigating the latest nutrition news can also add another layer of confusion.
Here’s what you need to know to feel confident in selecting and enjoying a variety of dairy foods in everyday meals and snacks.
- Dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt are at the core of a healthy overall diet as per the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association. Aim to include at least 3 servings per day.
- Dairy foods supply a nutrient package that includes essential vitamins and minerals. Three of these—calcium, vitamin D, and potassium—are important “shortfall” nutrients that many of us don’t get enough of.
- All dairy foods supply affordable, high-quality protein.
- Pairing dairy foods with other nutritious choices helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.
When tracking your carbohydrate intake, remember that milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheese supply carbohydrates from a natural sugar called lactose. Be mindful of portion sizes and read food labels closely to limit added sugars so you can stay within your personal target carbohydrate range per meal or snack. Here are typical carbohydrate amounts for a serving of dairy.