Short Answer: Oat milk is good for diabetes because it has beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Diabetes is a condition that affects your blood sugar levels and how your body uses glucose, an important source of energy for your cells.
In diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it effectively.
Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose enter your cells.
Without insulin, glucose builds up in your blood and can cause serious health problems, such as nerve damage, eye problems, kidney disease, and heart disease.
One of the key factors in managing diabetes is diet.
What you consume can affect your blood sugar levels, which can impact your diabetes symptoms and overall health.
To effectively manage diabetes, you should consume fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and avoid refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and saturated fats.
Now, oat milk is a plant-based milk alternative that’s made from whole oats and water.
People usually drink oat milk as a substitute for dairy milk or add it to smoothies, coffee, cereal, or baked goods.
Oat milk is good for diabetes because it contains beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
However, this may depend on the type and amount of oat milk you consume.
One cup (240 mL) of unsweetened, enriched oat milk by Oatly contains 120 calories, 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.
This can give you 8% of your daily potassium, 20% of your daily vitamin D, 25% of your daily calcium, and 50% of your daily vitamin B.
Beta-glucan can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, reducing the post-meal spikes in glucose and insulin, and increasing the excretion of bile acids.
However, not all oat milk products are the same.
Some may contain added sugars, flavors, preservatives, or thickeners that can increase the calorie and carb content and reduce the benefits of oat milk.
Therefore, it’s important to read the nutrition labels and ingredients lists carefully and choose unsweetened and fortified oat milk whenever possible.
Furthermore, oat milk is a high-carb and low-protein drink, and carbs are the main factor that affects blood sugar levels.
Therefore, people with diabetes should moderate their oat milk intake and balance it with other sources of protein and healthy fats.
You can drink up to one cup (240 mL) of oat milk per day safely, as long as you account for the carbs and calories in your meal plan.
More than that can cause your blood sugar to rise too high or lead to weight gain, which can worsen diabetes.
Also, you shouldn’t drink oat milk if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, unless it’s made from certified gluten-free oats.
Oats are naturally gluten-free, but they may be contaminated with gluten during processing.
Gluten can trigger an immune response and damage the lining of your small intestine, which can affect your nutrient absorption and blood sugar control.
You can buy fresh oat milk in your local market or can order it online.
Always choose unsweetened and fortified oat milk with minimal additives.
Because this will provide you with the most benefits and the least drawbacks of oat milk.
You can store oat milk in your refrigerator for up to 5 days, or follow the expiration date on the package.
Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and essential medical care, is key to managing diabetes effectively.
I always recommend my diabetes patients to follow a diabetes-friendly diet that includes oat milk and other sources of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients, to improve their blood sugar levels and overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.