Our second group of carbohydrate foods is a complicated one- dairy. You’ll see what I mean by complicated when we consider that the carbohydrate in milk — lactose, or “milk sugar” — cannot be easily digested by a majority of adults in the world. There are a few other twists and turn, including a milk product most with lactose intolerance can tolerate.
00:42 What about lactose intolerance?
01:40 What foods are in the dairy group of carbohydrates?
02:24 Isn’t milk rich with vitamin D?
02:51 Is dairy a source for calcium?
03:07 What’s the carbohydrate grams in dairy?
03:46 How does cheese fit in my diabetes diet?
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What’s the only carbohydrate food not manufactured by plants? Hint – babies know the answer
Welcome back to diabetes every day….I’m Toby Smithson, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist, and chief manager of my own diabetes for a long time. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and visit DiabetesEveryDay.com for more information and to sign up for my newsletter.
In this video, part of my series examining the different groups of carbohydrate foods, I’m going to talk about dairy. This might not be a great subject choice since YouTube is about getting lots of views and people with lactose intolerance might just skip this one. If that doesn’t sound like such a big deal to you it’s because many of us in the U.S. see this as a fairly rare condition. The truth, however, is that if you CAN tolerate lactose….milk sugar…..you have a somewhat rare genetic mutation. But, if you’re a mutant like me milk products may be part of your daily diet. For the majority of you, keep watching……I have other twists that may interest you.
Here’s one…..strictly speaking this group of carbohydrate foods is not “dairy” but the “milk” group, which is basically milk and yogurt. Other dairy products like cottage, cream cheese, sour crèam and hard chesses are classified as “fats” or “meat and meat substitutes” on the diabetes exchange lists. While the first three contain do carbohydrate they are generally eaten in small portions. And with hard cheese, most of the carbohydrate is consumed in the cheese-making process. For our purposes I want to mention them all, partly because of a very important nutrient.
Here’s another curve ball for you……if you see milk as a great source of vitamin D, it isn’t……well, it isn’t until vitamin D added, then it is. Commercially produced milk and yogurt are fortified with vitamin D. But there’s a good reason for that. See, Vitamin D and calcium sort of work together, one depending on the other to be most beneficial. And dairy products are a great source of calcium….in fact, it’s not so easy to get adequate calcium from other food sources. So, adding vitamin D to milk puts the calcium and vitamin D in one convenient source.
Now for the diabetes nutrition info you came to hear. Milk has 12 grams carbohydrate per cup….a cup is about 235 milliliters for our metric friends. Plain yogurt falls into that same neighborhood, except there are low carbohydrate yogurts. Always check nutrition facts labels for the product serving size and TOTAL carbohydrate per serving. Be on the lookout for milks and yogurts with higher carbohydrates from added or natural sugars in flavorings….chocolate milk, for instance….. or from fruit and fruit-like substances.
Hard cheeses are a different story, and this is often good news for those people who can’t digest lactose. A full cup of shredded cheddar cheese has only about 3 grams of carbohydrate…..that’s why cheese isn’t in the milk group on the diabetes exchange lists. The nutrition label on prepackaged cheese slices will often show 0 carbs per slice. Cheese also concentrates many of the nutrients found in milk. One cup of Provolone brings 1000 milligrams calcium, 34 grams protein, 65% of our daily requirement for phosphorous, and between 25% and 30% of the recommended intake of riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc and selenium. However, that cup of Provolone also comes with more than 1100 milligrams sodium and 22 grams saturated fat….more than the recommended daily intake of saturated fat. Also of note, most cheese IS NOT fortified with Vitamin D. It’s the only carbohydrate food not from plants, and there’s that issue that most people can’t tolerate lactose- the carbohydrate in milk. But now that the two “odd” groups are done…..nonstarchy vegetables and dairy….we’ll be getting into the other groups that are more straightforward. Next…….we’ll visit grains.