Can Milk & an Apple Lower High Blood Sugar?

Close up of a glass of milk and an apple
Milk and an apple are healthy choices for almost everyone. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Milk and apples have earned their status as health food because together they provide many essential nutrients, such as high-quality protein, dietary fiber, potassium and calcium. A good diet can help prevent chronic diseases, and a nutritious diet is even more important if you have high blood sugar. Milk and an apple can be a good choice as part of an overall healthy diet to lower blood sugar.

Diabetes, Blood Sugar and Diet

In prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are slightly above normal, and you are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to MayoClinic.com. Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your blood sugar levels are uncontrolled. Complications of untreated diabetes may include heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and foot injuries that require amputations. A healthy diet can prevent prediabetes from developing into diabetes and prevent complications of full-blown diabetes. Milk and an apple fit into recommendations to include fruits and dairy products on a diet for controlling blood sugar.

Effect of Carbohydrates on Blood Sugar

Shortly after you eat them, the carbohydrates in milk and an apple cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Your body breaks down carbohydrates from food, turns them into glucose, or sugar, and releases them into the bloodstream, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Your blood sugar levels rise after you eat carbohydrates, regardless of the source. A glass of milk has 12 grams of carbohydrates, and a small apple has 15 grams, according to MayoClinic.com.

Low-Glycemic Index Benefits

Milk and apples are low-glycemic foods, so they do not lead to rapid, sharp spikes in your blood sugar levels. Instead, milk and an apple cause a slower rise and lower peak in your blood sugar levels, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. The dietary fiber in an apple and the protein in milk lower the glycemic index. If you have high blood sugar, a meal or snack with milk and an apple is a better choice than a snack with high-glycemic foods, such as candy, dried fruit or soft drinks.

Blood Sugar and Weight Control

Over the course of weeks or months, consistently choosing milk and an apple may lower high blood sugar by helping you control your weight. If you are overweight or obese, you can lower your blood sugar by losing weight, according to MayoClinic.com. A small apple has only 60 calories, and a cup of skim milk has 100 calories. Whole milk, however, is higher in calories, with 160 per cup. It is high in saturated fat, which is bad for blood sugar.

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