Why You Need to be Wary of Dairy

Jamie Sukroo - 18 Mar 2021

Why You Need to be Wary of Dairy

I’ve started subscribing to a company in the US who sells a continuous blood glucose monitor and app (for checking your blood sugar response to certain foods).

They wrote a great blog on the effects on insulin resistance for some people when they consume dairy:

https://www.levelshealth.com/blog/what-we-know-about-dairy-and-blood-sugar?utm_source=drip&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Why+Dairy+Affects+Blood+Sugar

Here are some key quotes from the blog which should make you think twice about consuming dairy on a regular basis (if you are concerned about becoming insulin resistant):

  • “…research shows dairy is what’s called an insulin secretagogue—meaning it prompts the pancreas to secrete insulin, sometimes more than we’d expect based on the glycemic index of the food being consumed. For example, a study of 13 people with Type 2 diabetes found that their insulin response after consuming dairy products was five-fold greater than expected based on the food’s carbohydrate content. …”
  • “…That excess insulin can blunt the glucose rise after consumption…It may blunt the acute spike but make us more insulin resistant the next day…”
  • “…research shows that consuming dairy consistently triggers disproportionately high surges of insulin, given its carbohydrate load — by a factor of 3-6 times, according to one study of healthy subjects. In contrast, when researchers gave subjects pure lactose, their insulin response matched its glycemic index, suggesting something unique about dairy causes it to kick insulin response into overdrive…”
  • “…researchers believe the proteins in milk play a role. For example, multiple studies show that whey protein increases post-meal insulin by as much as 90%. Other factors may include amino acids released after eating or altering the timing of the release of incretin hormones, which stimulate insulin secretion…”
  • “…For normal-weight volunteers, higher dairy consumption does not affect glucose metabolism, and in those overweight and obese who would be insulin resistant, the results have been mixed, indicating that the effect of dairy is of less importance than weight loss or exercise to slow or remove the likelihood of developing [Type 2 diabetes]…”
  • “…conflicting results may arise because many factors influence insulin sensitivity, and those factors can interact with one another. In other words, changing one factor (like adding or subtracting dairy to/from your diet) could affect many other factors ( body weight, for example, which directly impacts glucose metabolism)…”

My take on all of this is that you should be wary of overdoing it when it comes to consuming dairy. The results of studies have been conflicting but it’s definitely a risk factor for insulin resistance for some of us.

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