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Diabetes: The drink that causes rapid rises in blood sugar – ‘should be totally avoided’

Fitness & Health:

According to the International Diabetes Federation, it is estimated someone around the world succumbs to diabetes-related causes every six seconds. The steep rise of the disease seen in recent decades has prompted global efforts to improve countermeasures and prevention. Diabetes is generally understood as the result of poor diet and infrequent physical activity. Giulia Guerrini, lead pharmacist from digital pharmacy Medino, breaks down some of the risks oat milk may pose for diabetics.

Diabetes can be broken down into two different forms – type 1 and type 2.

The causes of type 1 diabetes remain poorly understood, but it is the most severe of the two conditions.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly common globally, accounting for nearly 90 percent of cases.

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The overarching characteristic of both conditions is dysfunction in blood sugar regulation, which can lead to death if left untreated.

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Other complications linked to the conditions include organ damage, blindness, strokes and heart attacks.

Type 2 diabetes usually occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or becomes desensitised to the hormone.

The role of insulin is to absorb blood sugar and enable it to enter the body’s cell, where it’s converted into energy.

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Miss Giulia explained: “People with type 2 diabetes need to carefully regulate the amount of sugary food and drinks they consume as their pancreas is unable to produce enough natural insulin to maintain their blood sugar levels.”

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Naturally, diet serves as the first line of defence against the condition, with researchers adamant that healthy dietary habits prevent most cases of the condition.

Foods that have a high glycemic index are warned against because they can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar.

While oat milk is generally considered healthy, its glycemic score may be problematic for diabetics.

Miss Giulia explained: “One of the prime food groups that people with type 2 diabetes are recorded to avoid are carbohydrates, and many will be surprised to learn milk falls under that category.

“Dairy milk can still be enjoyed in moderation thanks to its lower glycemic index, a rating regarding how quickly each food affects blood sugar levels, but non-dairy milk, specifically oat milk, has a much higher glycemic index.”

Studies have shown that specific sugars in oat milk are what give the beverages a high glycemic index.

This means it raises blood sugar rapidly in comparison to other carbohydrates.

Miss Giulia added: “Unlike dairy milk, the sugar in oat milk is a specific type called maltose. It has an extremely high GI rating of 105.

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“For comparison, regular fat milk has a GI rating between 31 and 34, and anything above 70 is considered high.

“As people with type 2 diabetes are unable to produce enough natural insulin the maintain blood sugar levels, foods and drinks with high GI ratings like oat milk should be totally avoided.”

Alongside diet, being active and keeping weight in check is also imperative for staving off diabetes.

In fact, According to the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, being obese increases the likelihood of diabetes 20 to 40 times.


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