. Almond Milk for Diabetes: Should You Make the Switch?

Almond Milk for Diabetes: Should You Make the Switch?

Plant-based milks are gaining popularity as a dairy alternative in recent years.  Chances are, you have walked through the milk aisle at the grocery store and have seen “milk” options that you have never known existed before.  

One of the most popular plant-based milks is almond milk.  You can purchase almond milk at the grocery store and find it at most coffee shops as an alternative to cow’s milk.  

People may prefer almond milk for a variety of reasons including lactose intolerance or milk allergies, taste preference, health benefits, and even due to perceived environmental benefits associated with almond production compared to traditional dairy farming.

So, Is almond milk actually a good choice for people with diabetes?  Let’s find out!

Nutritional Profile of Almond Milk

The macronutrient content of almond milk can vary depending on the brand and whether it is sweetened or unsweetened. A typical unsweetened almond milk contains 35-40 calories, 3-4 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of protein, and 3-4 grams of fat per cup.

Cows milk (2%) contains around 120 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat per cup.

Chart comparing cow's milk, sweetened almond milk, and unsweetened almond milk nutrition facts.

As you can see, unsweetened almond milk is a lower-calorie, lower-carbohydrate alternative to cow’s milk. It is also a good source of healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that sweetened almond milk can be high in sugar. Therefore, it is best to choose unsweetened almond milk if you are watching your sugar and carb intake.

Potential Benefits of Almond Milk for Diabetes

  • Lower Carbohydrate Content. Compared to cow’s milk, unsweetened almond milk contains significantly fewer carbohydrates, making it a better option for people who are managing their blood sugars. Unsweetened almond milk typically contains around 3-4 grams of carbohydrates per cup, while cow’s milk contains about 12 grams of carbohydrates per cup.
  • Healthy Fat Content. Almond milk is a good source of healthy fats, especially monounsaturated fats, which can contribute to overall heart health. These healthy fats can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications that can be associated with diabetes.
  • Lactose-Free. Almond milk is naturally lactose-free, making it a great option for individuals with lactose intolerance or milk allergies.
  • Source of Essential Nutrients. Almond milk is often fortified with essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E, which are generally lacking in many people’s diets. These nutrients play crucial roles in bone health, immune function, and overall well-being.

Considerations When Choosing Almond Milk

  • Be sure to choose an unsweetened almond milk.  The label should also show no added sugar.  Regular almond milk has quite a bit more carbohydrates and added sugar which can result in blood sugar spikes.
  • Look for almond milk that is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.  Some brands have as much as 30% of your daily Calcium needs in just one cup!
  • While almond milk is a lower calorie and lower carb option, it is also lower in protein than cow’s milk.  Most brands contain only about 1 gram of protein per cup.  It is important to get adequate protein from other sources if you plan to switch to almond milk.
  • Almond milk is made from almonds and should be avoided by anyone with a tree nut allergy.  There are other dairy free milks such as soy milk or oat milk that may be better options.

Recipes and Tips for Incorporating Almond Milk Into Your Diet

  • Almond milk is versatile and can be enjoyed in smoothies, oatmeal, overnight oats, cereal, coffee, tea, and other foods and beverages.
  • Almond milk can replace cow’s milk when baking or in homemade sauces and dressings.
  • Some people enjoy making their own almond milk.  Making your own almond milk is a great way to control the ingredients and avoid added sugar.  It is easier than you would think – check out this almond milk recipe by the Minimalist Baker.


In conclusion, almond milk can be a healthy alternative to cow’s milk for people with diabetes.  Almond milk is lower in carbs and calories, contains healthy fat, is lactose-free, and is a great source of vitamins and minerals.

However, almond milk is a lower protein option and some almond milk varieties contain quite a bit of added sugar.

Almond milk is widely available and its versatility makes it easy to use in many foods and beverages.

Check out our post about the Lowest Carb Starbucks Drinks to learn more about incorporating almond milk into your favorite coffee drinks!

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