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Almond Milk for Diabetics: What You NEED to Know.

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Can you drink almond milk if you are diabetic? Does almond milk spike blood sugar levels? If you have recently been diagnosed as diabetic or have elevated blood sugars (ie – prediabetes), you are more than likely questioning everything you eat and drink, including almond milk.

Is almond milk diabetic friendly? Do I need to switch to unsweetened almond milk? Can diabetics have sweetened almond milk? Learn the answers here as we dive into the complete guide to almond milk and diabetes.

A full glass of almond milk set on a table with a smaller bowl of almond next to the almond milk.

But First.

What is Diabetes?

While I can give you intense, scientific definitions, I prefer to follow the KISS principle, ‘keep it simple, silly.’ Basically, diabetes occurs when you do not produce enough insulin OR you are not using insulin as you should. When this happens, too much sugar stays in our blood stream.

3 types of diabetes exist:

  • Type 1 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes.

When Are You Diagnosed as Diabetic? 

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is diagnosed when an A1C level is above 6.5%. Prediabetes is diagnosed when the A1C is between 5.7% and 6.4%. 

What about Prediabetes?

As a dietitian, I am noticing a huge increase of prediabetes (or elevated blood sugar) in my clinic. This is where our blood sugar is elevated, but not elevated ‘enough’ for the classic  diabetes diagnosis.

What Causes Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 1 Causes.

  • Type 1 diabetes is caused when the immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas. It is believed type 1 is caused by genes and environmental factors. 

Type 2 Causes.

  • While we can spend this entire article talking (let’s be honest, some folks love to argue) about the causes of type 2 diabetes, it typically falls into 2 categories.
  • Lifestyle. Diet, Exercise, Sleep patterns, Work.
  • Genes. Family history. Etc.

How Many Individuals Have Diabetes?

According to the Diabetes Research Institute, 37.3 million people (11.3% of the population) have diabetes.

What is the Common Treatment For Diabetes?

As much as I hate to say this, patients are often given a HUGE amount of medicines to help with diabetes. While that is ok for some, it often breaks my heart to see meds handed out with ZERO diet education. As a dietitian and working with 100s of patients, I can honestly tell you a change in diet CAN get you off diabetes medicine and reverse prediabetes.


Can I Reverse Diabetes and Prediabetes?

My professional opinion is that with proper diet (and no, not that moderation diet), activity, and sleep, we can DRASTICALLY reduce our blood sugars out of the diabetes and prediabetes range.


The Diabetes and Prediabetes Diet Guide

While many of us know to cut out the sugar, sweets, sodas, and white carbs (and even some wheat carbs), I focus my diabetes and prediabetes plan on the following:

  • Low glycemic,
  • Low carb, 
  • High fiber, 
  • Lean protein, and
  • High omega-3 rich foods.

While this article focuses on almond milk and diabetes, you can continue to watch my video on the 10 best foods for prediabetes and weight loss. 

But Let’s Get Down to Business.

is almond milk good for diabetics infographic

What is Almond Milk?

Simply put, almond milk is made from ground almonds and water. However, it is important to note that premade almond milk (ie – the type you buy from the store) can include sugar, salt, and other ingredients.

The process of making almond milk is pretty simplistic. Almonds and water are blended together and strained, leaving a smooth liquid for one to drink.

Because almond milk is made from almonds and water, it is naturally lactose-free and plant-based.

Nutrition Facts in Almond Milk.

While unsweetened almond milk is quite low calorie, coming in at 39 calories a cup, you will learn quickly how important it is to review the labels while you are shopping for your almond milk.

According to the USDA Food Search Central, the nutrition facts in 1 cup of UNSWEETENED almond milk is as follows:

  • Calories: 39.3
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Total carbohydrate: 3.4g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 2.1g
  • Protein: 1g

If you are brand specific, the nutrition facts in 1 cup of Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Milk (Original Flavor) is as follows:

  • Calories: 30
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Total carbohydrate: 1g
  • Fiber: < 1g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Protein: 1g


Notice I listed the nutrition facts in unsweetened almond milk (it’s ok, go take a peek). If we are not careful (or in a hurry), we can easily grab regular OR sweetened (vanilla) almond milk off the shelf. The difference of calories and carbs in various almond milk flavors can wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels.

Nutrition Facts in 1 cup of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original.

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Total carbohydrate: 8g
  • Total sugar: 7g
  • Protein: 1g


I have one more for you! Sometimes we need a little flavor, and if we are not careful, we can pick up vanilla or chocolate flavored almond milk.

Check out the nutrition facts in 1 cup of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Vanilla:

  • Calories: 80
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Total carbohydrate: 14g
  • Total sugar: 13g
  • Protein: 1g

NOTE: While many brands of almond milk exist at supermarkets, we will use the nutrition facts label from the Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened, Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Vanilla in this article. 

Carbs in Almond Milk.

Does almond milk have carbs? What are the carbs in almond milk? It all depends on the almond milk you purchase at the store. 

As a baseline, I am using original almond milk you can grab and purchase at your local supermarket. 1 cup of original almond milk is 8 grams of carbs. 

Hold on! If you are my flavor person (and yes, I love me some vanilla), go ahead and up them carbs. 1 cup of vanilla almond milk is 14 grams of carbs.

Which brings me to…

Carbs in Unsweetened Almond Milk.

Does unsweetened almond milk have carbs? What are the carbs in unsweetened almond milk? As a baseline, I am using unsweetened almond milk you can purchase at the store. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk is 3.4 grams of carbs.

The good news? The carbs in 1 cup of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened is 1 gram. 

Net Carbs in Almond Milk.

What are the net carbs in almond milk? Net carbs can be a bit of a confusing topic. Don’t let it be! The simple definition of a net carb is the amount of carbs (in a product) that the body converts to sugar. 

Net carbs = Total Carbs – Dietary Fiber.

  • The net carbs in 1 cup almond milk is 8 grams.
  • The net carbs in 1 cup unsweetened almond milk is 2.9g.
  • The net carbs in 1 cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened is 1g.

Is Almond Milk Low Calories?

Does almond milk have calories? Is almond milk a low calorie food? When shopping at the store and viewing labels of various almond milk brands and flavors, I have found the range of calories in almond milk to be quite low. The lowest calorie almond milk would be unsweetened, coming in at 30 calories in a cup. The highest calorie would be vanilla flavored almond milk coming in at 80 calories.

Is Almond Milk Fat Free?

Does almond milk have any fat? Since almonds are a source of omega-3 fats, almond milk is not a fat free product. The fat in 1 cup of almond milk is 2.5g.

Is Almond Milk Sugar Free?

Does almond milk have sugar? Is almond milk sugar rich? It depends on the type of almond milk you purchase. If you make your own almond milk with almonds and water, you would have a sugar free beverage! However, most of us are looking for a store bought almond milk. 

As a dietitian, I do push for unsweetened almond milk. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk contains 2.1 g sugar. 

Better news? 1 cup of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened has 0g of sugar.

Is Almond Milk Keto?

Is almond milk ketogenic? Can you have almond milk on keto? Is almond milk ok for a keto diet? Absolutely! As long as you keep your eyes on the carb count, you can include almond milk on a keto diet. I would suggest using unsweetened almond milk. 

Is Almond Milk Gluten Free?

Does almond  milk have gluten? Almond milk is naturally gluten free, however, it is important to look at the ingredients of flavored almond milk to double check for any gluten additives.

Is Almond Milk Considered Plant Based?

Yes. Almond milk is made from almonds and water. However, it is important to look at the ingredients of flavored almond milk to double check for any additives.

Glycemic Index of Almond Milk.

What is the glycemic index of almond milk? According to the glycemic index guide, the glycemic index of regular almond milk is 30 grams. 

Please note, I have found sources discussing the glycemic index of unsweetened almond milk is 25, however I have not been able to verify on the glycemic index guide. In my professional opinion, I would agree with unsweetened almond milk coming in a lower number than almond milk.

Why does the glycemic index matter with diabetics? 

The glycemic index measures how quickly a food causes our blood sugar to rise. Food is ranked on a scale of zero to 100. The higher the glycemic index of food means these foods are quickly digested, absorbed, and causing a fast rise in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, foods low in the glycemic index are absorbed at a lower rate.

The glycemic index (GI) rankings are as follows:

  • Low GI food: Under 50
  • Medium GI food: 56-69
  • High GI food: 70 and higher

Will Almond Milk Raise Blood Sugar?

Does almond milk raise blood sugar? It depends on the type of almond milk you select. Unsweetened almond milk will not have an effect on your blood sugar levels since it is a low carb, low glycemic index food.

Sweetened almond milk, coming in 14 grams of carbs, will count as a carb serving and without protein, can elevate your blood sugar levels.

Can Diabetics Drink Almond Milk at Night?

Diabetics can feel very comfortable drinking unsweetened almond milk at night. Unsweetened almond milk is a delicious low carb, low glycemic index food.

In my professional opinion, I would not encourage diabetics to drink sweetened almond milk at night.

Almond Milk for Diabetics: Conclusion.

Is almond milk good for diabetics to drink? Can diabetics have almond milk? It all depends on the type of almond milk you select.

I discussed with you all three types of almond milk:

  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Almond milk (regular)
  • Vanilla sweetened almond milk

All 3 are different and can make a difference in your blood sugar levels.

The best almond milk for diabetics is unsweetened almond milk because of its low carb, low glycemic index count. From the dinner table, adding to your 3pm snack, and even reaching for if you are craving sugar, unsweet almond milk will not spike your insulin levels.

Looking for More on Eating and Diabetes?

Check out my other articles on this topic!

Much love, 

Dietitian Shelly

By on September 10th, 2023

About Shelly Marie Redmond

Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, LDN is an award-winning dietitian, author of the Skinny Louisiana cookbook series, and mom of 2. She spends her days counseling individuals with diabetes, prediabetes, PCOS, and hypo/hyperthyroidism. Her passion is developing recipes low on guilt and high on pleasure while improving the health of her patients.

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