Question: I have type 2 diabetes and cannot tolerate milk. What may I substitute for my recommended two milk servings per day? Would I substitute a carbohydrate or a protein?
Answer: If you cannot tolerate milk due to lactose-intolerance, consider lactaid milk as a substitute or try using lactase enzyme supplements to help you tolerate foods with lactose better. Some people who are lactose-intolerant with milk may still tolerate other dairy products such as yogurt - 6-8 oz. yogurt could subsitute for a serving of milk since it has similar carb and protein content and also provides you with a large amount of your daily calcium needs. Soymilk would also be a good substitute for regular milk as it has a similar amount of carb and protein, and often can be found with calcium added.
If you do not tolerate any milk products due to severe intolerance, milk allergy, or choose not to consume dairy for moral or religious reasons, substitute your milk servings with soy milk or another form of healthy carbohydrate (healthy starches, fruit, or beans). Look for foods that have ~15g carb (1 carb choice or 1 bread/starch/fruit serving) and ~7g protein. Since dairy products continue to be the best bioavailable source of calcium and vitamin D in the diet, it is also very important in this case to make sure you are getting adequate calcium from other sources in your diet and/or from supplements.