The best yogurt for people with diabetes

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Yogurt can be a beneficial source of carbohydrates , proteins, fats, and beneficial bacteria. However, with the exception of plain varieties, yogurt can also contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. If you have diabetes , it is important to monitor your intake. But that doesn't mean you should give up the creamy treatment. Yogurt is a great snack option if you know which to choose and which to skip.

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Analyze nutrients

Nutrient profiles vary greatly depending on the type and brand of yogurt. The ideal yogurt, whether dairy or vegetable, provides a healthy balance of protein and carbohydrates, as well as some healthy fat, calcium, and probiotics , with minimal added sugar, preservatives, or food colorings. Yes there are.

Calories: The total amount of calories in yogurt can range from 100 to 230 or more, depending on the fat content and sugar level. Additives like fruit syrup, honey, or jelly, or toppings like muesli, sprinkles, or rice chips can also increase calories. If you eat yogurt as a snack, aim for 100 to 150 calories per serving.

Carbohydrates: Naturally present milk sugars (lactose) contribute to the increase in the amount of carbohydrates in yogurt, so it is not possible to obtain yogurt with zero carbohydrates. If you have diabetes, look for Greek yogurt or Icelandic yogurt (also called skyr). During its preparation, some of the whey is removed, leaving a thick, protein-rich product with about a third of the carbohydrates in other types of yogurt. They also have lower lactose levels (around 5%) than other yogurts, making them easier to digest, especially for those with lactose intolerance .

The ideal yogurt for people with diabetes contains less than 10 grams of carbohydrates.

Protein: An As an essential building block for all muscles and tissues in the body and an important source of energy, protein also helps slow the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream, helping to balance blood sugar levels. and promotes satiety.

Greek yogurt generally contains the highest amount of protein. Some brands of Greek yogurt contain up to 17 grams. While most regular yogurts contain 7 to 9 grams, including those made with plant-based milk.

Fat: Fat can also help slow glucose absorption and increase feelings of fullness. It is also necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, which in turn plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium .

While low-fat yogurt can help you lower your total calorie and saturated fat intake, it likely contains a lot of added sugar.

Probiotics: New research is emerging on the benefits of probiotic yogurt for people with diabetes. A 2017 study published in the Evidence Based Care Journal reported that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed three 100-gram servings of probiotic yogurt per day had lower levels of blood glucose, cholesterol, and diastolic blood pressure than the corresponding group. consumed yogurt.

Most commercial yogurt manufacturers pasteurize their products and then add live cultures of bacteria to them. Look for S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei, L. Rhamnosus, and other strains on the label.

Analyze the ingredients

The gold standard for diabetic yogurt is plain, organic, grass-fed, full-fat cow's milk with a simple (short) list of ingredients. For example, the ideal is that natural yogurt only contains milk and / or cream and some bacterial cultures.

Look for yogurt made from milk from cows that have not received recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBST), a synthetic hormone that increases milk production in cows and can affect human hormones.

Ingredients to avoid

The biggest culprit to look out for when reading yogurt labels is added sugar, which can take many forms. High fructose corn syrup, dextrose, cane sugar, and condensed cane juice are just a few of them. While a little sugar is not harmful, it has no nutritional benefits.

Artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and colors also fall into the category of compounds with no nutritional value and should generally be avoided.

Available varieties

The range of yogurts has expanded to include not only cow's milk bases, but also sheep's and goat's milk, as well as many plant-based options.

Animal sources: For people with diabetes, plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt made from cow's milk is ideal, but yogurt made from goat's and sheep's milk is also a great option. They tend to be lower in lactose, and some studies show that goat and sheep milk is less inflammatory than cow's milk due to the different fatty acid profile. Goat's milk also contains more calcium than cow's milk.

Plant-based sources: soy, almonds, cashews, macadamia, and coconuts are made into a vegan yogurt base with excellent results. However, because these dairy-free milk substitutes are lactose-free, they don't have the natural sweetness of cow's milk yogurt, and many have a lot of added sugar or other flavors, so it's important to check the ingredient labels.

Yogurt (Greek or plain) reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14% when consumed daily, according to a 2017 research review published in the Journal of Nutrition .

Recommended brands

When choosing yogurt, be sure to consider the specific dietary options that your diabetes instructor or nutritionist has outlined for you. There are several options on the market that are low in carbohydrates and low in added sugars.

How to enjoy yogurt

Yogurt for breakfast is easy. For added pleasure, add 6 to 8 ounces of plain Greek yogurt, a serving of fresh or frozen berries, and 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts for crunch, protein, and healthy fats.

Besides breakfast, there are other great ways to enjoy yogurt:

  • Sauces – Plain Greek yogurt can be used almost exclusively in place of sour cream in sauces, dressings, and other recipes. You can also add a little mayo to your coleslaw instead of yogurt to make it lighter and spicier.
  • Baking: Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt in baked goods like cookies, muffins, or cakes.
  • Smoothie: add yogurt for more protein, thicker and creamier.
  • Seasoning: Substitute honey and maple syrup, and top with pancakes or whole grain waffles, add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt.
  • Dessert: Try frozen Greek yogurt instead of ice cream. Top with 1/4 cup fresh or frozen berries for a sweet afternoon dessert.
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