Can Low-Fat Yogurt Help Prevent Diabetes

Yogurt is a yummy treat and definitely a smart alternative to a slice of double-chocolate layer cake. However, can it help ward off certain diseases? New research suggests that it can help reduce the risk of diabetes. Yogurt is a fermented dairy product rich in probiotic bacteria, vitamin K, calcium, vitamin D and magnesium. These nutrients go a long way in providing the body with a healthy diet and immune system.

What the Studies Show

Although much previous research has focused on overall total dairy products, Dr. Nita Forouhi of the Medical Research Council at the University of Cambridge conducted a study on the subgroup food yogurt, which has been published in the medical journal Diabetologia. In this British study Dr. Forouhi collected data on over 4,000 participants. Over 3,000 people were randomly selected and 753 people in the group had developed type 2 diabetes over a period of 11 years. The difference in the amount of consumed low-fat fermented yogurt was significant to the results. Those who consumed yogurt reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 28 percent. Specifically, the lower risk was seen in people who consumed about four cups of yogurt per week. These researchers also report that other low-fat fermented dairy products, such as cheese, may have also played a result in the results.

Diabetes is a disease where the blood glucose levels are above normal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25 million Americans have this disease, and the numbers continue to grow. Researches are hoping that including amounts of yogurt in the diet will help reduce those high numbers along with physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight.

How to Choose the Best Yogurt

Dietician Fran Blackman of the Nutrition Clinic at Vanderbilt University feels that the research is encouraging. In addition, she cautions that yogurt is not just one isolated food habit to reduce the risk of diabetes. All around, people need to make a combination of healthy lifestyle habits. Blackman advises those at risk for diabetes choose a yogurt with a low sugar content. If it’s got 25 or more grams of sugar, it’s like eating two chocolate doughnuts. It’s important to read the label carefully. No more than 3 gram of fat and 22 grams of carbs should be in the yogurt. Good choices in brands with low sugars include Yoplait Greek, Stonyfield Greed and Chobani Greek.