Yogurt is fermented cow’s milk. It is a nutrient-dense food that can serve as an easy snack or breakfast.
When in its unsweetened form, yogurt contains very low amounts of carbohydrates and is, therefore, good for diabetics.
That’s due to the reason that it hardly causes spikes in blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
But how do you decide on the best yogurt for people with diabetes?
In this write-up, we shall help you know what to look for when making this decision.
Benefits of Yogurt for Diabetics
The best yogurt for diabetics is one which promotes balance between carbohydrates and proteins. It also supplies calcium and probiotics.
Like other fermented foods, yogurt has a very high probiotics content. Probiotics are a group of good bacteria which play an important role in promoting gut health.
When gut health is good, overall body health is bound to benefits, especially when it comes to obesity and diabetes.
After all, the consumption of yogurt is associated with lower blood sugar levels and less insulin resistance. Drinking it regularly also results in lower blood pressure.
In an analysis of 13 different studies, it was established that including yogurt in the diet reduced an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes in older healthy adults.
What Exactly Is A Great Yogurt?
Like other dairy products, yogurt has a very low glycemic index (GI).
It is, therefore a great food for diabetics. Before you buy yogurt, you should carefully read the label.
Essentially, the best yogurt for diabetics is the non-fat or low-fat type.
It not only reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood but also cuts down on the overall calorie intake.
Since most of the yogurt brands on the market have lots of added sugar, you should be very careful what you buy.
The best is that which has no added sugar. You will still get a lot of carbohydrates in yogurt. So why should you buy the fruited yogurt or that into which toppings and granola have been added?
The best yogurt for diabetics is that which contains 15 grams or less in carbohydrates per serving. Even still, the low-fat, plain yogurt is the best.
If you must sweeten your yogurt, then to it with some peaches or berries. These also add some fiber to the yogurt, even as they help you to avoid added sugar.
One variety that’s low in carbohydrates but high in protein is Greek yogurt. But that does not mean that all brands labeled ‘Greek yogurt’ are good.
Some may end up having a high sugar content, which is why you should always check the labels. Also, the flavors may vary even within the same brand.
If you are more inclined towards the environmental protection bandwagon, then go for yogurt made from grass-fed cows. That is the surest way of satisfying both your palate and conscience.
1. Greek Yogurt
Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is prepared by straining it to get rid of the lactose and liquid whey.
This it has a creamier and thicker appearance. Finding Greek yogurt in a grocery store near you is easy. Due to its health benefits, Greek yogurt continues to grow in popularity.
This yogurt contains more protein but fewer carbohydrates and sugar, compared to regular traditional yogurt.
Thus, it is the best yogurt for individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Its protein and carbohydrate content is twice and half of that in regular yogurt, respectively.
In regular yogurt, you will get only 5 grams of protein in a 6-ounce serving. That’s compared to Greek yogurt which has 20 grams of yogurt in a similar serving.
This high-protein content reduces the carbohydrates in Greek yogurt to only 1/3 of that in regular yogurt.
That’s due to the fact that lactose, which is a source of carbohydrates has been removed. Thus, this yogurt is also good for people with lactose intolerance.
But Greek yogurt is not all good. There are certain of its varieties which supply less calcium than the traditional yogurt.
If your intention is to get calcium from the yogurt, you should consider that fact. When made from whole milk, Greek yogurt also contains much more fat than regular yogurt.
Due to its high protein content, Greek yogurt makes you feel fuller for longer, thus helping you to avoid regular snacks.
You may also want to eat it for breakfast so as to better manage the blood sugar levels, throughout the day. After all, it is low in GI and can help to prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin intolerance.
2. Icelandic Yogurt
Technically, this is not yogurt but rather a cultured dairy product.
It is made from cheese using a method similar to that of making Greek yogurt.
However, the straining goes a notch higher than what happens to the Greek yogurt.
Due to its extra thickness, Icelandic yogurt also contains more protein. Compared to regular yogurt, it contains 2 to 3 times more protein.
It can either be made from cheese or skimmed milk. It is, therefore, extremely low-fat.
That makes eating it beneficial to individuals looking to reduce their calorie intake. It is arguably the best yogurt for diabetics. Some of its varieties may also be made from whole milk.
3. Australian Yogurt
Due to its unstrained nature, Australian yogurt has a thinner texture compared to the other two varieties discussed so far.
The so-called regular yogurt is also made in a similar way.
This type of yogurt contains as many carbohydrates as the protein, given that the lactose and when are left intact. The only additive to this yogurt is honey, which is a healthy natural sweetener.
4. Probiotic-Infused Yogurt
Did you know that the probiotic content of yogurt can be boosted to make it even healthier?
Probiotics are good bacteria which help boost immunity and maintain outstanding gut health.
You can only know if yogurt is probiotic-infused by reading the label.
Look out for the words ‘live and active cultures’.
When the probiotics get into the body, they improve insulin levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. By boosting your immunity, it prevents infections that come due to type 2 diabetes.
5. Regular Yogurt
If you cannot afford any of the other types of yogurt, why don’t you go regularly?
Due to its affordability, eating it is better than nothing.
It is, therefore, the best yogurt for diabetics who cannot afford the other varieties.
The only undoing of this yogurt is that it contains lots of carbohydrates, which could even be more than the protein.
Thus, regular yogurt is best eaten plain or infused with fresh fruits. That gives you the power to control what goes into it, so as to better manage diabetes.
Ways to Eat Your Yogurt
Do you need to be reminded to take yogurt for breakfast?
Take between 6 and 8 ounces of yogurt and top it with some frozen of fresh fruits. You may want to make a choice between chucked apples, sliced peaches, and berries.
Add into it a tablespoon of chopped nuts to give it some texture, healthy fats and protein. You may also want to add vanilla powder or cinnamon and a sugar-free sweetener.
In addition to breakfast, you may also want to eat your yogurt in the following ways:
. Yogurt in dips.
Did you know that you can replace your sour creams with non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt when making dips and for other recipes?
Lighter, tangier yogurt is also a great replacement for mayo in recipes to make coleslaw.
· Baked foods.
To make some of the baked foods, you may want to replace sour cream with yogurt. You can use it to make cakes, scones, and cookies.
To improve the thickness and consistency of your smoothies, you may want to add some Greek yogurt to it. This will also help increase the protein content of the smoothie.
· Topping for other foods.
You don’t have to always top your whole grain waffles or pancakes using maple and honey. Plain Greek yogurt will make it as nice a treat as can be.
As a healthy option, replace the ice-cream with some Greek yogurt. When topped with fruit, yogurt makes a very good dessert after dinner.
What You Should Watch Out For
If you want to avoid increasing the calorie count of your yogurt, avoid toppings such as granola, nuts, and candy. All of these can raise the blood sugar levels and are not good for diabetics.
The best policy is to go for plain yogurt, to which you can then add fruity toppings.
With that, you can control the quality and amount of sugar you are eating with your yogurt.
Some of the best natural toppings include sliced almonds, chia seeds, flax seed, blueberries, and strawberries.
Diabetics and individuals suffering from insulin resistance are advised not to use natural sweeteners in their yogurt.
Don’t fall for the lie. These sweeteners will not help you manage your weight or deal with your sweet tooth.
According to recent research, artificial sweeteners cause unhealthy changes in but bacteria and can cause weight gain.
Undoubtedly, the best way to sweeten your yogurt is to use fresh fruits. That way, you will be able to get the best yogurt for diabetics.
You may also want to add in some unsweetened applesauce. There is no quicker and healthier way to sweeten your yogurt.
It is clear that yogurt contains high amounts of probiotics. You can increase the probiotic-count by adding active live and active cultures.
Such yogurt can be very beneficial to your gut health. The best yogurt for diabetics is that with high protein and low carbohydrates.
The best flavors are those just 10 grams and 15 grams of sugar and carbohydrates respectively. If the yogurt is packed with toppings, that’s a no-no.
That means you can only avoid buying the wrong yogurt by reading the label for ingredients.
But that doesn’t mean that you can eat all the yogurt you like. It is recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture that adults take a maximum of the servings of dairy in a day.
To be sure how yogurt works for you, always check your blood sugar after eating yogurt. Diabetics can greatly benefit in terms of probiotics, calcium, and protein by eating Greek yogurt.