The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that 1 in every 3 Americans has what is known as pre-diabetes, which means that their blood sugar levels are high enough to serve as a warning, but low enough not to be classified as Type 2 diabetes. Without a diet and lifestyle correction about 15-30% of pre-diabetics will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years, according to statistics.
The great news is, recent studies have shown that an increase in the amount of delicious, low-fat yogurt in the diet can result in a decrease in the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 28%!
Is There Any Evidence?
A study was conducted at Cambridge University in 2014, which analyzed the diets of 4000 British men and women between the age of 45 and 74, which also included 753 participants who had developed Type 2 Diabetes in the preceding 11 years. The volunteers submitted a detailed food diary for seven consecutive days, and particularly focused on how much dairy they had consumed.
Researchers paid attention to the type of dairy that was consumed, as well as categorizing it into low, medium and high-fat dairy sources. While the studies were too short to be considered entirely conclusive, the results were clear: the participants that consumed the highest amounts of low-fat dairy compared to those who consumed none showed a 28% decrease in the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes!
How Much Yogurt Did They Have?
Researchers showed that the low-risk group consumed an average of 550 ml’s of low-fat yogurt divided into four to five portions over a seven-day period. This equates to four to five portions of standard sized 125 ml pots per week.
Interestingly the group was also found to be slimmer, more physically active and had fewer cravings for junk food, which reflected overall better health when compared to the non-yogurt eaters. This could be due to the high protein content contained in low-fat yogurt, which promotes a leaner, healthier body and increased satiation.
The study was published in the journal of the European Association for Diabetes, known as Diabetologia. Dr. Nita Forouhi states that “this research highlights that specific foods may have an important role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and are relevant for public health messages.”
Why Low-Fat Yogurt?
While research is still ongoing, it is believed that low-fat yogurt had the greater impact on reducing the risk of diabetes due to its optimal balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate.
Fat-free yogurt contains more than 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams, which could lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk in developing Type 2 diabetes. Full-fat and Greek yogurt contains between 4-10% fat, which could be detrimental to blood sugar balance, especially if paired with sugary toppings, such as raw honey.
Low-fat yogurt contains only 2% fat, less than 7 grams of sugar and has over 5 grams of protein per 100 grams, making it the perfect snack for both pre-diabetics and Type 2 diabetics.
By having just 4 or 5 portions of delicious, creamy low-fat yogurt per week, you will be getting a super dose of vitamins, minerals and protein and a low dose of carbohydrates, which can help to reduce your risk of ever developing Type 2 diabetes.
Other low-fat dairy options that were included in the study were cottage cheese and fromage frais, which shared similar results. Unfortunately, low fat milk and cheese did not reflect any positive results in preventing diabetes, likely due to the lack of a fermentation process, which is believed to hold the key to these remarkable findings.
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