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Is Yogurt Good for Diabetes? The 4 Best Yogurts to Try
Diabetes

Is Yogurt Good for Diabetes? The 4 Best Yogurts to Try

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 15
81 Views
6 min

Finding the best yogurt for diabetes can be challenging, but there are good products to try. It’s super important to eat the right foods when maintaining steady blood sugar levels. We detail the best yogurt for diabetes management and whether it helps reduce symptoms of hyperglycemia.

is yogurt good for diabetes

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Yogurt is super easy to have on a diabetes-friendly diet.

This product can benefit many dishes, including those sweet desserts and delicious breakfast options. Some people might believe that yogurt could raise blood sugar levels, but that may not be true. Eating yogurt is one way to get the nutrients you need to stay healthy.

People with diabetes require certain minerals to keep their bodies functioning properly. One serving of yogurt could provide many nutritional benefits, but is it really suitable for managing diabetes? We can address whether yogurt stops those blood sugar spikes.

In this article, you’ll discover if yogurt is good for diabetes, with 4 yogurts to try on your diet.

Is Yogurt Good for Diabetes?

Yes, yogurt is good for those who have type 2 diabetes. It contains lots of potassium, calcium, and protein to help reduce inflammation. You can eat yogurt with diabetes-friendly fruit or pair it with simple dishes to get all the essential nutrients. 

Yogurt has important bacteria that may decrease the risk of high blood pressure and sugar levels. Lactobacillus acidophilus is a type of friendly bacteria that can regulate hepatic glucose. Having too much glucose in your bloodstream might cause increased thirst and stomach pain.

Most people aim to eat probiotic yogurt that is full of live cultures. The countless bacteria contribute to strong glycemic control in people with diabetes. Not only does yogurt help you manage blood sugar, but it can benefit digestive health by replenishing gut microbes. 

You can also eat yogurt on a ketogenic diet. This type of diet is great for diabetes as it helps the body maintain blood glucose levels. A low intake of carbohydrates ensures you don’t experience sugar spikes. Just add yogurt to keto-based meals, but only in moderate amounts.

Does Yogurt Raise Blood Sugar?

Yogurt that is low in carbohydrates, sugar, and saturated fats will not raise blood sugar levels. Greek-style and unsweetened yogurt are the best options for a diabetes-friendly diet. Just make sure to look at the nutritional value of each product before eating them.

Many types of yogurt don’t contain enough carbs to trigger high blood glucose. The only way for your blood sugar to increase is by eating flavored yogurt with lots of added sugars. You can easily avoid those products and consume yogurt free of complex carbs and unhealthy fats. 

It might also be worth checking the glycemic index (GI) of each yogurt. A GI score above 55 means you should probably stay away from that food, as it will increase sugar levels. However, most Greek yogurts rank 19 on the scale, meaning it’s perfect for a diabetes diet. 

The 4 Best Yogurts for Diabetes

There are specific yogurts you should have while managing diabetes. Any type of probiotic yogurt is excellent for your overall health and may reduce symptoms. Just make sure to eat this food on a healthy diet, like the ketogenic diet that involves eating low-carb foods. 

Let’s take a look at the 4 best yogurts for diabetes:

#1 Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt almost contains twice the amount of protein as normal flavored yogurt. A high-protein diet may lower blood glucose in people with diabetes. You can have plain Greek yogurt with lots of healthy foods, like frozen berries, grapefruit, apples, pears, and oranges. 

If you do want to have Greek yogurt, always check the nutritional label. Some yogurts are made with skim milk or ingredients with high-fat content. This may cause blood glucose spikes, so find Greek yogurt that is rich in nutrients and only uses organic or plant-based milk.

#2 Skyr or Icelandic yogurt

Skyr is an Icelandic dairy yogurt that is carefully strained to create a creamy, thick consistency. This type of yogurt traditionally has lots of protein to keep you full, so it’s also great for a weight loss diet plan. Some brands add whole milk or sour cream to make the yogurt less tart. 

You should aim to get fat-free Icelandic yogurt to avoid unhealthy fats and carbohydrates. A yogurt with fewer carbs means it has a low GI score, making it perfect for your diabetes-friendly diet. The vitamin D in Skyr yogurt will also strengthen glucose control in people with diabetes.

#3 Unflavored regular yogurt

Regular plain yogurt still contains plenty of healthy fats to help with diabetes management. You can find any store-bought unflavored yogurt and check the nutritional information. Anything with minimal carbohydrates, sugar, and saturated fats will work perfectly for your healthy meal plan. 

Just remember not to go for flavored yogurt, as that could increase sugar levels in your bloodstream. Common products like strawberry or raspberry yogurt aren’t suitable for diabetes. They often have artificial sweeteners and fatty acids that trigger diabetes complications

#4 Plant-based yogurt

Plant-based yogurt usually has fewer calories, making it excellent for losing weight. People with diabetes can eat this yogurt to improve their overall health. Try to find plain probiotic yogurt that contains active cultures. The more friendly bacteria, the stronger your gut will be in the long run. 

Any type of plant-based yogurt can also be healthier than dairy products. This is because they don’t have milk sugars or artificial sweeteners that raise sugar in the blood. Coconut milk yogurts or almond milk ones are a great option to have if you want something to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

How to Pick a Good Yogurt if You Have Diabetes

Choosing the right yogurt is super important for maintaining diabetes. Probiotic yogurts have many health benefits, but you can’t pair them with high-calorie snacks. Yogurt consumption is all about eating natural products that reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases. 

Here are 3 added products you should avoid with diabetes-friendly yogurts:

#1 Avoid extra toppings 

You should avoid extra toppings like granola and sweet candies. These can have lots of carbohydrates and sugars that may worsen diabetes symptoms. If you want to try the ketogenic diet, sugar can disrupt ketosis and actually cause weight gain from the excess calories.

Fresh fruits work well with yogurt and contribute to strong gut health. Almonds and cashews are other better alternatives to sugary toppings. Some people might eat plain yogurt with organic milk, as this holds plenty of beneficial bacteria that reduce diabetes-related inflammation. 

#2 Avoid artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners might increase your appetite, leading to intense hunger cravings. This may cause people to eat products that raise their blood glucose levels. Always check the yogurt’s ingredients to make sure it has natural substances that offer diabetes-friendly nutrients.

Some sweeteners could also trigger gastrointestinal distress. You might experience bloating, serious constipation, and gas. This is due to the sweeteners not being digested properly in your gut. It might be best to avoid yogurts containing aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame K. 

#3 Avoid added sugars

Added sugar can be very bad for your diabetes-friendly diet. High-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and cane sugar will increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Too much sugar stops the body from producing insulin properly, leading to an overload of insulin that damages your pancreas. 

Find yogurts with active cultures that don’t contain sugar. Many dietary guidelines state that regular yogurt has more added sugars than Greek yogurt. Sugar is also bad when it comes to losing stubborn weight, so it’s better to stay away from this carbohydrate in general. 

FAQs

Is Greek yogurt good for diabetes?

Yes, Greek yogurt contains many friendly bacteria that can help maintain sugar in your blood. Always buy plain yogurt instead of flavored ones, which might worsen type 2 diabetes. This product is also a low-GI food, meaning it won’t cause insulin spikes and make you feel weak.

Can you eat frozen yogurt if you have diabetes?

There are certain types of frozen yogurt you can eat on a diabetes-friendly diet. Just be careful of yogurts that comprise sugar, added flavors, and preservatives. You can also make frozen yogurt at home if you want more natural ingredients, as it only requires long freezing times.

Can you eat plant-based yogurt if you have diabetes?

You can have plant-based yogurt if it’s low in carbohydrates and sugars. Some yogurt brands use added sugars to enhance the flavor of non-dairy milk that’s too high in carbs. Try to find plant-based yogurts that are made with unsweetened almond milk since it has a very low GI.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Yogurt is perfectly healthy and can help people with diabetes. It has significant health benefits like lower sugar levels, strengthened gut microbes, and long-term weight loss. Just make sure to consume yogurt in moderate amounts and never add sugary toppings like sweet candies.

Other yogurts like Greek yogurt and Skyr are probably the best for your meal plans. Both are strained to remove liquid whey – a byproduct of natural cheese production. Eliminating this liquid gives the yogurt a thicker consistency, making it perfect for a satisfying snack.

Talk to a doctor if you’re unsure about managing type 2 diabetes. A medical professional can suggest good yogurt alternatives or tips for reducing symptoms. Eating yogurt alone might not help, so complete a long-distance run to lower blood glucose levels and feel healthy again.

Conclusion 

So, is yogurt suitable for diabetes? Yes, it is. Just don’t forget to check the label before eating any store-bought yogurt.

Lots of research suggests that yogurt contains many important nutrients for maintaining diabetes. You should avoid full-fat yogurt and only buy completely natural ones. Since some of them may have a higher carb count, eat them in moderate amounts on your diet.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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