Does Yogurt Help Diabetes?

An interesting study from Harvard School of Public Health suggests yogurt may be beneficial to diabetes sufferers.

Most interesting is the indication that this benefit seems to derive from yogurt, but not other dairy products.

On Foodary, I look at ways to make standard healthy diets even healthier by tweaking them for your health problems and personal eating profile. Here is a fine opportunity for diabetes sufferers to switch some dairy products to yogurt, and try to improve their health.

Yogurt and Diabetes Study

Dairy consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: 3 cohorts of US adults and an updated meta-analysis.
Chen M, Sun Q, Giovannucci E, Mozaffarian D, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB.
BMC Med. 2014 Nov 25;12(1):215. doi: 10.1186/s12916-014-0215-1.

This is a study of 194,458 United States adults over several years, equating to almost 4 million person-years. It looks at the association of Type II Diabetes with dairy consumption, including different types of dairy products.

Total dairy consumption was not linked to Type II Diabetes, and there was no significant difference between high and low fat dairy products. However, daily yogurt consumption was linked to lower incidence of Type II Diabetes. Participants who ate a daily serving of yogurt had 18% less risk of Type II Diabetes.

Does Yogurt Help Diabetes?

Though this is good news, the authors rightly do not claim that daily yogurt will directly avoid or improve diabetes.

It is in the nature of this type of study that we only learn a statistical link. As the authors state, we need randomized control trials on diabetes sufferers to see if there is any direct link. The authors suggest that the pro-biotic nature of yogurt may reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. However, these suggestions need to be investigated and proved.

So, it begs the question: will yogurt help your diabetes?

Yogurt and Your Diabetes

Yogurt Diabetes photoTo me, though science can guide us towards healthier food choices, it is better to maintain a personal food profile. I need to study diabetes in more detail before I can offer specific advice, but the general principles of personal healthy eating apply here. Use your personal healthy eating profile to record facts about yourself. This includes appropriate medical test results, as well as diet changes.

You can use your profile to record results of your own diet changes. Switch one or more dairy products to yogurt for a month, or whatever time period suits you. Then record any changes in symptoms and test results. Switch back from yogurt for the next month, and repeat this process until you have a clear picture.

This tells you what is most important: does yogurt help Your diabetes?

You can get help with yogurt and diabetes now, in my:

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  2. Healthy Eating Circle on Google+
  3. Healthy eating chatroom on Facebook

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