Diabetes is a condition that affects how the body handles glucose and causes the blood sugar level to become too high. The two main types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is mostly genetic. Type 2 diabetes, however, can be avoided by reducing exposure to the risk factors. According to studies that have been recently conducted, consumption of yoghurt has been linked to lowering the levels of glucose in the body and also reducing insulin resistance. Yoghurt has low carbohydrate content and so its use has been proved to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes which is the most common form of diabetes.
From all the research conducted, it is evident to see that yoghurt is a great food choice for people with diabetes. However, it is not all yoghurt that is beneficial to diabetics. It is vital that anyone suffering from diabetes know the best kind of yoghurt to consume so as to help control the effects of the illness. There are a few factors that need to be considered when purchasing yoghurt for a diabetic.
Choosing a good Yoghurt
One of the factors that increase the effect of diabetes is having high amounts of sugar in the blood. Therefore, it is critical that when selecting a yoghurt for a diabetic person to avoid any brand that has a lot of added sugars or saturated fats. The best kind of yoghurt has a high protein content, low carbohydrate content, calcium and probiotics. Most people are familiar with proteins, carbohydrates and calcium and their functions in the human body. Low sugar levels in yoghurt is important for diabetics since carbohydrates are usually broken down into sugars during digestion.
The question now is what are probiotics? Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have been medically proven to be good for the digestive system. They keep the gut healthy. The smart idea when purchasing yoghurt for a diabetic person is buying plain yoghurt that is low fat or non-fat. Also, yoghurts from the same brand may have different sugar levels. It is crucial therefore to check the labels very carefully. Two main types of yoghurt that can be part of a healthy diet; Greek yoghurt and regular yoghurt.
Greek Yoghurt vs. Regular Yoghurt
Regular yoghurt provides five protein-grams per six-ounce serving subject to the variety. Also, it has a considerably high carbohydrate content which makes it relatively harmful to people suffering from diabetes.
Greek yoghurt is simply regular yoghurt that has been strained to remove the whey. What is left behind after the straining process is a thicker, more protein-rich yoghurt that is also known as strained yoghurt. Greek yoghurt has become one of the hottest foods around. It provides up to twenty grams of protein per six-ounce serving and has about a third of the carbohydrate content in regular yoghurt. The low carbohydrate content in Greek yoghurt makes it more preferred by diabetic people than regular yoghurt. Unfortunately, Greek yoghurt has a lower calcium content that regular yoghurt.
Plain low-fat or non-fat Greek yoghurt is creamy, smooth, thick and an exceptional meal or snack option for diabetic people. What attracts people to it is its thick consistency that comes from removing the whey. The high protein level helps one to experience a high degree of satisfaction and hence one won’t get hungry quickly. Greek yoghurt also contributes to managing blood sugar levels which means that blood-sugar spikes are prevented all day long. Greek yoghurts are readily available in any grocery store in the refrigerated dairy section.
Checking the Labels on Greek Yoghurt
Checking the labels when purchasing any yoghurt especially for a diabetic person is a point that has to be emphasized on often. However, all Greek yoghurts are not equal even if they are from the same brand. Different flavors have different nutrient content. The most critical detail to keep an eye for at the labels is the carbohydrate content since it is vital to watch the sugar levels for diabetics. The best option is always the plain, non-fat yoghurt regardless of the allure of the other choices that are fruit-filled. It is better for one to flavor the yoghurt with natural fruits at home. Also, analyze the label to determine how many rations are one package to avoid exceeding one’s carbohydrate limit.
Integrating Greek Yoghurt in the Diabetic Menu
On average, snacks for diabetic individuals should contain anywhere between fifteen grams to thirty grams of carbs per serving. A full meal should have between forty-five to seventy-five grams of carbs per serving. Given that many non-fat Greek yoghurts have about seven grams to twelve grams of carbs per serving, it is relatively stress-free to add them into meals or snacks.
Greek Yoghurt for breakfast: A great diabetic breakfast that includes yoghurt would be six to eight ounces of plain low-fat Greek yoghurt topped with one serving of fresh fruit like berries, sliced bananas, chunked apples among many others. Add six to eight chopped almonds for crunch and additional proteins to the meal. One can also add a sugar-free sweetener. Also, an alternative to a sugar-free sweetener is honey that is traditionally used to sweeten Greek yoghurt.
Greek Yoghurt in sour cream: Since the pudding-like texture and slightly tart flavor of plain low-fat or non-fat Greek yoghurt is similar to that of sour cream, it can be used in dip recipes instead of using the sour cream. Also, the yoghurt can be used in place of sour cream in baked goods like cookies, scones and cake or on potatoes, especially baked ones. One can blend freshly chopped or desiccated herbs to add to the dip.
Greek Yoghurt for Dessert: A tasty dessert that includes yoghurt would be mixing some walnuts, preferably chopped into a single-serving size container of Greek yoghurt. For extra flavor, one can add an extract like vanilla or almond.
Recipes that can accommodate the use of Greek yoghurt as an ingredient include blueberry smoothies, pita, tzatziki, Cole slaw, Moorish chicken, yoghurt marinated chicken, lemon pound cake with yoghurt, and Greek yoghurt dip among others.
For a diabetic person, it is crucial that the blood sugar levels are watched carefully. Indulging in yoghurt can be satisfying. However, to prevent any trips to the emergency room, make sure that the yoghurt is low in carbohydrates. Adding fruits to the yoghurt is not only a way of adding flavor to it but also a source of vitamins and proteins at the same time. There is no doubt that Greek yoghurt can make any meal a healthy one.