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Protein-Packed, Low-Fat Greek Yogurt Is Great Food for Diabetics

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 25, 2015
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Yogurt naturally contains high-quality carbohydrates and protein.
  • It is excellent for preventing an unhealthy rise in blood sugar.
  • A diet high in calcium from yogurt reduces risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular non-fat yogurt.

More

Smooth, creamy, thick — Greek yogurt is one of the hottest foods around, and its popularity shows no signs of dying away. It has a pudding-like texture and a slightly tart flavour, and also has more protein and fewer carbs and fewer sugars than traditional yogurt. This makes Greek yogurt appropriate for people with diabetes.

In fact, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in Boston, found high intake of yogurt to be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and concluded the findings to highlight the importance of including yogurt as part of a healthy diet.

Greek Yogurt

Why Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt has a thick consistency which comes from straining it to remove liquid whey. This process increases the amount of protein per serving and removes some of the carbohydrates, which diabetics must be careful about.

A food low in carbs is a plus for diabetics and yogurt can be worked for a snack without having to account for too many carbohydrates.

When eating Greek yogurt, you will feel that you've had a more substantial snack because it naturally contains high quality protein. So you'll feel more satisfied and won't be hungry very quickly. And you could start your day with Greek yogurt to manage your blood sugar better throughout the day. Eating low-GI foods for breakfast helps prevent blood-sugar spikes later on, one recent study found.

Labels on Greek Yogurt

With so many brands and flavours of Greek yogurt available in the market, you should carefully read nutrition labels carefully to find one that will work with a diabetes diet. Carbohydrate content is the most important item to look for on the nutrition label of Greek yogurt, since it accounts for the sugar content that diabetics must watch. Non-fat version is always the best choice.

Food Labels

In terms of flavour, plain varieties also work best for diabetics over the fruit-filled choices. If there's fruit on the bottom, it means there's going to be more sugar and carbs in it. If you really want a flavoured yogurt, you can flavour it yourself with fruit at home.

Another alternative is to select vanilla or honey-infused Greek yogurts, which are usually lower in carbohydrates than those with fruit. To avoid accidentally exceeding your carbohydrate limit, you should also check the label to find out how many servings are in a single package "n some products, one container may be two servings, so you have to be careful.

Adding Greek Yogurt to the Menu

Most people with diabetes have anywhere from 45 to 75 grams of carbohydrates to "spend" on each meal, and snacks should range from 15 to 30 grams. With many non-fat Greek yogurts weighing in at about 7 to 12 grams of carbohydrates per serving, it's easy to integrate them into a meal or as a between-meals snack.

Diabetic Diet

Greek yogurt can also be used in recipes. Use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream on baked potatoes or in dips; blend in your favourite chopped fresh or dried herbs.

You can also try this decadent-tasting dessert: Mix a teaspoon of honey and a handful of chopped walnuts into a single-serving size container of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. If desired, add in a drop of your favourite extract, such as vanilla or almond, for extra flavour. This can give you a nice treat without all the carbs you'd get with ice cream or other foods.

Images: Getty

Read more articles on Healthy Eating.

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