When it comes to the question of what yogurt is good for diabetics it is pretty easy to answer: any yogurt you want so long as it’s low fat or fat free. Now that wasn’t so hard what it? Well, there is bit more to it than that, but not much. First, you should know about the glycemic index. Once you grasp that, the rest simply falls into place.
What is the Glycemic Index?
Basically it is a scale that provides a numerical value to foods in relation to glucose that will increase the level of glucose in the blood. It effectively measures how fast the blood sugars rise after eating. Your job is to eat the foods you like that are low on this scale in order to prevent spiking these numbers to dangerous levels.
Why is yogurt so important?
It is recommended that diabetics eat a carefully balanced diet. Part of a well-balanced diet includes dairy. The main reason that yogurt is preferred is that you have a better chance at controlling the amount of carbs consumed in a 6 oz. cup of low or no fat yogurt than you can with a glass of low or no fat milk. Most 6 oz. cups of yogurt contain only 15 carbs, which is great! Yogurt is also a great source of calcium and protein.
Which kind is best for diabetics?
Well, we have established that no or no fat yogurt is best, but let’s get down to what really matters: flavored verses plain. In this battle plain wins. Plain yogurt is less likely to have added sugars beyond the naturally occurring sugars found in most foods. Added sugar is actually sugars that are not naturally occurring in foods, but are put in to increase sweetness or “improve” flavor. Plain yogurt that is low or no fat will naturally have lower sugar and carbs.
Flavored yogurt is okay, but it is a better idea to add fresh fruit to your yogurt than to eat the flavored ones with processed fruit in it. Not only will it taste better with fresh fruit, but adding your own helps you control the GI numbers.
Plain Greek Yogurt, which is produced by straining the liquid so that the yogurt is richer and creamier, is has an additional benefit to just being sweet and creamy in its own naturally occurring sugars and low 15 carbs, it also has a higher value of protein, which is always good.
Alternative choice to dairy yogurt
If you can’t eat dairy or don’t choose to you can give low or no fat soy yogurt a try. It offers the same texture and flavor as dairy yogurt and just as much calcium without the risk of spiking GI number because it also has low carbs.
How often should yogurt be included in the diabetic diet?
The American Diabetic Association recommends that diabetics include 6 oz. of yogurt at least twice per day, once at lunch and once at dinner time.