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Is yogurt good for type 2 diabetes?

Is yogurt good for type 2 diabetes? - YINI

Diabetes is a type of disease that has increased in numbers over the past few years.

There are two types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes usually affects young people, and is an autoimmune disease. In this case, the body will “attack” cells responsible for the insulin production. The treatment generally consists of prescribed insulin, diet and physical activities.
  • Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is when the body can’t properly use all the insulin produced or when it can’t control glycemia. It’s more common and generally associated with disbalanced nutritional habits. The fundamental principle of managing T2D is to adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. [1]

What is the role of diet on Type 2 Diabetes?

Patients with T2 Diabetes will have to manage their diabetes, with medical supports and advices, regular physical activities and a healthy diet.

Dairy products, including yogurt, are part of a balanced diet and provide positive effects on health. Moreover, studies have shown an interesting associations between yogurt consumption and reduced risks of type 2 diabetes:

  • A study on 4.000 adults over 11 years, showed a strong inverse correlation between T2D and yogurt consumption, compared to non-yogurt consumers (2)
  • A meta-analysis, including 194 519 adults, confirmed the specific effect of yogurt on reducing T2D risk (3)

An easy dietary first approach would be to eat yogurts as a snack instead of more “unhealthy” snacks. This substitution has been studied and is correlated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. [2, 4]


How might yogurt help reduce type 2 diabetes risks?

Several biological mechanisms may explain the effects of the yogurt consumption on the reduction of  T2 Diabetes risks:

Guidelines for people living with T2D

The main recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) are to:

  • eat a healthy balanced diet
  • reduce weight by reducing the food calorie intake
  • practice regular daily physical activity appropriate to the physical capabilities
  • avoid tobacco and alcohol [1].

Associations around the World recommend consuming three servings of dairy products each day, including yogurt, with no added sugar [11, 12, 13].

You may find more information on yogurt and type 2 diabetes in our Yogurt Nutrition Digest N°8.

[1] WHO & International Diabetes Federation. Diagnosis and Management of Type 2 Diabetes. 2020.
[2] O’Connor LM, et al. Dietary dairy product intake and incident type 2 diabetes: a prospective study using dietary data from a 7-day food diary. Diabetologia. 2014;57:909–17
[3] Chen M, et al. Dairy consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: 3 cohorts of US adults and an updated meta-analysis. BMC Med. 2014;12:215.
[4] Díaz-López A, et al. Dairy product consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in an elderly Spanish Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. Eur J Nutr. 2016;55:349–60.
[5] Martinez-Gonzalez M.A. et al.Yogurt consumption, weight change and risk of overweight/obesity: The SUN cohort study. NMCD. 2014;24(11):1189-1196.
[6] Pei R, et al. Low-fat yogurt consumption reduces biomarkers of chronic inflammation and inhibits markers of endotoxin exposure in healthy premenopausal women: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2017;118:1043–51.
[7] Wen L, Duffy A. Factors influencing the gut microbiota, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes. J Nutr. 2017;147:1468S–75S.
[8] Beulens JWJ, et al. Dietary phylloquinone and menaquinones intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2010; 33(8):1699-705.
[9] Wolever TM. Yogurt is a low-glycemic index food. J Nutr. 2017;147:1462S–7S.
[10] Pasin G, Comerford KB. Dairy foods and dairy proteins in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review of the clinical evidence. Adv Nutr. 2015;6:245-59.
[11] American Diabetes Association (website). What can I eat?
[12] Canadian Diabetes Association (website). Basic meal planning.
[13] Diabetes UK (website). Eating with diabetes.

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