EB 2016 San Diego

Yogurt and diabetes : how to put it into practice


At the end of the 4th Yogurt Summit, Azmina Govindji, RD, UK, discussed how to take advantage of yogurt in practical terms through lifecycle. She presented how different simulations of yogurt swapping may help saving calories and increasing nutrient density.

Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) requires positive lifestyle and dietary changes to maintain a healthy weight and improve glycaemic control. In such a context, yogurt is an ideal snack to eat trough lifecycle. It’s a convenient and tasty way to help growing children and to meet their calcium needs. Low in energy density, but nutrient –dense , yogurt is also an ideal alternative, also for people watching their weight.

Yogurt is a nutrient dense food

Nutrient density is the measure of nutrient’s richness, provided per calorie of food. It is a way of evaluating the nutritional quality of a food. Nutrient-dense food choices can help people to meet their nutritional requirements without consuming excess calories, and eating yogurt. One of the key dietary recommendations of the recent US Dietary Guidelines is a shift towards more nutrient dense food choices. According to Azmina Govindji, most individuals in the United States would benefit from an increased dairy intake in fat-free or low-fat forms, whether from milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Yogurt swappings

Yogurt may help to reduce energy intakes and glycaemic impact by using food swaps, such as substituting a granola bar or a dessert for a fruit yogurt, a can of sugared drink for a yogurt smoothie, yogurt smoothie for fruit juice, or enjoying frozen yogurt instead of an ice cream bar. These types of swappings can also promote normalization of blood glucose; for example, high protein foods like yogurt and nuts promote satiety, and protein and fat can help to slow down post-prandial blood glucose levels.

The versatility of yogurt

Today, yogurt plays an important role in many different world cuisines and yogurt consumers generally adopt healthier nutrition and lifestyle behaviour. With its protein content and nutrient density, yogurt, including sweetened yogurt, can be a nutritious and potentially satisfying snack for people of all ages and activity levels. The versatility of yogurt, as well as the texture and mode of eating (with a spoon, in savory or sweet preparations), lends also itself well to the enjoyment of foods and mindful eating. Therefore, yogurt is nowadays deeply rooted in our eating behaviour and is an integral part of a healthy diet.

Key learnings:

  • Yogurt is a nutritious food throughout the whole lifecycle
  • Swapping out foods and eating yogurt instead could help:
    • saving calories
    • increasing the volume/weight of food consumed, without increasing calories
    • Significantly improving nutrient profile without contributing excess calories
  • Yogurt is a versatile food
  • Yogurt is an integral part of the daily diet

Watch now the slideshow of Azmina Govindji:

Connect with Azmina on Twitter via @azminanutrition and read her blog on www.azminanutrition.com

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