Many of us have been touched by diabetes. Maybe it’s a friend or family member who lives with diabetes, your patients or clients or perhaps you battle the condition yourself. Fortunately, there is some good news: A growing body of science indicates there may be a beneficial association between yogurt and Type 2 diabetes.
A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of 22 longitudinal studies, comprising over 570,000 people and 43,000 cases of Type 2 diabetes, reported that yogurt consumption (approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup a day) was associated with a 14 percent reduction in Type 2 diabetes risk. The exciting part of this finding was that it is consistent with other meta-analyses that have shown a similar 14 and 17 percent reduction in Type 2 diabetes risk with yogurt consumption. And it’s not just yogurt, the study also found that total dairy intake was associated with a 3 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes per 200 g (or approximately one serving) of dairy a day, which builds upon previous research on the role of dairy foods and Type 2 diabetes.
Lifestyle choices represent an important predictor of diabetes risk and can play a role in diabetes management. One relatively simple lifestyle choice that people can make is to include yogurt as one of the three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy recommended by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans for those age 9 and older. Backed by emerging science, yogurt is a nutrient-rich food that, when included as part of a healthy eating style, is associated with a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.