Yoghurt could cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

by Barbara Hewitt on February 6, 2014

Yoghurt is the latest food to be credited by scientific research as being able to cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Scientists at Cambridge University in the UK have found that eating yoghurt regularly cuts the risk, as does other low fat fermented dairy foods such as fromage frais and cottage cheese.

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The analysis covered all kinds of low fat yoghurt with a fat content up to 3.9%, including those with added sugar

Taken together, eating modest amounts of yoghurt and low fat cheeses reduced the chances of becoming diabetic by 24% over an 11 year period. Indeed, eating 4.5 standard 125 gram pots of yoghurt a week resulted in a 28% cut in the risk of diabetes.

According to Dr Nita Forouhi lead researcher from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at Cambridge University, the research highlights that specific foods may have an important role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

‘At a time when we have a lot of other evidence that consuming high amounts of certain foods, such as added sugars and sugary drinks, is bad for our health, it is very reassuring to have messages about other foods like yoghurt and low fat fermented dairy products, that could be good for our health,’ she explained.

The research team compiled a detailed daily record of all the food and drink consumed in the course of a week by 4,255 participants, including 753 who developed type 2 diabetes over 11 years.

Consumption of total dairy, including high fat dairy and low fat dairy foods, was not associated with new cases of diabetes once factors such as healthier lifestyles, education, obesity, other eating habits and calorie intake were accounted for.

People with the highest consumption of low fat fermented products were more than a fifth less likely to develop diabetes than those who didn’t eat these foods.

Yoghurt made up more than 85% of the fermented dairy products studied and when examined separately, it was found to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes even further. Eating yoghurt in place of a snacks such as crisps was also found to reduce diabetes risk.

The analysis, which is available in the latest edition of the journal Diabetologia which is published by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, covered all kinds of low fat yoghurt with a fat content up to 3.9%, including those with added sugar.

The researchers believe beneficial probiotic bacteria and a special form of vitamin K in fermented dairy products may help to explain the results. It is thought that because these products are low energy dense foods which are naturally low in fat and high in water content, they have an independent effect on diabetes risk.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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