What Are the Different Types of Diabetic Yogurt?

T. Carrier

Yogurt possesses a number of health benefits, such as bolstering the immune system and providing many nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins B6 and B12. Eating yogurt can be tricky for diabetics, however, because some forms of the food contain sugar or other additives restricted from a diabetic diet. Yogurts that have little or no sugar are an exception, and these types of diabetic yogurt include plain yogurt, soy yogurt, and Greek yogurt. Forms low in fat content are another healthy alternative for diabetic individuals.

A bowl of plain yogurt.
A bowl of plain yogurt.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that impacts blood sugar levels in the body. As these sugar levels become too low or too high, a number of symptoms result, ranging from jitteriness to lethargy. If left untreated, the disease can heighten the risk of certain health complications like nerve damage and heart disease. For many individuals, this disease can be managed through exercise and a diet low in sugar content. Diabetic yogurt can provide a sound snacking option in such diets.

Eating yogurt can be tricky for diabetics unless it contains little or no sugar.
Eating yogurt can be tricky for diabetics unless it contains little or no sugar.

Plain yogurt is perhaps the most ideal diabetic yogurt. This type is the most basic form of yogurt: milk treated with bacterial cultures. No artificial sweeteners are added, so plain yogurt has a rather sour taste. Diabetic individuals may add some sweetness to plain yogurt by topping it with small amounts of fruit.

Non-fat or low-fat yogurts are another potential form of diabetic yogurt. A fat-reduced yogurt tends to banish whole milk use, which is a beneficial step because it eliminates a high saturated fat content from the yogurt. These yogurts also contain more healthy forms of needed carbohydrates. Some offerings have a fruit flavoring, which makes the taste more palatable. Diabetic individuals should, however, avoid any yogurt products with pieces of candy or similar sugar-boosting substances.

Several other types of yogurt do not use animal milk. Soy yogurt, for example, uses a mixture of crushed soy beans and liquid as a base. Some varieties of nut milk, rice milk, and coconut milk may also be usable as diabetic yogurt. In addition to providing an alternative to whole milk and lactose sugar, these yogurt types also contain enzymes and compounds that can counteract certain diabetic consequences like heart problems and high cholesterol.

Whey is an ingredient found in some yogurt-based foods that can raise sugar levels in diabetics as well. Dairy products without whey tend to have lower levels of milk sugar, or lactose. Strained yogurt — also known as Greek yogurt — can be a beneficial diabetic yogurt because whey is removed and sugar levels are reduced. Liquid whey derives from milk that has curdled, and the straining of whey from yogurt gives the food a thicker consistency that is similar to cottage cheese.

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