Eating Yogurt May Help Ward Off Diabetes, Researchers Say

A new study on diabetes suggests that eating yogurt four to five times a week could possibly lower the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Live Science has reported that researchers in the United Kingdom followed 4,000 individuals and their diets for a total of 11 years. They say that those who ate the highest amount of yogurt had a 24 percent lower risk of developing diabetes compared to those who didn’t eat yogurt.

According to the American Diabetes Association, a total of 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. That amounts to 8.3 percent of the population. They continue on to say that 18.8 million people are diagnosed, and another 7 million people go undiagnosed.

“What our study shows is that yogurt should be part of a healthy diet,” said lead researcher Dr. Nita Forouhi, group leader of the nutritional epidemiology program at the Medical Research Council at the University of Cambridge.

Healthy Day reported that this study didn’t prove any cause-and-effect relationship, but Forouhi did say that it “highlights the importance of considering food group subtypes in diet/disease associations. Much past research has focused on overall total dairy products intake, whereas our research was able to examine subtypes of dairy products.”

Some researchers have said that this new study echos what some other studies have found, “which is that low-fat dairy foods may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes,” according to Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York City.

“Scientists are also looking at the effects of fermented soybean products in preventing or in delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes,” Heller said. “Fermented foods contain probiotic bacteria that are good for the gastrointestinal tract. Fermented foods include yogurt and cottage cheese with live, active cultures, miso, kimchi, kefir [a yogurt-based drink], sauerkraut and tempeh.”

According to Live Science, the researchers didn’t find a link between total dairy consumption and the risk for diabetes, suggesting that only some dairy products may be beneficial in reducing the risk for this condition.

Healthy Day stated that the study saw the lowered risk among those who ate about four and a half standard 4.4 ounce cups of yogurt a week. The report stated that this was also the case for other low-fat fermented dairy products, “such as low-fat unripened cheeses, including fromage frais and low-fat cottage cheese”

Heller also added that a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes is being overweight and or obese. “”Regular exercise, shifting to a more plant-based diet and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight will go a long way in helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.”

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