Can yogurt ward off type 2 diabetes?
The health-promoting properties of yogurt have been linked to better gut flora, lowered blood pressure and even mood improvement - and now research suggests it can also help lower risk for type 2 diabetes.
Data from the Health Professionals' Follow-Up Study, which included 41,497 participants, indicates that yogurt may have diabetes-fighting abilities, even when other factors like body mass index and diet are taken into account.
According to the study, people who consume 28 grams of yogurt per day may have up to an 18-percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
The dairy dilemma
Similar to results found in a study earlier this year, the current research shows that yogurt - but not other dairy products - is linked to lower diabetes risk.
Scientists still aren't clear on why, but it could have to do with a number of different factors: the fact that yogurt is high in protein, which leads to satiety and perhaps healthier body weight; the calcium and minerals in yogurt, which could improve metabolic health; or simply the fact that people who eat yogurt have healthier diets overall.
Study author Frank Hu also suggests that probiotics in yogurt could be the reason for its healthy profile.
"The mechanisms are not well understood at this point," Hu told Forbes. "One hypothesis is that the probiotics in yogurt may help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation, but this hypothesis needs to be tested in randomized clinical trials.”
Diabetics looking to include yogurt into their diets may need to opt for sugar-free, low- or non-fat versions, as these will generally be lower in both carbohydrates and calories.
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