Yoghurt and diabetes 9 December 2014 A recent study has linked eating yoghurt to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes NSW Accredited Practicing Dietitian Katie Allison explores the pros and cons of including yoghurt in your diet for people with or at risk of diabetes – The right type of yoghurt can play an important role in a healthy eating plan. Yoghurt has a low glycemic index (GI), is easily digested and is high in nutrients. Like other dairy foods (eg. milk and cheese), yoghurt is a rich source of calcium which is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones. Other nutrients found in these foods include protein, iodine, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and zinc. Some studies have suggested that reduced-fat dairy, included as part of a healthy diet, is associated with a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend two and a half serves of dairy per day for the average adult. (Older adults, especially women, will require more than this.) A serve of dairy or alternatives is the equivalent of: 1 cup milk Â½ cup evaporated unsweetened milk Â¾ cup (200g) yoghurt 40g (2 slices or 4 x 3 x 2 cm piece) hard cheese Â½ cup ricotta cheese 1 cup soy, rice or other cereal drink (calcium fortified) It is important to choose reduced-fat or low-fat varieties of yoghurt, milk or cheese. This is because full-fat varieties can add extra kilojoules and fat, especially saturated fat, to your diet. Yoghurt and milk also contain a significant amount of carbohydrate. Even though it is good quality carbohydrate and is low GI, when eaten in large amounts it can increase blood glucose levels in people living with diabetes. A recent study has linked eating yoghurt to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While additional research is required in order to explore this further, the researchers speculated the possible reduced risk may be linked to the probiotic bacteria and benefits of vitamin K found in yoghurt, and the nutrient density of yoghurt itself. Probiotics boost our beneficial gut bacteria and help maintain a healthy digestive system. They are found in some yoghurts and other fermented milk products such as cottage cheese and fromage frais. It is important to remember that there is no single food that will prevent diabetes. To prevent or delay diabetes it is essential to eat a balanced mix of the five healthy food groups (including reduced-fat dairy), participate in regular physical activity and strive for a healthier weight.