Dairy and Diabetes

Posted on by Ami Spencer

A recent study suggests that a diet rich in low-fat dairy products may improve weight loss among overweight Type-2 diabetics. The study, published in the March 2007 issue of Diabetes Care, indicated that participants who had a higher level of dairy calcium intake were more likely to have a higher percentage of weight loss.

While this is promising research, it doesn’t mean that dairy intake was the only factor in weight loss. Including low-fat dairy in your diet is important, but it’s not a magic bullet. Still, along with the USDA recommendations for dairy intake, this study further supports the importance of dairy in your diet–especially if you have or are at risk for developing diabetes.

To reap dairy’s dietary benefits, include 2 to 3 daily servings of low-fat dairy products in your diet. If you’re at a loss for what to include, try some of the calcium-rich snacks below:

Low-fat or fat-free yogurt: A cup of yogurt provides a single dairy serving. Try prepackaged, flavored yogurt cups, or make your own fruity yogurt by mixing fresh fruit, a touch of your favorite sweetener, and a few drops of vanilla to plain, low-fat yogurt. Mix it up by adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice or any other favorite flavorings you might have. If you like your yogurt with a little crunch, top it with one sliced strawberry and a tablespoon or two of granola. You can also make a variety of flavorful smoothies by mixing a ½ cup of plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt, a ½ cup skim or 1% milk, a ½ teaspoon of vanilla, some sweetener and ½ to ¾ cup of your favorite frozen fruit in a blender for two minutes.

Milk: It’s the good-old-standby, and it’s a very versatile dairy option. Choose 1% or skim varieties, then drink away. You can add a little bit of chocolate syrup, pour it over your cereal, or drink it straight from the carton. However you choose to have your milk, remember that 1 cup is a single serving.

Cheese: This dairy product get’s tricky. It takes a lot more cheese to get your diary requirements, and cheese tends to be higher in fat and calories than yogurt or milk. Try low-fat cheese options, and eat them in moderation. Put a ½ cup canned fruit over a ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese. Add some shredded cheddar or an ounce of feta to your favorite salad. And if you have to have a chunk of the real thing, limit yourself to a serving the size of your thumb.

This entry was posted in Diabetes, Nutrition. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *