From automobile accidents to food poisoning and burglaries to house fires, we all take simple precautionary measures to prevent the unwanted. We avoid texting while driving, thaw and cook meat to the appropriate temperature, lock our doors, and install discreet fire alarms, respectively. When it comes to your health, though, are there simple steps you can take to prevent unwanted diseases? Are you hoping to prevent type 2 diabetes?
Most of the 26 million Americans with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. If anything positive can be said of type 2 diabetes, it is this: it is a controllable, reversible, and preventable disease! What is the secret to diabetes prevention? Lifestyle is key. Healthy habits that support weight control, physical activity, and a balanced diet are the three main elements of a healthy, diabetes-fighting lifestyle.
It isn’t always easy to support a health-friendly lifestyle in a world with mixed messages, conveniently placed unhealthy foods, and a hectic work schedule that eats up your time. However, if you take one simple step at a time, you will be surprised with how much you can accomplish.
Thankfully, a wealth of rigorous research continues to discover the disease-fighting potential of different foods. A healthy food does not always have to be an exotic, expensive, and peculiar food or drink. It can be as basic and accessible as the yogurt you find in the dairy section. In fact, low-fat yogurt proves to be a beneficial food for preventing type 2 diabetes.
Why Opt for Yogurt?
A recent study published in the journal Diabetologia found that eating as little as 80 grams per day of low-fat yogurt can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 24%.
Low-fat yogurt is a great replacement for typical snack and meal servings—sugary, salty, or fried foods. The previously mentioned study found that when low-fat yogurt replaced common snacks (dessert, pudding, cake, biscuits, creams, and convenience snack foods), the risk of type 2 diabetes was cut in half.
Derived from milk, low-fat yogurt contains a host of nutrients such as vitamin D and vitamin K. It also contains a matchless mix of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which help prevent high blood pressure. These nutrients are far more effective when obtained from food, in their natural and balanced state.
Low-fat yogurt also packs the power of high-quality protein, which helps keep you feeling full after eating a serving. Proteins from yogurt have also shown to play a role in controlling blood pressure.
Trans palmitoleate is a fatty acid found in fermented dairy products such as yogurt. Research in the field of nutrition and diabetes shows that this fatty acid can help lower the risk of insulin resistance and prevent unhealthy levels of fat in the blood, two main contributors to the development of diabetes.
Yogurt Tips and Toppings
How can you incorporate yogurt into your day-to-day life? Start by choosing low-fat or non-fat yogurt to lower the amount of saturated fat intake. Are you afraid of sacrificing taste for health? Low-fat and non-fat Greek yogurt has become popular and for good reason. Aside from hunger, it satisfies your palate’s desire for a thick, creamy texture in food.
Most fruity or flavored yogurts contain added sugars. Added sugars mean extra, unnecessary calories. In fact, added sugars significantly contribute to the diabetes epidemic. Instead of getting empty non-nutritious calories from added sugars, choose a plain yogurt and get creative! Add your own ingredients to it.
For a healthy breakfast or snack, add fresh fruit (blueberries, banana chunks, etc), dried fruit, or nuts and nut butters (walnuts, almonds, etc). Add it to savory dishes or dips instead of high-fat dairy products that have too many calories and grams of saturated fat.
Are you ready to add low-fat yogurt to your weekly shopping list? If so, you’ll be taking a simple step away from diabetes and closer to better health.