Yogurt

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Dairy can be a great source of protein and various nutrients that will aid patients who suffer from diabetes in the management of their disease. Compared to other snacks, yogurt is not as high in unhealthy fats and sugars. This is especially true of Greek yogurt, which has a much lower whey content than most brand-name snack yogurts found in the grocery store. This means that yogurt in this form is much lower in carbohydrates. Conversely, it is also much higher in protein. This fact, along with yogurt’s offering of healthy fats, vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium, is good news for diabetes patients in need of a healthy and fulfilling snack.

Healthy and Unhealthy Fats

Yogurt contains unsaturated fats that can help to improve the prevention of heart disease while also helping to keep the bloodstream clean and healthy. This is important for diabetes patients, who are generally at high risk of heart disease. Unfortunately, yogurt does still contain a portion of saturated fats as well. While Greek yogurt may be lower in sugars, its saturated fat content is often similar to that of the yogurt processed for common snacks. Since saturated fats can cause heart problems, the prevention properties of unsaturated fats are essentially cancelled out. This can be mitigated, however, by searching for yogurts made using low-fat or even nonfat milk.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is produced by the body through sun exposure, but it never hurts to increase one’s intake through various food sources such as yogurt. The primary benefit offered by vitamin D is lowered resistance to insulin. One of the primary causes of insulin resistance in patients with adult-onset diabetes is the creation of chemicals known as cytokines. The cells which produce these chemicals, called macrophages, are most present in areas of the body containing high amounts of fatty tissue. Vitamin D interacts with macrophages to inhibit the production of cytokines, thereby allowing insulin to do its job without resistance. In fact, studies have shown that insulin’s effectiveness in those whose vitamin D consumption was relatively high for a prolonged period of time has gone up by nearly forty percent. This indicates that vitamin D is not only helpful, but should be implemented into the diets of diabetics on a daily basis.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K has anti-inflammatory properties which can help to alleviate many common symptoms of diabetes. As with vitamin D, one of the primary benefits is decreased resistance to insulin. In addition, vitamin K can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Some studies indicate that vitamin K might help to ward off cancer cells, as those who increased vitamin K consumption lowered their risk of diabetes-related cancers such as colon cancer by nearly half. It can also help to prevent cardiovascular and circulatory conditions such as atherosclerosis. Finally, nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties have been the subject of multiple recent studies regarding healthy weight loss.

Magnesium

Magnesium has a number of effects on the human body that are vital to the prevention of diabetes symptoms. The most prominent is that magnesium can help to lower blood glucose levels while promoting weight loss due to its effects on metabolic function. It can also help in protein synthesis, which is vital to the healthy growth of muscles and loss of fat. In addition, magnesium can relieve high blood pressure and stabilize blood flow. This can help to prevent heart diseases that put diabetes patients at risk.

Usage

Yogurt can be eaten as a light snack on its own, but it can also be mixed with various fruits and grains to make a healthy, parfait-like dessert. Since Greek yogurt is often lower in sugar (and therefore less sweet to taste), this can be a way of raising its appeal while also maximizing its health benefits. By using foods such as blueberries, raspberries, apples, melon or oatmeal, one can create a dessert that will appeal to the sweet tooth while also providing heaps of healthy nutrients that will assist in the prevention of diabetic symptoms.

Author: hilley
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