What healthy dairy products should I eat if I have diabetes?

Dr. David L. Katz, MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine
If you are at high risk for diabetes - or if you already have it - unprocessed dairy foods without added sugar can be eaten in moderation. In this video, preventive medicine expert David Katz, MD, explains how to include dairy in a healthy diet.
Amy Campbell
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

If you drink or use milk, go for nonfat (skim) or low fat (1%) milk. Whole milk and reduced-fat (2%) milk contain too much saturated fat. Yogurt can be a healthy food, but some yogurts are high in fat and added sugar. If eating plain yogurt isn't appealing, choose light-style, nonfat yogurt for the biggest savings in calories, fat and carb. Light-style yogurts are sweetened with a combination of fruit and non-nutritive sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose. Another good yogurt option is Greek-style yogurt, which is higher in protein (and lower in carbs) than more traditional yogurt. Always check the label, though, for serving size and total carbohydrate grams (one carb choice = 15 grams of carb). And as often as you can, choose a yogurt that contains live, active cultures (it will say so on the container). This means that the yogurt contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can provide a number of health benefits.

The following are healthy dairy products for people with diabetes:
  • Choose lower-fat dairy products.
  • If you're using whole milk, try 2% milk for a few weeks. Then try switching to 1% milk. It usually takes about three weeks to adjust to the change.
  • Lower-fat cheeses work fine in most recipes, and they taste great on a sandwich, salad, or in a burrito.
  • Try low-fat frozen yogurt or light ice cream instead of full-fat ice cream.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.