- Regular consumption of plant-based yogurts and other fermented non-dairy products could potentially lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes according to a research study.
- Non-dairy yogurts may lower the risk by 28 percent while other fermented plant-based foods like non-dairy cheeses could decrease the risk by 24 percent.
- The study found no causal link between consumption of high-fat or total low-fat dairy products and the risk of developing diabetes. It also found no such association with milk and cheese intake.
- Adequate consumption of non-dairy yogurt and replacing unhealthy snacks with it could lead to a further decrease in diabetes risk.
- The importance of a balanced lifestyle, including regular exercise, a healthy plant-based diet, and weight management, is significant towards diabetes prevention.
Dietary habits largely influence our health and wellbeing, and some foods might even benefit us in surprising ways. For instance, research conducted by a group of British scholars suggests that a diet enhanced with plant-based yogurts could contribute towards lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Benefits of Eating Non-dairy Yogurts
The results from the study indicate that regular consumption of plant-based yogurts could shrink the risk of developing diabetes by 28 percent, as opposed to not consuming any yogurt. Moreover, incorporating some additional fermented plant-based alternatives like non-dairy cheeses could decrease the risk by 24 percent.
“Our study emphasizes the potential benefits of including non-dairy yogurts in a balanced diet,” said the head researcher. Although the research didn’t target the specific nutrients in non-dairy yogurts or fermented plant-based foods that offer the most benefits, there are some likely candidates such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D (in fortified alternatives) and essentially healthy fatty acids.
Various Types of Fermented Foods and Non-dairy Products
Probiotic bacteria and specific types of vitamin K, commonly found in fermented foods, also derive substantial benefits. Nevertheless, it is crucial to mention that the study does not directly establish a causal relationship but is highly suggestive that diet variety matters.
The Research Approach to the Study
For the project, data from 4,255 participants was collected and scrutinized, including 753 individuals who developed type 2 diabetes within 11 years of follow up. It was discovered that neither the amount of high-fat nor total low-fat dairy products were linked to the risk of developing diabetes when factors like lifestyle, obesity, and general eating behaviors were considered.
No association was found between milk and cheese consumption and the risk of diabetes. It was the diet inclusive of non-dairy fermented foods like yogurts and similar products that seemed to reduce this risk by 24 percent.
Role of Fermented Foods in Reducing the Risk of Diabetes
When analyzing yogurt consumption, a 28 percent drop in the risk of type 2 diabetes was observed among those who consumed 4.5 standard 125-gram cups of non-dairy yogurt each week. A similar trend was observed with other fermented products, such as non-dairy unripened cheeses.
Swapping snacks, such as chips, with non-dairy yogurt, further reduced the risk. But incorporating these fermented foods into a balanced diet is not the end-all, as a comprehensive approach to lifestyle is key to diabetes prevention.
Why a Balanced Lifestyle Matters
Being overweight or obese is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes. As per a nutritionist, “Regular exercise, shifting to a more plant-based diet, and maintaining a healthy weight will significantly contribute to diabetes prevention.”
To discover more about healthy eating habits that can help reduce diabetes risk, you can visit the American Diabetes Association.