Findings show that study participants experienced improvements in both blood sugar control and the lipid profile.
Eating full-fat yogurt daily may help lower fasting glucose levels in adults who are middle-aged or older with prediabetes, according to the results of a study by investigators from the University of Vermont.
The results were presented at the American Physiology Summit, the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS) in Long Beach, California.
“Our main findings are that participants experience improvements in both blood sugar control and the lipid profile as a result of consuming a healthy diet with full-fat yogurt as opposed to nonfat yogurt,” Victoria Taormina, a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont, said in a video interview with APS. “Making the swap from nonfat yogurt to full-fat yogurt may be a way to potentially delay or prevent the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.”
Health organizations have recommended eating low- or nonfat dairy options, including cheese, milk, and yogurt, according to investigators.
However, other research has shown that full-fat dairy products can also be beneficial to blood glucose and fat metabolism.
“What we were looking to do was use a controlled clinical trial design to really take a closer look at that relationship between the consumption of dairy fat.…as a part of a healthy diet, and its relationship to metabolic health,” Taormina said.
Investigators analyzed data from a group of volunteers aged 45 to 75 years. One individual had type 2 diabetes, while the rest had prediabetes. There was an average fasting blood glucose level of 101.1 milligrams per deciliter.
Individuals ate 3 servings of plain, full-fat yogurt each day for a 3-week block, then ate fat-free yogurt for another block of 3 weeks. The amount of yogurt consumed varied based on each individual’s caloric and nutrient needs. Based on a 2000-calorie-a-day diet, this was approximately 17 ounces of yogurt each day.
Investigators found that after the full-fat yogurt portion of the study that individuals averaged a fasting glucose of 99.7 mg/dL, which is considered a normal range.
“This research is part of a growing body of evidence that contradicts the current narrative in dietary recommendations of national and international health authorities to opt for low- or nonfat dairy, instead of full-fat dairy products,” Taormina said in a statement. “We’re hoping this pilot trial serves as an impetus for further research to truly clarify the relationship between dairy fat intake and blood glucose control.”
Fat isn’t necessarily bad! Full-fat yogurt helps lower glucose levels in people with prediabetes. News release. American Physiological Society. April 18, 2023. Accessed April 13, 2023. Email.