Dairy and diabetics
Vicki Koenig, MS, RD, CDN
One of the most common questions I get is, "Can I have Stonyfield yogurt if I'm diabetic?" The answer is definitely, "Yes!"
It's very easy for a diabetic to fit yogurt in by "carbohydrate counting." This is a flexible and effective method of glucose control. A registered dietitian can tell you how many grams of carbs you're allotted per meal. A 6-ounce Stonyfield yogurt averages 25 grams of total carbohydrate. A diabetic may be allotted 30–60 grams of carb per meal. (It depends on your weight, activity level and glucose control). One simply counts the yogurt as part of your plan. Stonyfield yogurt meets the criteria of the American Diabetes Association as a suitable food for diabetics.
Carbohydrate counting counts total carbs, not grams of sugar. This defines its flexibility. You can choose grains, fruit, dairy products, desserts or starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes for your allotted carbs. You simply keep track of how much carbohydrate you eat at one time.
Folks often ask, "Why is there so much sugar?"
When looking at a nutrition label, it's important to note that the sugar listed is not all added sugar. This number includes the natural milk sugar lactose and sugar from added fruit. So there is less sugar than it appears. You can always use plain and add your own fruit carbs and any added sweetener.
Another alternative is to try Stonyfield Organic Oikos Greek yogurt. Because the liquid whey is strained, there is naturally much less carbohydrate and therefore sugar. With plain providing only 6 grams of carbs and vanilla only 12 grams, it's easy to see how this can be a regular addition to anyone's diet.
Diabetics can include any source of carbohydrate as long as they incorporate it into their carbohydrate counting plan.
For more information:
- American Diabetes Association. "Carbohydrate Counting: The Basics." Clinical Diabetes 2005;23(3):123–124.
- Kulkarni KD. "Carbohydrate Counting: A Practical Meal-Planning Option for People with Diabetes." Clinical Diabetes 2005;23(3):120–122.