Wolever TM. - - J Nutr 2017; 147(7): 1462S-1467S

Yogurt Is a Low–Glycemic Index Food

High yogurt intake is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Although several mechanisms could explain this association, this paper addresses the glycemic and insulinemic impact of yogurt. There is evidence that low-glycemic index (GI) and low-glycemic load (GL) diets are associated with a reduced risk of T2DM. The 93 GI values for yogurt in the University of Sydney’s GI database have a mean ± SD of 34 ± 13, and 92% of the yogurts are low-GI (≤55). The 43 plain yogurts in the database have a lower GI than the 50 sweetened yogurts, 27 ± 11 compared with 41 ± 11 (P < 0.0001). This difference is not explained by sugar, per se, but rather by the higher protein-to-carbohydrate ratio in plain yogurt. Although yogurt has a low GI, its insulinemic index (II) is higher than its GI. High insulin responses may be deleterious because hyperinsulinemia is associated with an increased risk of T2DM. Nevertheless, this may not be a concern for yogurt because, although its II is higher than its GI, the II of yogurt is within the range of II values for nondairy low-GI foods. In addition, mixed meals containing dairy protein elicit insulin responses similar to those elicited by mixed meals of similar composition containing nondairy protein. Because the GI of yogurt is lower than that of most other carbohydrate foods, exchanging yogurt for other protein and carbohydrate sources can reduce the GI and GL of the diet, and is in line with recommended dietary patterns, which include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, vegetable oils, and yogurt. Keywords: yogurt type 2 diabetes insulinemia glycemia glycemic response fermented dairy