In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can diabetics eat cheese?”, and other queries related to this topic.
Can diabetics eat cheese?
Yes, diabetics can eat cheese because it has a low glycemic index. Cheese is an essential component of a healthy and balanced diet. But they should consume it in moderation. Cheese, especially yellow cheese, is high in fat and mostly saturated fat.
The percentage of saturated fat in the total energy intake should be less than 10%. High saturated fat intake is one of the main causes of heart problems and diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
So, diabetic patients who are at high risk for developing heart diseases should avoid cheeses like brie and cheddar because every 100 grams contains 20 to 40 grams of fat. The percentage and quantity of fat depending on the type of cheese consumed.
Also, excessive intake of fatty cheese can lead to weight gain which is unadvised in people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes. Because overweight and obesity will increase inflammation in the body, therefore, increasing insulin resistance.
So, these patients should go for healthier options like white cheese such as cottage and ricotta. Also, they can consume cheese made from skimmed and low-fat milk thus the saturated fat content in these types will be reduced.
Not to forget that the majority of cheeses on the market contain salt like halloumi and feta. Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of developing hypertension compared to the general population and it is known that sodium is one of the major compounds that increase blood pressure.
Moreover, these patients should avoid processed cheese because they are high in sodium and preservatives which have many health side effects. So, choose unsalted cheese to get the most of this food. Also, read the food label before purchasing your cheese because some of them contain some carbohydrates.
Generally, cheese since it is high in fat and proteins has a low glycemic index which makes it safe to be consumed in case of diabetes. But when carbs are added to it the patient should be concerned about the quantity because it might cause hyperglycemia.
Diabetic patients should be aware of the type of carbohydrates that they couple with the cheese and the quantity consumed. So, better to go for whole wheat crackers and add some vegetables to your sandwich or your snack to avoid a quick increase in your glycemia.
What are the health benefits of cheese for diabetic patients?
Cheese is a good addition to the diet of diabetic patients because it is high in proteins and low in carbohydrates. So, its low glycemic index makes it a good choice for patients aiming to control their blood glucose levels within normal ranges.
The high protein amount in cheese is one of the reasons why it helps in blood sugar maintenance. Also, proteins can make the person feel full for a longer time because it increases satiety which makes cheese a good addition to breakfast or as a snack between meals.
Some studies found that cheese might be beneficial for improving insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance in diabetic patients as long as it is consumed in moderation. But further studies are needed to clarify these findings.
Additionally, all types of cheese are rich in calcium which is an essential mineral for bone health and it was found to improve insulin sensitivity. Also, manufacturers add vitamin D to the cheese during the processing which makes them a good source of this vitamin.
Along with being a good source of calcium and vitamin D, cheese is a good source of minerals such as zinc and phosphorus, and vitamins like vitamin B12, vitamin A, and vitamin B2. These nutrients are not only beneficial for people with diabetes but also the general population.
If you are aiming to increase your calcium intake, milk will be a good source of calcium. But it is better to consume skimmed milk to reduce your intake of saturated fat. All people can consume skimmed milk, also babies above two years old can consume skimmed milk.
But skimmed milk or other dairy products can be low in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, K, and E because fat is removed from the milk during the skimming process but you can take these vitamins from other healthier sources
However, diabetic patients and healthy people should be very attentive to the quality and the quantity of cheese and dairy products they are consuming because the majority of calories are coming from fat and proteins.
In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “can diabetics eat cheese?” and other queries related to this topic.