- Is cheese safe for people with type 2 diabetes?
- Why cheese may help control your blood sugar
- What are the best cheeses for type 2 diabetes?
- Risks in eating cheese with type 2 diabetes
- The lowdown
Having a healthy diet is a crucial part of managing type 2 diabetes. Measuring carbs, sugar, calories, and more are some indispensable steps to creating a great meal plan.
In this scenario, cheese and other dairy products have become a sticking point. It is believed that cheese is not good for diabetes. However, cheese can actually be a healthy component of your meal plan if you have type 2 diabetes, as long as it is consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
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Is cheese safe for people with type 2 diabetes?
It is a common myth that people with type 2 diabetes should avoid consuming cheese and other dairy products.
The truth is that cheese can actually have many health benefits for people with diabetes when consumed moderately. There are several reasons why it is safe and even beneficial.
What is the benefit of cheese for type 2 diabetes?
Cheese can be included in any diet because it contains protein, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats. Cheese can be a great addition to a type 2 diabetes diet as long as it is consumed in moderation.
At least one study¹ has found that cheese may actually be able to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Cheese nutrition facts
Cheese is a great source of protein and is high in calcium. Most cheeses are also high in vitamins such as A, D, B6, and B12. Some contain minerals like iron, phosphorus, and potassium as well. Other cheeses, like mozzarella and feta, have healthy bacteria that are beneficial for the digestive system.
It is important to read nutrition labels for each type of cheese you want to consume as amounts of calories, nutrients, salt, and fat per serving can differ.
How much cheese can be eaten by people with diabetes?
Regardless of whether a person has diabetes or not, cheese should be consumed in moderation. This means paying attention to nutrition labels, especially looking for things like calories, saturated fats, protein, and salt content.
The exact amount of cheese one should consume will depend on a number of factors, including height, weight, gender, and whether the goal is to lose, gain, or maintain weight. Talking to a dietician is a great way to figure out exactly how much cheese should be consumed daily.
Why cheese may help control your blood sugar
It turns out that cheese may be able to help control blood sugar. This is because most cheeses contain little to no carbohydrates, putting them very low on the glycemic index (GI) scale.
An important part of managing diabetes is knowing where different foods fall on the GI scale to understand how that food will affect their blood sugar level.
How does cheese affect blood sugar levels?
Cheese can help maintain glucose levels because it is low on the GI scale. The GI scale rates foods (from 1 to 100) based on how quickly they cause blood sugar levels to rise. The quicker a food causes blood sugar levels to rise, the higher it is on the glycemic index.
Foods high on the glycemic index should be avoided or limited by those with type 2 diabetes, as those foods can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Because most cheeses do not cause blood sugar to be raised quickly, eating cheese can help keep blood sugar levels stable.
What are the best cheeses for type 2 diabetes?
While cheese can be part of a balanced diet, not all cheeses are created equal. Some cheeses contain more calories per serving, some have high salt content, while others are chock full of artificial flavorings and colors.
Here are some of the healthiest cheese options for people with type 2 diabetes.
Goat cheese may be the healthiest cheese option for people with type 2 diabetes. It contains 102 calories and 6 grams of protein per ounce and includes vitamins A, B2, B12, D, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.
Despite containing lactose, goat cheese is easier to digest than other cheeses, making it a good dairy substitute for people with lactose intolerance. This type of cheese typically has a similar texture to cream cheese, making it easy to use as a healthier alternative.
Cottage cheese is a great low-calorie cheese option at only 27 calories per ounce. It is commonly used in weight-loss diets because it is low in calories and a great source of protein and calcium.
Cottage cheese is also great for people who need to limit their salt intake, as it has the lowest salt content of over 600 varieties of cheese. In fact, most soft cheeses and less aged cheeses tend to have lower salt content.
It can also be used in several recipes and included as part of snacks and lunches. Cottage cheese goes great with fruits, nuts, crackers, and seeds.
For a high protein choice, choose romano cheese. It is a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk and has 7 grams of protein and 110 calories per ounce. This cheese does have a higher sodium content and should be consumed in moderation.
Romano cheese is high in omega-6 fatty acids and has similar vitamins to most cheeses. It tastes delicious when grated onto salads and vegetables.
Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular cheeses worldwide, and the cheddar cheese market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 3% by 2029. It is popular primarily because of its versatility and range of flavor profiles.
Cheddar cheese contains 6 grams of protein and 115 calories per ounce. While it is good for people with type 2 diabetes, cheddar cheeses with artificial flavorings and colors should be avoided.
Natural cheddar cheese is usually off-white in color and contains B vitamins, vitamin A, and calcium. It can be used in a wide variety of recipes but should be eaten in moderation.
Like cottage cheese, feta cheese is a low-calorie favorite used for weight loss. It has 74 calories and 4.4 grams of protein per ounce. This cheese is typically made from fermented sheep or goat milk (or a combination of the two), giving it a tangy flavor.
Feta cheese has the second-lowest salt content among cheeses, making it great for low sodium diets. Because it is fermented, it also contains healthy bacteria called probiotics that can help improve gut health and digestion.
Mozzarella cheese is the most popular cheese in the United States and is a staple in many Italian recipes. One ounce has only 85 calories but 6.3 grams of protein.
Like feta cheese, mozzarella contains beneficial probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. It is great for people with type 2 diabetes because of its protein and calorie content, vitamins and minerals, and low sodium.
Risks in eating cheese with type 2 diabetes
There are some risks associated with eating cheese for people with type 2 diabetes. These risks are usually associated with cheese overconsumption.
Eating cheese in moderation has health benefits, but overdoing it can negatively impact health. One of the main risk factors associated with eating cheese with type 2 diabetes is an increased risk of obesity, as many kinds of cheese are calorie-dense.
People with diabetes and insulin resistance are already at risk for obesity, so avoiding foods that can increase this risk is essential for diabetics.
Additionally, according to Hopkins Medicine, the risk of developing heart disease is four times higher² in people with diabetes that have elevated blood pressure. Consuming too much sodium can cause an increase in blood pressure, so it is important to limit salt intake to keep it under control.
Several kinds of cheese have high salt contents, so eating them in moderation is essential to staying healthy.
Cheese is also high in saturated fats. These fats are harmless in small amounts, but in large ones can contribute to weight gain, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Consuming too much cheese can increase the risk of developing these conditions.
Finally, chronic and excessive fat consumption plays a role in insulin resistance development. Therefore, in the long term, cheese consumption on a high-calorie diet can increase insulin resistance and facilitate diabetes development.
Eating healthy is important to help manage symptoms of type 2 diabetes. While there are myths that state those with diabetes should not consume dairy, these products, including cheese, can actually be beneficial when consumed in moderate amounts. Cheese, in particular, can actually be great at helping to manage blood sugar levels because of its low glycemic index.
Not all cheeses are created equal, as some have higher calories, saturated fats, and salt content. Choosing healthy cheeses low in salt can help manage symptoms of type 2 diabetes better than cheeses with artificial flavorings and colors.
There are risks associated with eating too much cheese, but these can be minimized by paying attention to nutrition labels and consuming cheese in healthy amounts.
What kind of cheese can a Type 2 diabetic eat? ›
If you love cheese, opt for Brie, Edam and reduced fat-hard cheeses, eg 'lighter Cheddar', which are lower in fat compared to Blue cheeses, such as stilton and regular hard cheeses, but remember they still are high in fat and saturated fat so keep an eye on that portion size.Can people with type 2 diabetes eat cheese? ›
Cheese can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet if you have diabetes. However, people with diabetes should opt for cheeses that are low in saturated fat and sodium while high in protein. If you have diabetes, combine higher-GI foods with cheese to help regulate blood sugar and prevent spiking.How many slices of cheese can a diabetic eat? ›
Other experts advise no more than 10 percent of daily calorie intake of saturated fat, which raises the amount of cheese a person can consume. People with diabetes can meet these goals by sticking to a diet that contains no more than one serving of cheese per day.Can diabetics eat eggs and cheese? ›
Some basic principles of a balanced diet for people with type 2 diabetes are: Include vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans and lentils, eggs, and lean poultry, meat, dairy and fish more often. Choose pastries, sugary drinks, refined grains, fast food, salty snacks, and processed meats less frequently.What cheese lowers blood sugar? ›
Low-fat types like cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, or mozzarella are high-protein choices that help keep your blood sugar in check. Enjoy a quarter-cup of cottage cheese with a half-cup of fruit, a piece of low-fat string cheese, or ricotta spread on whole-grain crackers.Can you eat pizza with diabetes? ›
The short answer to this question is yes, people with diabetes can enjoy all types of pizza. However, it's a good idea for all people, not just those with diabetes, to limit their intake of pizza.Can Type 2 diabetics eat cheese pizza? ›
Pizza may actually be a good choice for people with type 2 diabetes; just be sure to order the thin-crust type and top it with vegetables rather than high-fat meats and extra cheese. It's also a good idea to watch portion sizes.What kind of milk can diabetics drink? ›
People with diabetes may need to limit the amount of flavored sweetened milk they drink. People with diabetes may choose to use milk products that are full fat or whole, reduced fat or fat free depending on their preference or their calorie and nutrition goals.How many eggs can a diabetic eat in a day? ›
Current studies suggest those with diabetes can include one egg a day, but the whole diet should be considered instead of focusing on one food item. The majority of beneficial nutrient content is included in the egg yolk.What crackers are good for diabetics? ›
Best crackers for diabetes
Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers. Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Crackers. Wasa Multigrain Crackers. Triscuit Thin Crisps.
What bread should a diabetic eat? ›
The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing whole grain bread or 100 percent whole wheat bread instead of white bread. White bread is made from highly processed white flour and added sugar. Here are some delicious and healthy breads to try: Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Wheat Pita Bread.Is peanut butter good for diabetics? ›
Natural peanut butter is considered safe for people with diabetes. It's best to avoid the “low-fat” varieties of peanut butter. They sound healthy—but most brands simply add more sugar to make up for less fat. This can spike blood sugar levels and leads to more daily carbohydrates.What should diabetics not eat for breakfast? ›
- Bagel and Cream Cheese. ...
- Store-Bought Muffins. ...
- Sausage and Eggs. ...
- Sugary Cereals. ...
- Sweetened Yogurts. ...
- Sugary Pastry. ...
- Freshly Juiced Fruit. ...
- Stack of Pancakes.
Popcorn is a very popular and healthy whole-grain snack food. It has been deemed a suitable snack food for people with diabetes, partly because of its low calorie density. One cup (8 grams) of air-popped popcorn contains just 31 calories.Does cheese Raise your A1C? ›
How does cheese affect blood sugar levels? Cheese can help maintain glucose levels because it is low on the GI scale. The GI scale rates foods (from 1 to 100) based on how quickly they cause blood sugar levels to rise. The quicker a food causes blood sugar levels to rise, the higher it is on the glycemic index.How long does it take for A1C to go down? ›
It's important to understand that lowering your A1C levels is a gradual (slow) process. As discussed, your A1C, unlike a blood glucose test, measures your average blood sugar over a period of 2 to 3 months. This means, it can take up to 3 months to notice significant changes in your A1C.What junk food can diabetics eat? ›
- Taco Bell Veggie Bowl. Photo: Taco Bell.
- Burger King Whopper Junior. Photo: Burger King.
- Chipotle Salad. Photo: Chipotle.
- Starbucks Protein Box. Photo: Starbucks.
- McDonalds Filet-o-fish. ...
- Panera sandwich. ...
- Wendy's Grilled Chicken Wrap. ...
- Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich Subway.
Yes, you can eat pasta when you have diabetes. While pasta is a high-carb food, it can be safely consumed when paired with high-fiber options and lean proteins, and properly portioned out.Can a Type 2 diabetic eat a hamburger? ›
Burger: You can have a burger, but consider forgoing the bun. Top with lettuce, tomato and onion, and skip the condiments to avoid unnecessary sugars. Bean salad: Beans are a good option. While baked beans tend to be higher in sugar, a light bean salad is a great choice.Can diabetics eat ice cream? ›
In case you didn't get the memo: Yes, those of us with diabetes CAN eat ice cream. Even though some outside the diabetes community don't think so, and they try to convince us we can't or shouldn't, the fact remains that an ice cream sundae or vanilla waffle cone every once in a while isn't going to kill us.
What Mexican food can diabetics eat? ›
- Fillings made of beans, grilled chicken or grilled steak.
- Meals made with soft flour tortillas, such as burritos, tostadas, and carnitas.
- Grilled lime-flavored shrimp.
- Bean enchiladas with a little cilantro and onions.
- Sautéed veggies.
If you're eating Chinese food, chances are there's going to be rice on your plate. And if that rice is white, be prepared for a major blood sugar spike. White rice is so troublesome that one study found that for each serving a person ate per day, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes jumped by 11%.Can diabetics eat Cheerios? ›
Plain Cheerios are the best choice for a diabetic diet. Why? Because the flavored versions are much higher in sugar and won't provide the same benefits. It's best to stick with the whole grain, plain-flavored version so that you don't risk a spike in blood sugar in the morning.What is the number one snack to lower blood sugar? ›
But there is one food that stands alone as the best snack for lower blood sugar: nuts. Nuts are delicious, nutritious and incredibly versatile as far as snack foods go. Plus, they can be stored at room temperature (or in the freezer for longer periods) and are great for grab-and-go snacks.Is tuna with mayo good for diabetics? ›
Can people with diabetes eat mayonnaise? Yes, a person with diabetes can eat mayonnaise. Mayonnaise has less than a single gram of carbohydrates per tablespoon. But with 10 grams of total fat (1.6 grams of that coming from saturated fat) it can be considered high fat.What cereal can diabetics eat? ›
The Best Breakfast Cereal Choice for Those with Diabetes
The best breakfast cereal you can eat is made up of whole grains that include oatmeal, barley, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, or rye. Enjoy them individually or blended. Some companies sell hot cereal mixes that include five or more grain blends.
No, zero sugar soda uses artificial sweeteners, which increases people's weight. Increased weight, in turn, is linked to the worsening of diabetes. Hence, zero soda is not suitable for diabetes.Can diabetics eat grapes? ›
Grapes are a beloved fruit that is healthy and safe for people with diabetes. They are safe to eat, and you can include them in a diabetic diet because they don't cause a rise in blood sugar. Consuming grapes can lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.What meats should diabetics avoid? ›
Meats to avoid include:
- prime cuts of beef, such as ribs.
- pork products, such as spareribs, ground pork, and sausages.
- lamb patties made from ground lamb.
- processed meats, such as sausages, salami, frankfurter, hot dogs, corned beef, and luncheon meat.
Watermelon is safe for people with diabetes to eat in moderation. However, it is best to consume watermelon and other high GI fruits alongside foods that contain plenty of nutritious fats, fiber, and protein.
What kind of ice cream can a Type 2 diabetic eat? ›
The following are the best brands and flavors for those who have diabetes. Blue Bunny Ice Cream: This brand offers vanilla and chocolate options. Both contain 20 grams (g) of carbohydrates per ½-cup serving. Breyers Creamy Vanilla: This contains minimal fat and 17 g of total carbohydrates per ½ cup.Are pickles good for diabetics? ›
A person living with type 2 diabetes can eat pickles as a snack or as part of their meal. There are some exceptions to this rule, and people must still eat them in moderation. Dill pickles are generally the best option since they contain less than 2 grams (g) of carbohydrates in a 100-g serving.Is Ritz peanut butter crackers good for diabetics? ›
If you have diabetes, you should try to avoid snacks that are high in carbs and low protein and fiber, such as sodas or cakes. Instead, focus on eating snacks that are low in carbs and sugar, and high in fiber, protein, or healthy fats — such as whole-grain crackers with peanut butter.Is there any rice a diabetic can eat? ›
When striving for a well-balanced diet, people with diabetes may wonder whether carbohydrate foods, like white rice, are a good option to include in their eating patterns. The short answer is: yes! While everyone's needs are unique, white rice can certainly be part of a healthy eating pattern for those with diabetes.Is corn good for a diabetic? ›
Yes, you can eat corn if you have diabetes. Corn is a source of energy, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It's also low in sodium and fat. That said, follow the advice of the American Diabetes Association.Are tomatoes good for diabetics? ›
Tomatoes are not high in sugar, and neither are carrots. Tomatoes, similar to carrots, are considered a non-starchy vegetable in meal planning for diabetes. This means that the amount of naturally occurring sugar is minimal in a serving.What time should a diabetic stop eating at night? ›
Try to go 10 to 12 hours each night without eating, Sheth advises. For instance, if you eat breakfast at 8:30 a.m. every morning, that means capping your nighttime meals and snacks between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. each night.Is empty stomach good for diabetes? ›
The correct amount of sugar in your blood on an empty stomach is between 70 milligrams per deciliter and 100 milligrams per deciliter, although for diabetics fasting blood sugar results of up to 130 milligrams per deciliter are considered normal.
In fact, it's one of the foods to avoid for diabetics. The carbs and sugar can quickly increase your blood sugar levels, and there's no fibre or protein to keep you fuller for longer.
Avoid nuts that are coated in salt — Dobbins notes that sodium is bad for your blood pressure — and sugar. More bad news if you love the sweet-and-savory combo: Chocolate-covered peanuts and honey-roasted cashews are high in carbs and not the best choice when you have diabetes, Dobbins says.
Do saltine crackers raise your blood sugar? ›
Starchy carbohydrates such as those found in saltine crackers, white bread, pasta and white rice have a high glycemic index. This means that they're converted to sugar very quickly. When you eat something with a high glycemic index, your blood glucose levels rise.What are the best nuts to eat for diabetics? ›
The most important nuts for people with diabetes are probably the ones that improve cardiovascular health: almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, namely. If you only incorporate a few nuts into your diet, choose these ones. But be sure to avoid the salted varieties.What desserts can a diabetic eat? ›
- granola (with no sugar added) and fresh fruit.
- trail mix with nuts, seeds, roasted pepitas, and dried cranberries.
- graham crackers with nut butter.
- angel food cake.
- chia seed pudding.
- low sugar avocado mousse.
- frozen yogurt bites made with plain Greek yogurt and berries.
Opt for menu items with lower carbs and watch those calories. For example, a good choice for breakfast could be an Egg McMuffin, with 30 g carbohydrates and 300 calories. A sausage McMuffin comes with 29 g carbs and 400 calories. Leave off the cheese, and you decrease your carb intake and save yourself 50 calories.What is a good breakfast sandwich for diabetics? ›
Protein takes longer to digest, which may help keep blood sugar levels steady. For an on-the-go meal, make a sandwich with a scrambled egg, low-fat cheese, and tomato slice on a whole-wheat English muffin. You can add a slice of lean meat, such as low-sodium ham or turkey, for extra protein.What can I eat for breakfast that won t raise my blood sugar? ›
- 1) Eggs. It's not surprising to see eggs on this list. ...
- 2) Yogurt. ...
- 3) Chia Seeds. ...
- 4) Whole Grain Avocado Toast. ...
- 5) Low-Glycemic Smoothie. ...
- 6) Veggie Omelet. ...
- 7) Nuts and Seeds. ...
- 8) Salmon.
Popcorn is a very popular and healthy whole-grain snack food. It has been deemed a suitable snack food for people with diabetes, partly because of its low calorie density. One cup (8 grams) of air-popped popcorn contains just 31 calories.