Nutrition

Is Curd Good For Diabetes? Know Benefits

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Remember the time when mom would tell you to have a bowl of curd and not rush to the exam centre empty stomach? Her advice was not without merit. Curd or yoghurt has been found to be one of the better foods, which is low in carbohydrates and comes with a generous serving of protein. Is curd good for diabetes, then? We have to look at the Glycemic Index (GI) for a definitive answer. GI allows us to understand if the consumption of a food item will lead to a spike in blood glucose levels. On a scale of 100, those clocking less than 55 lead to low or minimal increase in blood sugar. Plain curd, or yoghurt, comes with an excellent GI that ranges between 11 and 14.  This makes it an ideal choice of food for a person with diabetes. 

Nutritional Profile of Curd v/s Yogurt

Curd is one of the most ancient forms of fermented food that is considered to be gentle on the gut. It is available in most households around the world. Different variants of curd, including Greek yoghurt, are also available in the market for ready consumption. From the nutritional point of view, it is always preferable to have your curd unsweetened, since sugar and its derivatives add to the calories and, in larger quantities and undo the latent benefits that curd carries.

Did You Know?
A Small bowl of Curd with a portion size between 110 and 125 grams of serving, has close to 140 calories. Whereas, Greek yoghurt for the same serving size, has fewer calories packing in just a little over 100 calories.

The nutritional chart for major components of curd and yoghurt is provided below. The available values are an approximate indication of what your intake packs for you. The chart is a clear indicator that the Greek yoghurt is a better option than curd if available as an option. Curds also contain calcium and potassium in good doses. These minerals help with overall development and growth of the mind and the body. 

Advantages of Curd in Diabetes

The question that comes to mind is: Can diabetics eat curd? Curd comes with many advantages. It is loaded with probiotics that are widely believed to improve your ability to metabolise food. The good bacteria that comes with curd is gentle on your stomach and pancreas. This makes it a friendly food for people with diabetes, as it means reduced risk of inflammation and good bowel movement.

It has a low Glycemic Index (GI). This is good news for individuals who have to monitor and regulate their daily blood glucose levels. The energy release from carbs due to low GI low carbohydrates is gradual. This makes curd a very suitable food for people with diabetes, as they won’t be subdued by hunger pangs between meals. So, is curd good for a diabetic person? The answer is, “yes”.

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Ways of Consuming Curd

The best way to go about consuming curd is to have it simple and plain. The same is true for yoghurt. Several market variants such as Mishti Doi and Greek yoghurt come loaded with artificial sweeteners. Avoid consuming them. If you do not feel like having plain yoghurt, you can top it with fruits and berries. You can also season it with seeds for an invigorating taste.

Curd goes very well with rice. You can have curd with rice after consulting your nutritionist or doctor. They will provide you a serving size for rice, which you will have to adhere to. When cooked with besan (Gram flour), curd makes a popular Indian cuisine called kadhi. It also makes a good combination with rice.

Avoid taking high calorie and sweeter variants of curd, such as lassi (sweetened buttermilk). While it is still curd, the overdose of sugar will nullify any good effects the curd carries in its plain form.

Best Time to Consume Curd

Studies have pointed out that regular consumption of yoghurt can lead to lowering of the risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes. The same effect was, however, not pronounced in case of other milk-based products and milk. While the jury is still out on the efficacy of curd in lowering the possibility of Type 2 diabetes, what is important to note is that if taken in the right quantity and at the right time, curd can help in more ways than one.

The best time to have curd, like most food, is during breakfast or when the sun is up. For those sensitive to cold, avoid taking curd in the evenings and at night. It can irritate your throat and lead to coughs. Curd is best avoided during the night. Those with a problem of weak digestion or acid reflux should not have curd at night as it will tend to aggravate your problem.

Risks of Overconsumption of Curd

When it comes to food, the problem of plenty is always a curse. People with diabetes should not binge on curd. Overconsumption can lead to acidity, particularly during night. It can irritate the bowel movements of those who have weak digestion. Overeating curd can lead to bloating and cramps in people diagnosed with lactose intolerance. It is also believed to affect the absorption of minerals such as iron from food.

Other Health Benefits of Curd

Besides the many health benefits in diabetes, curd comes with several advantages. It is considered benevolent on those diagnosed with cancer. Curd is also considered good for vaginal health. Here are some other health benefits of having curd.

  • Because it is rich in protein and is loaded with minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium alongside essential vitamins, it is regarded as a wholesome food. 
  • The calcium in curd makes your bones and teeth stronger. It also helps in hair growth. 
  • Regular intake of curd helps to strengthen the immune response system. 
  • Curd is filling yet healthy. Its fat content is on the lower side, which also makes it a good intake for those wanting to shed some inches around their waistline. 
  • Curd is healthy for the heart. Its cholesterol values are very low compared to eggs that are also recommended for people with diabetes.

Bottomline

Curd is a healthy source of protein for people with diabetes. Because of its low GI, it is an ideal intake in diabetes and can be incorporated in a weekly meal chart. Curd is good on the heart and is great for the gut. These are the two main organs that get affected when diabetes sets in. Curd is gentle on both and, in fact, improves your immunity, which is an added advantage. Curd can be a part of regular intake when taken in moderate amounts. Do not overdose on curd. When you are taking it with rice, consult your physician or nutritionist.

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