9 Ways to Fight Diabetes with Dairy

Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2010, and as of 2012, more than 9 percent of the American population had diabetes.

But not all news is bad on the diabetes research front. Several recent studies indicate that eating and drinking more dairy may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes

As a registered dietitian, I use a few tricks to help my family get their three servings of dairy a day. I’m hoping they might help you, too:


1. Milk makes our mealtimes better! I have fond memories of growing up and drinking milk at breakfast, school lunch and dinnertime. Today, I feel good about choosing milk at dinner because it makes me a better role model and it helps me squeeze in my third daily serving.

2. I personally love low-fat chocolate milk as a solid post-workout beverage. Not only is it tasty, but it helps me rehydrate, is a quality protein source, and can maintain lean muscle. The amount of added sugar in chocolate milk (almost 3 tsp./serving) is less than half of what you’d find in regular soda (8 tsp./serving). 

3. I use a hand held milk frother to save time and money by making my own fat-free lattes at home. You can find an inexpensive one at any kitchen gadget store. 

Reduced Fat Cheese

4. Sometimes I’m just in the mood for meat at dinnertime.  Thankfully, cheese is easy on the budget and is a great source of protein.

5. Shredded cheese makes everything taste a little better and I love that it’s boosting the protein and calcium on my salads, soups and casseroles.

6. My stand-by for snack attacks is cheese and whole grain crackers. It’s so convenient and really stops my hunger in its tracks. 


7. Yogurt has been one of my “go to” desserts for a while now. My favorite choice is lemon yogurt with fresh berries. Who doesn’t love a little chocolate every once in a while? I like making a yogurt dip with ½ cup plain Greek yogurt and ¼ cup Nutella.

8. Serve with colorful fruit kabobs and it’ll be a snack everyone in your family loves!


9. I punch up the power of my weight training sessions with a whey protein smoothie afterwards. Whey is a great source of health benefits especially post-workout. Whey protein powder isn’t necessary for every individual; luckily, whey is naturally found in all dairy foods.

As a dietitian, I’m excited about the many health benefits of choosing dairy. Make it a point to enjoy your three servings of dairy every day.

By Sarah Ryan, MS, RDN, LD

Sarah is a registered dietitian nutritionist and foodie. She has a special interest in sports nutrition and is certified in food allergy training. When she isn't working, you can find her in the kitchen baking delicious cakes and beautiful pies. Learn more about Sarah