Cheese for Diabetics – Healthy or Not?

Cheese is a beloved and time-honoured delicacy, with its various varieties and savoury style, making it a key element of many cuisines. From delicate brie to tangy cheddar, this pleasant deal with can deliver an additional flavour to any meal.

On the opposite hand, attributable to its excessive-fats content material, the query of whether or not cheese is suitable for eating for these with diabetes has been a topic of competition amongst specialists.

While some advocate that individuals with diabetes can eat sure varieties in restricted quantities, others counsel abstaining from cheese totally.

When it involves residing with diabetes, a balanced weight loss program is crucial. Cheese and different dairy merchandise may be part of this weight loss program, however provided that eaten sparsely.

Eating cheese sparsely and as a part of a balanced weight loss program could make it a nutritious a part of your meal plan.

Types of Cheese

Cheese is a flexible meals that is available in many various varieties, every with its distinctive flavour, texture, and dietary profile. Some of the most typical sorts of cheese embrace:


Cheddar is a kind of laborious cheese usually comprised of cow’s milk. It incorporates useful minerals and nutritional vitamins comparable to B, A, and calcium and has a particular off-white hue.

Read extra: Cheddar Cheese – Nutrition, Benefits, & Recipes

While cheddar is an efficient selection for folks with diabetes, avoiding varieties containing synthetic flavourings and hues is crucial.

Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese is a yellow, semi-laborious cheese comprised of pasteurised cow’s milk. These cheeses aren’t overly salty or sharp in flavour. 

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a wonderful selection for these seeking to drop some pounds, as it’s a low-calorie cheese. It is comprised of fermented sheep or goat milk (or a mixture of each).

In addition, it is among the lowest-salt cheeses obtainable, making it appropriate for folks on low-sodium diets.

Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella, probably the most broadly consumed cheese, is a vital ingredient in lots of Italian dishes.

This cheese is often crafted from buffalo milk and is a more healthy choice attributable to its probiotic properties, such because the micro organism Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum.

The Relationship Between Cheese and Blood Sugar Levels

It is crucial for these with diabetes to keep up a wholesome and balanced weight loss program. Contrary to standard perception, cheese, which is excessive in fats and energy, may be included within the weight loss program of individuals with diabetes sparsely. Recent analysis has demonstrated that consuming cheese in small quantities may be useful for diabetes administration.

Cheese incorporates fairly a little bit of fats, but it surely additionally has a low quantity of carbohydrates, so consuming it has little impact on one’s blood sugar. A research has discovered that cheese might even cut back the danger of growing sort 2 diabetes. That is due to the calcium and vitamin D in cheese, which will help regulate insulin ranges.

Eating uncooked cheese is among the finest methods for folks with diabetes to take pleasure in cheese. This type of cheese is filled with pure and useful enzymes present in milk, and natural cheese incorporates 62% extra coronary heart-wholesome omega-3 fatty acids than common dairy merchandise.

Glycemic Index of Cheese

The glycemic index (GI) works as a device to measure how rapidly meals raises your blood sugar ranges.

Foods with a excessive GI are quickly absorbed and trigger a sudden, important improve in blood sugar ranges. On the opposite hand, meals with a low GI get absorbed extra slowly and trigger a slower, extra gradual rise in blood sugar ranges.

Cheese has a comparatively low glycemic index, with most cheese having a GI worth of lower than 50. For instance, the GI of cheese like mozzarella and pressed cottage cheese equals 0.

It implies that consuming cheese is unlikely to trigger any spike in blood sugar ranges. However, it’s essential to needless to say the glycemic index of cheese can range relying on the kind of cheese and the preparation. Additionally, consuming cheese together with different excessive-GI meals can improve the general glycemic impact of a meal.

The Benefits of Cheese for Diabetes

Consuming cheese might assist to decrease blood sugar ranges and enhance insulin sensitivity for a number of causes:

Protein and Fat Content

Cheese is excessive in protein and fats, which might decelerate carbohydrate absorption and assist maintain blood sugar ranges steady.


Cheese is an efficient supply of calcium, which helps to control blood sugar ranges and insulin sensitivity.


Some sorts of cheese, comparable to fermented ones, include probiotics. These are useful micro organism that may assist to enhance intestine well being and insulin sensitivity.

Low Glycemic Index

As talked about earlier, cheese has a comparatively low glycemic index. It implies that consuming cheese is unlikely to trigger a fast or important spike in blood sugar ranges.

Side Effects of Cheese On Diabetics

If you don’t eat cheese in the fitting portion dimension, it may be detrimental for folks with diabetes. Here are some dangers and potential uncomfortable side effects of consuming cheese:

Increased Risk of Weight Gain

Cheese is excessive in fats and energy, which might contribute to weight acquire if consumed in extra. In addition, it may be notably problematic for folks with diabetes, as being chubby or overweight make it more difficult to handle blood sugar ranges.

Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Cheese can also be excessive in saturated fats, which might contribute to coronary heart illness. In addition, folks with diabetes are already at an elevated threat of coronary heart illness, so consuming an excessive amount of cheese might additional improve this threat.

Lactose Intolerance

Some folks with diabetes can also be lactose illiberal, which implies they’ve problem digesting the sugar in milk merchandise like cheese. Consuming an excessive amount of cheese could cause digestive discomfort, gasoline, bloating, and diarrhoea.

What are the Best Cheese Varieties for Diabetes?

While cheese may be a part of a balanced weight loss program, not all cheeses are created equal. Some varieties have excessive salt content material. Some include extra energy per serving, whereas others are chock stuffed with synthetic flavourings and hues. 

It is essential to notice that the consequences of cheese on blood sugar ranges and insulin sensitivity depend upon the person and the kind of cheese consumed.

Additionally, consuming cheese with different excessive-carb meals can affect blood sugar ranges. You can speak to a HealthifyMe nutritionist for personalised recommendation concerning together with cheese in your weight loss program. 

Here are some healthiest cheese choices for folks with diabetes:

Goat Cheese

It is simpler to digest than different cheeses. Hence, goat cheese is an efficient dairy substitute for folks with lactose intolerance. As per USDA, the laborious sort of goat cheese incorporates 128 energy and eight.65 grams of protein per ounce.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a superb low-calorie cheese choice with affordable quantities of protein and calcium. According to USDA, 100 grams of cottage cheese incorporates solely 72 energy however gives over 12 grams of protein.

Since folks with diabetes are extra susceptible to hypertension, they have to restrict their salt consumption. Cottage cheese has the bottom salt content material of over 600 types of cheese. 

Feta Cheese

As per USDA, one wedge of feta cheese incorporates 101 energy and 5.4 g of protein. In addition, as a result of feta cheese is fermented, it additionally incorporates probiotics that may assist enhance intestine well being and digestion. 

Cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese is standard primarily due to its versatility and vary of flavour profiles. While it incorporates B nutritional vitamins, vitamin A, and calcium, you must eat cheddar cheese sparsely. As per USDA, one slice of low-fats cheddar cheese incorporates 48.4 energy and 6.83 g of protein. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Cheese appears to have a paradoxical impact on individuals who have diabetes. While cheese is usually a good supply of protein and calcium, it’s also excessive in fats and energy, contributing to weight acquire and rising the danger of coronary heart illness in folks with diabetes. Additionally, consuming an excessive amount of cheese can worsen digestive discomfort. However, cheese has a low glycemic index, and consuming it in reasonable parts may be thought of a part of a nutritious diet for diabetics. 

The essential step is selecting genuine high quality cheese from excessive-grade milk sources comparable to cows, goats, and sheep. Goat and sheep cheeses have extra coronary heart-wholesome fat than cheeses made with cow milk. Also, keep away from utilizing processed cheese that are available in packets like sliced or dice cheese as a result of it incorporates emulsifiers, phosphates, and hydrogenated oils, amongst different issues. These aren’t good for diabetes. 


Regarding dietary administration for diabetes, it is important to take heed to all meals teams you eat.

Dairy merchandise, notably cheese, have been a supply of uncertainty. However, there isn’t any want for concern, assuming you eat cheese sparsely and incorporate them right into a properly-rounded meal plan. 

It is essential to do not forget that consuming an excessive amount of cheese can contribute to weight acquire and improve the danger of coronary heart illness in folks with diabetes.

In addition, be careful for processed cheese that will include further elements that may negatively have an effect on blood sugar ranges.

It is at all times finest to seek the advice of your healthcare supplier or a registered dietitian for personalised recommendation concerning methods to incorporate cheese in your weight loss program.

The Research Sources

1. Guo J, Givens DI, Astrup A, Bakker SJL, Goossens GH, Kratz M, Marette A, Pijl H, Soedamah-Muthu SS. The Impact of Dairy Products within the Development of Type 2 Diabetes: Where Does the Evidence Stand in 2019? Adv Nutr. 2019 Nov 1;10(6):1066-1075. Doi: 10.1093/advances/nmz050. PMID: 31124561; PMCID: PMC6855942.

2.  The quantity and kind of dairy product consumption and incident sort 2 diabetes: outcomes from the EPIC-InterAct Study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 96, Issue 2, August 2012, Pages 382–390

3.  Data by the US Department of Agriculture. Data Type: SR Legacy | Food Category: Dairy and Egg Products | FDC ID:  1156

4, Data by the US Department of Agriculture. Data Type: SR Legacy | Food Category: Dairy and Egg Products | FDC ID:  173417

5.  Data by the US Department of Agriculture. Data Type: SR Legacy | Food Category: Dairy and Egg Products | FDC ID: 173420

6. Data by the US Department of Agriculture. Data Type: SR Legacy | Food Category: Dairy and Egg Products | FDC ID: 173439

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *