A new study was published in the Nutrition Journal last week by experts from the University of Alberta in Canada and Iran's Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. A group of scientists with backgrounds in dietetics, endocrinology, and food science investigated how dairy foods could contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes (the type caused by a poor diet) in persons already at risk.
Over three years, they looked at the eating habits of 639 pre-diabetic participants (50-50 gender split). The researchers next looked at how many pre-diabetic patients developed Type 2 diabetes nine years after the trial started.
Diabetes had developed in 25% of the subjects after nine years. Diabetes risk was linked to a reduction in dairy consumption.
According to the authors, those who reduced their total dairy consumption by more than half a serving per day had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not.
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Lower risk of type 2 diabetes has been linked to low-fat dairy
When compared to consumption levels that stayed relatively constant, researchers found that increasing low-fat dairy consumption by half a serving per day was associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Low-fat milk and yogurt had the most significant impact on the study
Increased low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt consumption reduced the incidence of Type 2 diabetes by 43 percent. When patients consumed more low-fat yogurt and less full-fat yogurt, their risk of Type 2 diabetes was reduced by 27%.
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Cheese consumption increased the risk.
The researchers also discovered that substituting regular (full-fat) cheese with low-fat cheese increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 66%. The risk fell by 47 percent when this cheese was replaced with low-fat yogurt.
As the researchers point out, one possible reason for these findings is that as low-fat dairy consumption rises, it may displace less healthy foods. (For instance, if you're craving something creamy and sweet, a cup of fruit-flavored yogurt could work as an ice cream substitute.)
They also note that yogurt fermentation, regardless of fat content, may have a positive impact on how the body processes sugar, as other studies have found: "Yogurt consumption, regardless of fat content, was associated with a decreased incidence of [type 2 diabetes]."
Low-fat milk and yogurt both reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas full-fat cheese raised the stake. Various dairy products, such as flavored yogurt, can be consumed in multiple ways. This does not appear to be the case with low-fat cheese.
Low-fat cheese, yogurt, and low-fat milk are the three foods that can help reduce your odds. Understanding how serious the illness can be is essential; people today need to be aware of type 2 diabetes and its effects.