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People who eat high-fat dairy foods less likely to develop type 2 diabetes

Researchers found there is no association between low-fat dairy products and the risk of T2D.

Image: eating cheese image via Shuttestock

NEW RESEARCH HAS shown that people who have the highest consumption of high-fat dairy products are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes (T2D) than those with the lowest consumption.

People who eat eight portions or more have a 23% lower risk than those who eat just one or less a day. The research is being presented today at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (WASD) in Vienna.

Dietary fats could affect glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity and may therefore have a crucial role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Studies have indicated that replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats might be favourable in the prevention of it.

In line with this, plant sources of fat have been suggested as a better choice than animal sources. A high intake of red meat has been shown to increase the risk. Nonetheless, several studies have indicated that a high intake of dairy may actually be protective.

This most recent study included 26, 930 people aged 45-74 years and dietary data was collected with a modified diet history method. During a 14 year follow-up, 2860 incident T2D cases were identified and modelling was used to estimate hazard ratios.

The researchers found that a high-fat dairy intake was associated with a 23% lower incidence of T2D for the highest consuming 20% of participants. In contrast to these findings, there was no association found between intakes of low-fat dairy products and risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

High intakes of meat and meat products were, regardless of fat content, associated with increased risk, but the increased risk was higher for lower fat meats.

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