NPR Report: Dairy Fat Linked to Lower Diabetes Risk

If you love to eat cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products, then this article is for you.  A new study revealed that the consumption of dairy fats that are found in cheese, yogurt, and milk have protective effects against Type 2 diabetes.

Published in the journal Circulation and cited in the website NPR, the study reviewed the blood samples of adult participants to measure the biomarkers for dairy fat. The study started during the late 1980s and over the next twenty years, researchers tracked down the same people and determined who developed diabetes.

Interestingly, the study showed that individuals who consume most dairy fat in their diet have a 50% lower risk of developing diabetes compared to those who consumed less to no dairy fat at all. The lead author, Dariush Mozaffarian from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, noted that this study debunks the idea that eating saturated fat–those found in dairy products–is harmful to the body.


Health Benefits of Dairy Fat

Research published in the European Journal of Nutrition indicates that the consumption of full dairy fat is good for controlling weight gain than the consumption of low-fat dairy. Low obesity risk also means a lowered risk for type 2 diabetes. But how can a high-calorie food be useful in controlling weight? Experts noted that not all calories are equal and drinking full fat milk can make people feel satiated sooner and for a longer time thus making an individual eat less with a longer time duration in between meals.

Another important characteristic of full-fat dairy milk is that the fatty acids found in milk play a paramount role in gene expression as well as hormone regulation. This means that the acids can crank up how much energy the body burns. The fats found in dairy foods also contain a lot of complex micro and macro nutrients.  Full-fat milk contains 62% saturated fat, 30% monosaturated fat, 4% polyunsaturated fat and 4% naturally occurring trans fatty acids. It also contains linoleic acid.

The study noted that drinking full fat milk is not only effective in controlling weight among adults but also children. In fact, children who have a higher intake of whole milk do not gain much weight over time compared to those who consume skim or non-fat dairy products.


Moderation is Still the Key to Good Health

While the consumption of dairy fat, according to the NPR article, can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity, this does not mean that you should gorge on milk or put butter on everything that you eat. Remember that too much of a good thing is also bad.  It is important that you also consume foods that are high in fiber such as fruits and vegetables as they are critical for digestion and further helps manage the blood sugar levels in the body. Combining milk, fruits, and vegetables increases your chances of having better health.

So the next time you want to drink milk or eat cheese, ditch the low-fat ones so that you can get the full benefits of dairy fat.

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