If the thought of gooey grilled cheese sandwich makes your mouth water, you’re in luck. In addition to keeping you from developing osteoporosis, consumption of high-fat cheese and/or yogurt is linked to a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as a fifth. This finding is from Lund University in Sweden and was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
After looking at the eating habits of 27,000 individuals ages 45 to 74, researchers found those who ate the most high-fat dairy products had a 23% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least.
Unfortunately, the study didn’t have all positive news. High meat consumption is linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even though both dairy products and meat products are high in saturated fat.
“We have not ruled out the possibility that other components of dairy products such as yogurt and cheese may have contributed to our results,” said Ulrika Ericson, who conducted the study. “We have taken into account many dietary and lifestyle factors in our analysis, such as fermentation, calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity. However, there may be other factors that we have not been able to measure that are shared by those who eat large quantities of high-fat dairy products. Moreover, different food components can interact with each other.”
The takeaway from this study is that it’s best not to focus solely on fat, but to rather consider the importance of eating a wide variety of foods. Many foods contain different components that are beneficial to health, so balance in your diet is key to maximizing nutritional benefits.