New Delhi (PTI) : Eating high-fat yoghurt and cheese can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a fifth, according to a new research.
The study, from Lund University in Sweden, also found that high meat consumption is linked to a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
"Those who ate the most high-fat dairy products had a 23 per cent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least," said Ulrika Ericson, who conducted the study.
"High meat consumption was linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes regardless of the fat content of the meat," Ericson said.
The researchers studied the eating habits of 27,000 individuals aged 45 to 74. The participants took part in the Malmo Diet and Cancer study in the early 1990s, in which they provided details of their eating habits.
Twenty years on, over ten per cent - 2,860 people - had developed type 2 diabetes.
Instead of focusing on the total intake of saturated fat, the researchers looked at different sources of saturated fat.
Both meat and dairy products contain saturated fat, but certain saturated fatty acids are particularly common in dairy products.
This difference could be one of the reasons why most studies show that those who eat meat are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas those who eat a lot of dairy products appear to have a lower risk.
"When we investigated the consumption of saturated fatty acids that are slightly more common in dairy products than in meat, we observed a link with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes," said Ericson.
"However, we have not ruled out the possibility that other components of dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese may have contributed to our results.
"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.
"For example, in one study, saturated fat in cheese appeared to have less of a cholesterol-raising effect than saturated fat in butter.
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