New Study Suggests Full-Fat Milk Could Protect Against Diabetes

For decades, nutritionists have been telling people to stick to low-fat dairy products if they are interested in losing weight. However, new studies indicate that those who consume full-fat dairy products are less likely to become obese and potentially develop Type 2 diabetes.

These studies emerge as the World Health Organization releases troubling statistics of an international total of 422 million people diagnosed with diabetes as of 2016. The studies are causing doctors, nutritionists, and people with diabetes to rethink dietary truisms that they have dispensed and received over the years.


One illuminating study published by researchers from Harvard University and Tufts University in the journal Circulation discovered that participants whose blood contained high levels of dairy fat were 46 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those with lower levels of dairy fat. This highlighted the importance of consuming whole dairy products to prevent diabetes. To reach these conclusions, the researchers collected data on 3,333 adults for 15 years using circulating blood biomarkers.


Another study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Karolinska Institute, and Harvard University found that women who consumed full-fat dairy products had less risk of becoming obese, which also decreased their risk of diabetes. To reach these conclusions, which were published in the American Journal of Nutrition, researchers studied 18,438 women over 11 years. A third study by the Lund University Diabetes Center in Malmo, Sweden, corroborated these findings.


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Researchers point out that people who choose full-fat dairy products feel fuller and are less inclined to consume unhealthy amounts of sugar and carbohydrates. Additionally, the presence of fatty acids and three specific biomarkers in full-fat dairy significantly lowers diabetes risk. Researchers also find that consumption of either high-fat or low-fat dairy does not increase the risk of heart disease. These recent studies create a link between consumption of full-fat dairy products and decreased risk of obesity and diabetes.

For a disease that is becoming increasingly common at a startling rate, there remains a great deal we don’t know about it. Consider contributing to research that could help researchers get closer to finding a cure.

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