High-fat milk, yogurt, and other dairy are rarely recommended as healthy foods. Instead, you’ve likely been told to opt for low-fat dairy like skim milk. But that recommendation may have been turned on its head.
A large international study has just found that eating more full-fat dairy is associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and metabolic disorders.
I’m sorry if your world has just been flipped and turned upside down.
The results were recently published in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. Researchers looked at people from 21 countries across continents for an average follow-up of 9 years. There were nearly 150,000 participants between the ages of 35 and 70.
Using a questionnaire to track food intake, researchers learned that those who ate more full-fat dairy had a higher chance of avoiding high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is often a precursor to type-2 diabetes.
Although there were regional discrepancies, investigators report that, on average, people were eating about 179 grams of dairy each day. That’s slightly less than a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt.
Key findings include:
- At least 2 servings per day of dairy were associated with a 24% lower risk of metabolic syndrome compared to having none at all.
- At least 2 servings of whole fat dairy per day with a 28% lower risk or metabolic syndrome.
- Consuming only low-fat dairy was not associated with a drop in metabolic syndrome risk.
- At least 2 servings of dairy per day were associated with am 11-12% lower risk of having both diabetes and high blood pressure.
Dairy foods, and its fat, are nutrient-dense and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, which can all contribute to overall health.
More work needs to be done on this topic, but reaching for full-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese could be another easy and affordable way to combat some common, yet severe, health problems.