Consumption of high-fat dairy products is associated with reduced risk for Type-2 diabetes, says a study.
The new findings are in line with previous studies that indicated a link between high consumption of dairy products and a reduced risk of Type-2 diabetes.
"Those who ate the most high-fat dairy products had a 23 percent lower risk of developing Type-2 diabetes than those who ate the least.
"High meat consumption was linked to an increased risk of Type-2 diabetes regardless of the fat content of the meat," said researcher Ulrika Ericson from the Lund University in Sweden.
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 10 percent, that is, 2,860 people, had developed Type-2 diabetes.
Both meat and dairy products contain saturated fat, but certain saturated fatty acids are particularly common in dairy products.
"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.
"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," Ericson explained.
The researchers took into account many dietary and lifestyle factors.
"However, there may be other factors that we have not been able to measure. Moreover, different food components can interact with each other.
"Our results suggest that we should not focus solely on fat, but rather consider what foods we eat. Many foodstuffs contain different components that are harmful or beneficial to health, and it is the overall balance that is important," Ericson said in a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.