Eating just two slices of cheese a day may slash the risk of type 2 diabetes by twelve percent, claim researchers in a new study. Diabetes occurs when the body does not generate enough of the hormone insulin to control its blood sugar levels. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include feeling very thirsty, needing to pass water frequently and constant tiredness.
Even though the condition is treatable through various methods such as dietary changes, tablets and injections, but, if not properly looked after, it can cause serious complications. For their analysis British and Dutch researchers examined the dietary habits of nearly seventeen thousand healthy adults and twelve thousand and five hundred diabetic patients from eight European countries, including the UK.
They found that people who ate at least fifty-five g of cheese a day that is equal to two slices were twelve percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The risk of developing diabetes also fell by the same amount for those who ate fifty-five g of yoghurt a day.
However, regardless of the latest findings, campaigners warned against overeating on cheese and other dairy products in the anticipation of warding off diabetes. The latest study findings go against present health guidelines, which advise cutting back on dairy products and other high-fat foods to help prevent the illness.
Researchers including academics from the Medical Research Council, Cambridge, explained not all saturated fats were as harmful as others, and some may even be beneficial. One hypothesis is that the so-called probiotic bacteria in cheese and yoghurt lower cholesterol and produce certain vitamins which prevent diabetes. Cheese, milk and yoghurt are rich in vitamin D, calcium and magnesium, which may help protect against the condition.
It is too simplistic to focus on individual foods. They recommend a healthy balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and low in salt and fat. This study gives no reason to believe that people should change their dairy intake in an attempt to avoid the condition, explained Dr Iain Frame, director of research at the charity Diabetes UK.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.