Eating more whole fat dairy is linked to a lower incidence of diabetes and hypertension, a study has found.
Having dairy products twice a day in your regular diet reduces the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, the risk factors of Metabolic syndrome.
Diabetes, hypertension, and obesity together will lead to metabolic syndrome, a disorder that puts people at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Past studies suggest that higher consumption of dairy products reduces the odds of high blood pressure, diabetes, and so metabolic syndrome.
This study suggests that full-fat dairy foods but not low-fat dairy have the strongest effect on lowering the incidence of metabolic syndrome and its related risk factors.
To test if this is true for populations in different countries, researchers included 21 countries on five continents.
Participants were between 35- and 70-years-old and the average follow-up was over nine years.
Dairy intake was either low-fat (1–2%) or whole-fat, including mixed dishes prepared with dairy ingredients, milk, yogurt, cheese, yogurt drinks, butter, and cream.
Average diary intake was 179 grams (g) per day, with whole-fat dairy intake counting almost twice as much as low-fat.
The standard serving and portion sizes were used, for example, 5 g for one teaspoon of butter, 15 g for a slice of cheese, and 244 g for a cup of yogurt or a glass of milk.
Compared with eating no dairy, two servings a day of dairy foods reduced the risk of metabolic syndrome by 24 percent and for whole-fat diary by 28 percent.
The likelihood of developing diabetes and hypertension was reduced up to 12 percent.
The risk was reduced to 14 percent with a dairy intake of 3 servings per day.
The authors concluded:
“If our findings are confirmed in sufficiently large and long term trials, then increasing dairy consumption may represent a feasible and low cost approach to reducing [metabolic syndrome], hypertension, diabetes, and ultimately cardiovascular disease events worldwide.”
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care (Bhavadharini et al., 2020).