Two separate studies suggest that whole-fat dairy products are better in preventing diabetes than their lower-fat/ zero-fat counterparts. One study also found that the consumption of whole diary may even cut the risk of weight gain on the long run.
According to the first study, published this week in the journal Circulation, full-fat dairy foods lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 46 percent over a 15-year-long period. Researchers based their conclusions on laboratory tests of study participants’ blood samples.
A second research paper showed that people who often consumed high-fat dairy products had a lower risk of becoming fat or obese than people who ate only low-fat or no-fat products. The risk of adding extra pounds was 8 percent lower in the whole-fat dairy group.
The second study was based on data on over 18,000 participants that reported no history of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and had a normal weight at the beginning of the study.
Researchers noted that volunteers who regularly consumed full-fat dairy foods had a significantly lower risk of becoming obese than people who endorsed only low-fat. The research team believes that this may have something to do with the human body’s response to being deprived of dietary fat for too long.
Scientists explained that consuming too many low-fat products for too long may promote food cravings so people tend to indulge in foods that are rich in added sugars and ‘bad’ carbohydrates which are later converted by their bodies into body fat.
According to the latest version of U.S. Dietary Guidelines saturated fats should account for just 10 percent of total daily calorie intake. That may seem too strict since if you drink one cup of whole milk, you’ve just used a quarter of the recommended total.
Nevertheless, critics of the study think that changing the national guidelines on dietary fat consumption may be premature. They did call for a re-evaluation of the rules after they read the two studies.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy and lead author of the first study noted that the evidence his team found is ‘robust’ enough to recommend people not to consume only low-fat foods. But Mozaffarian acknowledged that the evidence is ‘insufficient’ to abruptly go full whole-fat.
Furthermore, the studies have some limitations. They didn’t provide an explanation to the link between whole dairy consumption and lower risk of diabetes and becoming overweight. Study authors believe that specific compounds such as fatty acids that are nonexistent in low-fat foods may provide an answer.
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