It is estimated that around 34 million people in the US have diabetes, and nearly half of the adults have hypertension.
Health caregivers are trying to tell people to live a healthy life, but the number of patients grows every year. The good news is with investigations going deep, scientists have found adjusting diet an effective and promising approach to prevent diseases like diabetes.
Research on an international scale
Researchers collected data from 147,812 people in 21 countries, spanning Asia, North and South America, Africa, and Europe. Candidates were asked to record dairy products they consumed in a questionnaire, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and dishes prepared with dairy. Dairy products were categorized as whole-fat or low-fat.
The researchers also considered other factors of the participants, such as their medical history, education, blood pressure, waist circumference, and levels of glucose and fat in the blood.
2 daily servings at least
According to the research, people around the world ate 179 grams of dairy on average each day. That’s less than a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt, both of which contain about 244 grams of dairy. What’s more, people in Europe and North and South America tended to consume more dairy than those in Asia and Africa.
The most exciting part of the result is that researchers found at least 2 servings of dairy each day could contribute to a 24% lower risk of metabolic syndrome, compared with having no dairy at all. Meanwhile, having at least 2 servings of whole-fat dairy could lead to a 28% lower risk of metabolic syndrome, but the same amount of low-fat dairy did not present a similar effect.
Low fat is not always the best
“Higher intake of dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, especially whole-fat dairy rather than low-fat dairy, is associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome and with a lower risk of developing hypertension and diabetes,” said the study co-author Andrew Mente, Ph.D.
This may be surprising to many of us, as people seem to be talking about the benefits of skim milk a lot.
That’s exactly the myth the study authors hope to dispel: whole-fat products are not less healthful than reduced-fat alternatives. Actually, dairy fat provides high-quality protein and a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B-12, and riboflavin.
Although long-term trials are still needed to confirm the functions of dairy products in reducing the risk of diabetes and hypertension, a feasible approach has already been provided. Considering what benefits dairy products can offer, you may feel happier when you drink your daily milk next time.