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Yogurt Consumption Associated With Lower Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes tends to occur later in life and is usually associated with poor diet and poor exercise habits. A recent study found that eating four and half standard sized yogurts weekly could reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 28%.

Participants in the study included more than 25,000 individuals who took part in the EPIC-Norfolk study. From that group, a random sample of 3,502 was examined. During the more than 11 years of follow-up, 753 of those participants developed new-onset type-2 diabetes.

At the beginning of the study, the participants had a mean age of 59 and mean body mass index (BMI) of 26 kg/m2. They were asked to complete detailed dietary questionnaires that focused on dairy products and food containing dairy as the main ingredient, such as yogurt, cheese, and milk. The researchers determined whether those foods were high or low fat by using 3.9% fat as the cutoff.

Milk accounted for 82% of dairy products consumed, followed by cheese at 9% and yogurt at 8%. The average dairy consumption was 269 g/day, 65% of which was low fat.

After adjusting for age and sex, the researchers found that total dairy consumption had no effect on the development of type 2 diabetes but that low-fat fermented dairy did. Yogurt, in particular, was associated with a 35% lower risk.

The researchers also examined the effect of substituting yogurt for other, less healthy snacks such as cake, pudding, biscuits, or chips. They found that eating yogurt instead of those snacks was associated with a 47% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 5, 2014, in the journal Diabetologia.

Previous studies have shown yogurt to improve bone health, provide good bacteria for gut health, and may even be associated with weight loss. If you want to add more yogurt to your diet, be sure to stick with a low or no fat brand, as higher fat intake can reverse the positive health benefits.

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