Monday, April 18, 2016

Dairy and diabetes, take 2

I find it fascinating how stories spread sometimes.  Recently I blogged about findings that whole-fat dairy reduces the risk of diabetes, contrary to what diet "experts" have been telling us for years about fat.

Now the story has gotten picked up by NPR:

The Full-Fat Paradox: Dairy Fat Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk

Now that the major news sources have the bit between their teeth, it's likely to get a lot of attention.  This is good news for those who have been touting the health benefits to full-fat dairy for a while.

I have to admit, I've been drinking whole milk and choosing full-fat and cream-top yogurt for years now.  I eat real butter, and even choose full-fat cheese when I have the option.  And you know, I've actually seen my LDL cholesterol go down over the years, and my HDL go up.

Of course I already have diabetes, and it's type 1 so there's no reversing it.  But I still think it's interesting that low-fat dairy is associated with an increased risk of diabetes.  They're not establishing it as a causal relationship -- meaning they can't say they think choosing low-fat dairy makes you at a higher risk for it -- but the fact that the two things are connected somehow is undeniable.

One theory, put forth in the other article, is that people who consume more low-fat dairy make up the calories with a lot of carbs and sugar.  Certainly there seems to be more sugar in low-fat dairy such as flavored yogurt.  But it may also be that the higher fat content in whole-fat dairy keeps people feeling full longer, staving off cravings for carb-rich and sugary snacks.

Whatever the cause of the lower risk of diabetes, though, I definitely think it's worth turning to full-fat dairy.  Plus, it just tastes better!

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