Diabetes and high blood pressure diagnoses are on the rise in the United States and that’s especially the case in the Black community.
Finding ways to fight against these conditions and improve people’s health is an effort that researchers all over the world are committed to. As a result, an international study that analyzed data from nearly 150,000 people found that a higher intake of dairy, especially whole-fat varieties, could be linked to a lower risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
The study, which was published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, tested 147,812 people from 21 countries throughout the world who ranged in age from 35 to 70.
Over an average of a nine-year period, people in the study who consumed an average of 179 grams of dairy each day— slightly less than a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt— were 11–12 percent less at risk of having both diabetes and high blood pressure.
This pattern was even stronger in instances where they consumed whole fat dairy.
“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 co-author Andrew Mente, Ph.D., a principal investigator at the Population Health Research Institute.
Mente hopes the study can prove to people that low-fat options aren’t always the best options when it comes to nutrition.
“Dairy foods and dairy fat provide high-quality protein and a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B-12, and riboflavin,” Mente explained.
Today, experts estimate that more than 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and almost half of the adult population has hypertension, and the rate at which Black people are diagnosed is considerably higher than their white counterparts.
Perhaps embracing whole fat dairy products—within moderation—could be the key to a healthier lifestyle.