If you’re worried about your health, you may be reaching for low-fat dairy products when you go shopping. After all, that’s what the US Dietary Guidelines and many health organizations recommend. Well, it turns out that there isn’t much evidence to back those recommendations up. And now two new studies out this week call into question the wisdom of that advice.
The first study looked at the relationship between the development of diabetes and dairy fat levels in the blood in participants from the Nurses’ Health and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The people in these studies had their blood tested and were then followed for decades. The researchers found that when they compared the people with the lowest levels of dairy fats in their blood with the people who had the highest levels — they actually saw that the people in the high-fat group had a more than 40 percent lower risk of developing diabetes. It’s not known exactly why this would be, but one theory is that dairy fats can help improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin (in diabetes the body becomes less sensitive to insulin).