Melissa Novak, a resident of the Greater Toronto Area, says she is addicted to cheese. Good news for her is cheese may help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Credits: JEROME LESSARD/THE INTELLIGENCER/QMI AGENCY
It might be chock full of fat, but cheese may actually decrease a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.
Researchers looked at some 29,000 patients, some with type 2 diabetes and some without it, in eight European countries. They found those who ate at least 55g of cheese a day were 12% less likely to develop the disease.
The findings fly in the face of research that shows high-fat foods increase cholesterol and thereby put people at risk of diabetes.
But the researchers found that most other dairy products didn't have the same effect -- with the exception of yogurt, which is another fermented dairy product.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, offered no hard answers as to why this link exists.
One theory the researchers posit is that the fermentation process may produce some reaction in the body that protects against diabetes. But they acknowledged that the research "merits further study."