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Dairy Foods and Diabetes in Women: Think Low-Fat

According to the American Diabetes Association, up to 9.2 million in the United States have type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of heart disease, kidney damage and other disorders. The results of a new study suggest that a diet that contains high amounts of low-fat dairy products can provide some protection against developing type 2 diabetes, and that the more dairy products a women eats, the lower the risk.

In this study, scientists examined the dietary records of more than 37,000 women who were participating in a national health survey.

The scientists looked at the intake of various dairy foods and calcium, and then compared those statistics with the number of women in the study who developed diabetes over a 10-year follow-up period.

According to the analysis, women who consumed the highest amounts of dairy foods were 21 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women who ate the lowest amounts of dairy foods. Each serving-per-day increase in dairy products reduced the risk of diabetes by 4 percent. Low-fat dairy foods appeared to be more effective in lowering diabetes risk. Most high-fat dairy foods, on the other hand, showed little to no benefit, or actually increased the risk of developing diabetes. To learn more about the influence of nutrition on health, visit


Liu S, Klevak A, Choi HY, et al. A prospective study of dairy intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Diabetes Care July 2006;29(7):1579-1584.