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Nutrition News: Eating For Diabetes

Charlyn Fargo on

Dairy often gets a bad rap. Some think it causes bloating or gas. Others think it's inflammatory. The truth is dairy can be part of a healthy diet. The Dietary Guidelines recommend three servings of dairy a day.

But now Italian researchers have discovered that eating certain animal products -- including dairy -- could reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers, led by Dr. Annalisa Giosue of the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery at the University of Naples Federico II in Naples, Italy, reviewed existing meta-analyses into the links between animal products and diabetes. The scientists browsed four databases -- Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus and Embase -- to uncover suitable studies that compare how different animal products could lead to or prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes.

The team found 175 studies of animal products and Type 2 diabetes. Their findings were presented at the recent annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden.

Researchers found that drinking 7 ounces of milk per day was associated with a 10% reduction in diabetes risk and 7 ounces of total dairy was associated with a 5% reduction. Low-fat dairy was associated with a 3% reduction. Eating 7 ounces of yogurt was associated with a 6% reduction. Eating 1 ounce of cheese and 7 ounces of full-fat dairy had no effect on the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found a 30% increase in risk with the consumption of 7 ounces of processed meat per day and a 22% increase in risk with the consumption of 7 ounces of red meat per day. Eating white meat of chicken was associated with a 4% increase in risk (per 3.5 ounces daily consumption) while eating fish and eggs had no effect on developing Type 2 diabetes.

 

Here's the bottom line: All foods can fit into a healthy eating plan -- dairy included and even small amounts of processed and red meats. Eating healthy to prevent the risk of Type 2 diabetes is just one of many things you can take control of, along with exercise, reducing stress and maintaining good sleep habits.

Q and A

Q: Does coffee really have antioxidants?

A: Coffee actually may be one of the main sources of compounds with antioxidant activity for many people, as much if not more than fruits and vegetables, according to a study published in the October 2014 issue of Journal of Nutritional Science. Coffee is higher in these compounds than green tea. In fact, upwards of 1,000 compounds with antioxidant activity have been identified in unprocessed coffee beans, and even more develop during roasting.

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