Cheese Can Help Reduce Chances of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Pizza lovers, rejoice—researchers have found a link between consumption of cheese and lower risk of the disease.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating cheese daily can reduce one's chances of developing diabetes by 12 percent. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Here’s some health news we can live with: Eating cheese can reduce one’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Researchers have found those who eat about two slices of cheese per day reduce their chances of developing the disease by 12 percent. The team wanted to investigate a possible association between various dairy products and the incidence of diabetes.

The study involved approximately 16,800 healthy adults and 12,403 adults with diabetes from eight European countries. Each participant filled out questionnaires about his or her diet. Results were adjusted for age, sex, education level, BMI, dietary factors, and diabetes risk factors.

Researchers found that a participant’s total intake of dairy products was not associated with developing diabetes. Among all the types of dairy products, cheese had an inverse association with diabetes. An inverse association with the disease was also found among patients who had a high intake of fermented dairy products, including cheese, yogurt, and thick fermented milk.

Of course, while the news may have cheese lovers rejoicing, it’s worth noting that type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease; overall, diabetes affects 25.8 million children and adults in the United States alone. USDA guidelines recommend three cups of dairy per day; two slices of Swiss cheese counts as one cup.

That said, if you’re already at risk for diabetes, it’s not recommended that you gorge on a plate of cheese every day to reduce your chances of developing the disease. The researchers note that their findings call for further study, and recommend maintaining a well-balanced diet.

The full study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition