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Yogurt may decrease risk of getting diabetes

February 7, 2014

As the number of older adults diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise, researchers have begun to study ways of preventing and treating this common disease. According to a report compiled by the American Diabetes Association and the American Geriatrics Society, more than 25 percent of adults ages 65 and over have been diagnosed with diabetes. For those looking to promote a healthy lifestyle for seniors, new research compiled by the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine may be able to help.

Eating dairy products, such as yogurt and cottage cheese, may reduce a person's risk of contracting diabetes, new findings published in the Diabetologia journal indicate. According to the study, participants who reported eating yogurt regularly were 28 percent less likely to develop the disease than individuals who did not consume the dairy product. Additionally, those who reported high intake of low-fat dairy had a 24 percent reduced chance of being diagnosed with diabetes.

Lead researcher Dr. Nita Forouhi said that the study finally made a connection between dairy products and the disease, which researchers had not been able to do in previous studies.

"At a time when we have a lot of other evidence that consuming high amounts of certain foods, such as added sugars and sugary drinks, is bad for our health, it is very reassuring to have messages about about other foods like yogurt and low-fat fermented dairy products, that could be good for our health," Forouhi said to Cambridge News.

Seniors looking to improve their diets should consider the health benefits of yogurt, which is rich with proteins, vitamins and minerals. Scientists stressed, however, that yogurt should be consumed in moderation due to the high amount of saturated fat that may raise cholesterol levels. The study found that participants who had the best results were those who ate an average of four cartons of yogurt per week.