Eating Cheese May Help Ward Off Diabetes

Sunrise Senior Living  |  August 1, 2012

Dairy products have long been thought of as less than ideal foods to include in a healthy diet, but one study found the opposite may be true. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a potential link between daily consumption of cheese and a reduced risk of diabetes. The findings came from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study, one of the largest studies that examines the connection between diet and health, which examined the diets of 16,800 healthy adults and 12,400 individuals with type 2 diabetes in Europe.

The researchers found that eating about two slices of cheese each day or consuming yogurt regularly could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 12 percent, according to The Daily Mail. As for other dairy products, such as milk and ice cream, the study investigators found no evidence to suggest these products were helpful or harmful.

While the study results may seem like great news for cheese lovers, further research is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

"It is too simplistic to concentrate on individual foods," Dr. Iain Frame, director of research for charity Diabetes UK, told the news source. "We recommend a healthy, balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and low in salt and fat."

A senior living with risk factors for diabetes - such as being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle and having a genetic predisposition for the disease - may want to discuss their dietary options with a doctor before making any major changes. This can help them form an effective and healthy elder care strategy to improve their well-being and ward off diseases like diabetes.

The illness affects more than 25.8 million Americans, and can lead to other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke, according to the American Diabetes Association. In fact, adults living with diabetes have two to four times the risk of having a stroke or dying due to heart disease than those who do not have diabetes. Staying healthy is key to preventing diabetes and heart conditions. This involves getting plenty of exercise and eating a balanced diet.