Dairy foods may cut heart disease, diabetes risk

April 30, 2002 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Dairy foods may cut heart disease, diabetes risk

According to a recent report in The Journal of the American Medical Association, overweight adults may be able to lower their risk of developing a range of symptoms that often precede heart disease and type 2 diabetes by consuming a dairy-rich diet.

Overweight adults who consumed the most servings of milk, butter, yogurt and cheese were the least likely to be diagnosed with high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and high blood pressure regardless of whether these foods were low in fat. Collectively, these medical conditions are known as insulin resistance syndrome (IRS) and are major risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.

The Harvard University study included more than 3,000 adults aged 18 to 30. Among overweight individuals, or those with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25, consuming at least 35 servings of dairy a week was associated with a 71% lower risk of being diagnosed with insulin resistance syndrome over 10 years. Each average daily serving of dairy consumed was associated with a 21% lower risk of developing insulin resistance syndrome over the study period.

There was no association between high dairy consumption and the risk of insulin resistance syndrome among individuals who were normal weight. In other findings, dairy consumption rose in tandem with intakes of whole grain, fruits and vegetables, and those who consumed the most dairy also drank less sugar-sweetened soft drinks.

Previous research has shown that calcium, potassium and magnesium -- minerals found in these foods--are associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Alternatively, individuals who consume a dairy-rich diet may have healthy dietary or lifestyle habits.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.