London: Two slices of cheese a day can keep diabetes at bay.
A new research has claimed that cheese can prevent diabetes, an illness often triggered by being overweight, even as the current health guidelines advise cutting back on dairy products.
British and Dutch researchers found that eating just two slices of cheese a day cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes by 12 percent, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
Diabetes can cause heart attacks, strokes, blindness and nerve problems, without yet having been diagnosed.
The researchers looked at the diets of 16,800 healthy adults and 12,400 patients with type 2 diabetes from eight European countries, including the UK.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those who ate at least 55 grams of cheese a day —around two slices were 12 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
The risk fell by the same amount for those who ate 55 grams of yoghurt a day.
For years National Health Survey guidelines in the UK have advised against eating too much dairy, cake or red meat as they are high in saturated fat.
This is thought to increase cholesterol and raise the risk of diabetes.
Researchers including academics from the Medical Research Council, Cambridge said that not all saturated fats are as harmful as others, and some may even be beneficial.
One theory is that the so-called probiotic bacteria in cheese and yoghurt can lower cholesterol and produce certain vitamins which prevent diabetes.
And cheese, milk and yoghurt are also high in vitamin D, calcium and magnesium, which may help protect against the condition.
"We recommend a healthy balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and low in salt and fat. This study gives us no reason to believe that people should change their dairy intake in an attempt to avoid the condition," Dr Iain Frame, director of research at a UK-based charity, was quoted by the paper as saying.