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Is Cheese the Secret Ingredient In a Diabetes Diet?

Whitney | September 10th, 2012

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Adding cheese to a diabetes diet could reap significant benefits, according to recent research. In one of the largest cohort studies to date, researchers have linked cheese consumption to a lower risk of type II diabetes. This study, conducted by scientists from various European centers and universities, found that people who regularly consumed cheeses have a 12-percent lower risk of developing the disease. However, while cheese may offer some health advantages when incorporated into diet plans for diabetics, the cause-and-effect of cheese and diabetes requires further study.

Diabetes Diet: Add Cheese?

The study linking cheese and a lower diabetes risk was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Scientists from the Imperial College of London, Oxford University and the MRC Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge studied 340,234 people to determine how many would develop type II diabetes. Research was conducted as a cohort study, which means scientists follow a group of selected individuals over a period of many years to determine how diet and other factors impact certain health outcomes.

The study identified 12,403 research subjects that developed type II diabetes. Researchers then randomly chose another 16,835 individuals to look at their diets and compare the two different groups. The study found that people who regularly ate cheese lowered their risk of developing type II diabetes by 12 percent. Those who consumed fermented milk and yogurt also showed a reduced risk of type II diabetes in this study.

Best Diet Plans for Diabetics

While the evidence in this study is compelling, it is far from conclusive. Although scientists found a link between cheese and a lower incidence of diabetes, the cause and effect aspect of this relationship was not studied. Researchers caution individuals that while cheese may have health benefits, automatically adding cheese to diabetic diet guidelines may not be the answer. Cheese is still high in fat and calories, which can present problems to those at higher risk of type II diabetes, since weight gain is a significant risk factor for the disease.

The best diabetic diet for weight loss is one that incorporates a host of healthy food choices, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and low-fat dairy products. An effective way to stick to a healthy diet is through a physician-guided weight loss program, wherein expert doctors can customize a diabetes diet to a patient’s specific needs, and ensure that patients reach their weight loss goals through personalized counseling.

Best Diabetic Diet for Weight Loss

The Center for Medical Weight Loss is one of the largest programs in the U.S. helping patients develop an effective diabetic diet for weight loss, and has helped produce thousands of stories of weight loss success. The founder and chief medical officer, Dr. Michael Kaplan, explains that weight loss is one of the most significant factors in preventing and managing the disease.

“We see diabetic patients all the time who lose weight and no longer need insulin,” says Dr. Kaplan. “When patients lose 5-10 percent of their body weight, it is a given that they will reduce their blood sugar significantly; many no longer need medication.”

The Center for Medical Weight Loss offers 450 locations nationwide to help patients develop a safe, effective diabetes diet. Use the zip code box to the right to see if there is a center in your area. Special offers are available for first-time visitors at select locations.