In a new study, researchers found both low- and regular-fat cheeses could help improve insulin sensitivity.
This may be why eating cheese could help prevent type 2 diabetes.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Alberta.
Previous studies have shown that eating cheese is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but it is unclear why.
In the current study, the team examined the influence of eating both reduced- and regular-fat cheese on insulin resistance.
They tested the cheese effects on rats with pre-diabetes.
The rats ate one of three types of food, including a lard diet, a lard diet with reduced-fat cheddar cheese, or a lard diet with regular fat cheddar cheese.
They found that both types of cheese reduced insulin resistance, which is important to maintain normal blood sugars.
Previous research has shown that insulin resistance is common in older people and obese people.
The condition can lead to high blood glucose, and it is a risk factor of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
The researchers suggest that the beneficial effects of eating cheese may not from the amount of fat but from some other nutrients, such as the protein or the calcium.
They suggest that future work needs to examine how eating cheese may help regulate metabolism and if this relates to insulin resistance.
The lead author of the study is Anik RZ Hanning, Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta.
The study is published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
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