Diabetes mellitus
For years, nutrition fads preached the dangers of high-fat foods — particularly meat and dairy. In response to this anti-fat content movement, skim milk became a wildly popular alternative to full-fat milk. But new research suggests that individuals who consume full-fat dairy actually weigh less and moreover are less likely to develop diabetes compared to individuals who consume low-fat dairy foods.

Published in the journal Circulation, the study looked a the blood of 3,333 adults over the course of 15 years. At the end of the study, they found that individuals who had higher levels full-fat dairy byproducts in their blood had a 46% average lower risk of getting diabetes.

“There is no prospective human evidence that people who eat low-fat dairy do better than people who eat whole-fat dairy,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, one of the researchers of the study.

In another study, researchers looked at the relationship between dairy consumption and the likelihood of obesity. For the study, over 8,000 were surveyed, where they completed a questionnaire that asked them how often they ate certain types of dairy foods.

Similarly to the first study, researchers found that those who consumed the highest fat dairy products had an 8% lower risk of becoming obese or overweight compared to those who ate low-fat dairy products.

So what leads to the diabetes? A big culprit in this — like most cases with diabetes — is sugar. In order to preserve flavor, low-fat products are loaded with sugar. These hidden sugars are contributing to the rampant diabetes epidemic taking hold in the U.S., particularly with the Latino population. Statistically speaking, Latinos experience a disproportionate amount of diabetes within their communities.

Around 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream is produced in the U.S. each year. Perhaps this new research means that it’s not so bad to indulge every now and again, after all.