Dairy and Type 2 Diabetes: What You Need to Know

  • PDF
  • 1 min read March 25, 2021

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) affects the lives of more than 30 million American adults and accounts for 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. A growing body of research indicates that eating dairy foods is associated with multiple health benefits, including a reduced risk of T2D.

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt are foundational foods in healthy dietary patterns. The dairy group contributes important shortfall nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium to the American diet. Low-fat and fat-free dairy foods are part of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations for healthy dietary patterns for Americans 2 years and older.

You can download our full report, “Science Summary: Type 2 Diabetes,” which provides further support for consuming dairy foods as recommended in the 2020 DGA, and offers an overview of studies conducted since 2015 on the links between dairy food consumption and T2D.

Studies published since that report was issued further support dairy foods’ link to reduced T2D risk: A 2022 systematic review showed total dairy intake correlated with reduced T2D risk, and a similar finding resulted from a 2022 meta-analysis focused on fermented dairy foods like yogurt.