Dairy products in Australia have a higher nutritional value than other foods, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dairy products have been shown to have higher levels of fibre and protein compared with other foods.
But the study also found that dairy products had a lower glycemic index and lower insulin resistance.
The authors found that a small amount of added sugars and fat from dairy products contributed to the higher glycemic indexes, but this was offset by the high fibre content.
They also found higher levels on the glycemic and insulin resistance scale of glycemic control.
Dairy foods are more nutrient dense than other proteins and vegetables, which makes them a good choice for those with insulin resistance or diabetes, Dr Kishore Singh, one of the study’s authors, said.
The findings were based on a review of the research on dairy products published in 2015 by the journal Food and Nutrition Research, the National Institutes of Health, and the Australian Dairy Science Centre.
Dairy contains a variety of different components, including protein, fat, sugar and vitamins, and many are rich in calcium, magnesium and iron.
The American Journal is published by the American College of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The Australian Dairy Association said the findings were consistent with the current state of evidence and recommendations.
Dr Singh said the association supported the use of milk products as a source of protein for people with diabetes.
Dairy has a lower GI than other meats, such as beef, chicken and lamb.
“We also see that some of the most nutrient dense foods are dairy,” Dr Singh told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“There’s so much that’s going on in these foods, and so much of that goes into the glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity.”
He said dairy products could also be considered a source for some people with Type 2 diabetes, as it is rich in nutrients like calcium and phosphorus.
“Dairy contains a lot of vitamin D which is a good source of vitamin B12,” he said.
“A lot of people who have diabetes can get a vitamin B2.
There’s so many other nutrients that dairy provides that people who do not have diabetes should look to that as a good option.”