By Alice Park
April 7, 2016

Dairy is heavy on fat, which is why doctors have steered us toward its skim or low-fat versions. But there’s fresh evidence that full-fat milk, cheese and yogurt can be better for you than low-fat.

LOWERS DIABETES

A new study found full-fat dairy products reduced the risk of diabetes by 46% compared with skim, possibly because whole dairy can help people eat less or improve blood-sugar control.

REDUCES WEIGHT

When people switch to skim to avoid fat and calories, they tend to replace those calories with carbohydrates, which are more likely to be stored as fat and can contribute to weight gain.

CUTS HEART RISK

Some studies show people who eat skim or low-fat dairy may have higher rates of heart disease than people opting for full-fat varieties, possibly because they’re eating more carbs.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

This appears in the April 18, 2016 issue of TIME.

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