Cheese has long been villainized as a foe against people seeking to stay true to their diets in an effort to become healthier. However, new research has emerged that indicates that cheese might actually be helpful in the fight against type-2 diabetes.

A study recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied dairy intake and its potential relationship with type-2 diabetes in eight European countries. The research was led by an international team of researchers from the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the UK including experts from the Medical Research Council, Cambridge as well as the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands and the University of Oxford.

In fact, those who ate cheese had a 12 percent lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes than those who shunned the food altogether.

According to the abstract for the article, "Intake of total dairy products was not associated with diabetes. Of the dairy subtypes, cheese intake tended to have an inverse association with diabetes."

But do not fear, silent minority who does not like cheese. Mixed dairy intake also was associated with a similarly lower risk of diabetes, and included such fermented products as yogurt and fermented milk (and cheese).

Researchers were unable to describe why this correlation existed, but they suspect that it has something to do with the fermentation process involved in making cheese. Though the abstract did not detail which countries were studied, diabetes incidences may be lower altogether, due to less sedentary lifestyles from an increased reliance on public transportation. However, that theory lowers the risk of diabetes in the entire population, not simply cheese eaters.

The American Diabetes Association is mum on cheese intake on its website.

Of course though, cheese can have a large amount of saturated fat, and will most likely not help anyone shed some weight. And, with obesity being a major risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes, it would be best not to go overboard on the cheese.