The findings in the study led by Marta Guasch-Ferre, researcher at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the US, showed that people who consumed 12 grams per day of butter had a two-fold higher risk of developing diabetes.
Saturated and animal fat such as cheese and butter that are rich in saturated fatty acids and trans fats, their intake creates greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, whereas whole-fat yogurt intake is associated with a lower risk.
On the other hand, plant-based diets - rich in legumes, whole-grain cereals, fruits, vegetables and nuts - have been found more beneficial for health than animal-based foods such as red meat and processed meat, and also have less impact on the environment.
In addition, a Mediterranean diet - rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, high on healthy fats like olive oil and low in refined sugars and saturated fats - may be useful for preventing chronic diseases, particularly Type 2 diabetes, the researchers stated in the paper, published in the the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Consumption of dietary fat has been previously associated with cardiovascular disease.
For the new study, the team analysed data from 3,349 participants who were free of diabetes at baseline but at high cardiovascular risk.
After four-and-half years of follow-up, 266 participants developed diabetes.