Even High-Fat Dairy Might Be Good for You

STOCK  Getty Images People enjoy ice cream in this undated stock

"This study is specifically looking at whole milk or whole fat dairy which is something that traditionally has been demonized and seen as not good for us", explains registered dietitian Alissa Rumsey.

The experiment showed that those eating more dairy products (servings a 3.2 average), reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes by 2.2%, compared with people who did not use them.

The study of more than 130,000 people in 21 countries is the first of its kind, according to lead author Dr Mashid Dehghan.

The findings are in contrast to current dietary guidelines which recommend consuming 2-4 servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy per day, and minimising consumption of whole-fat dairy products for cardiovascular disease prevention. Speaking to Health Issues India, she said "our study suggests that consumption of dairy products should not be discouraged and perhaps even be encouraged in low and middle-income countries where dairy consumption is low".

Historically, past studies have suggested higher dairy consumption is associated with a 10% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, she said, but the majority of data stem from North American and European studies.

"It is probably wise and beneficial to be sure you're including dairy in that overall heart-healthy dietary pattern, but we would continue to recommend that you make lower fat selections in the dairy products", Carson told MedPage Today regarding the study, with which she was not involved.

Dairy consumption was highest in North America and Europe at more than four servings of total dairy per day and lowest in south Asia, China, Africa and southeast Asia at less than 1 serving of total dairy per day.

A global study has revealed that full-fat milk could actually help to avoid the risk of heart disease, in comparison to its lower fat counterparts.

But researchers said they found those who consumed three servings of milk, cheese, butter or cream per day were nearly two times less likely to suffer from heart disease and strokes, compared to having fewer servings, the Daily Mail reports.

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They have not made sweeping conclusions about the findings, saying it's important to do further research into how and why dairy might be associated with lower levels of cardiovascular disease. "We must now not heart of attention on a single nutrient".

"

"Consumption of dairy products, should not be discouraged and perhaps even be encouraged in low and middle-income countries where dairy consumption is low."

".

Furthermore, one or more serves of milk and yoghurt - but not butter and cheese - were linked to lower rates of total mortality and cardiovascular disease, compared to those who ate none.

Dehghan pointed out that some people avoid dairy because of its saturated-fat content, because fat has more calories and because saturated fat has been linked to higher "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.

The research notes that consuming full-fat diary may have health benefits obscured by the perceived impact of saturated fats on cholesterol. This includes vitamin K1, K2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, unsaturated fats and amino acids.

The Express suggested the study represented a "moo-turn" and called into question national guidelines which encourage people to opt for low-fat dairy products in order to lower their saturated fat intake.

But, Jimmy Chun Yu Louie, MNutrDiet, PhD, of the University of Hong Kong, and Anna Rangan, PhD, of the University of Sydney, an accompanying commentary cautioned against changing guidelines just yet in an accompanying commentary. The dairy intake was self-reported by the individuals through a questionnaire. "Similarly, people shouldn't take the results too excess and eat as much dairy as they like".

What's especially interesting is that the paper adds to increasing evidence that full-fat dairy in particular need not be feared.

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