Eating Dairy Does Not Increase Risk Of Heart Disease

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Dairy products taste delicious, but let’s face it — they have negative image. High fat content means it’s bad for you, right? Well, not exactly.

Eating yoghurt, cheese and full-fat milk does not increase a person’s risk for heart attack or stroke, say researchers at the University of Reading. The team says the notion that saturated fats are bad for you is “a misconception [and] mistaken belief.”

Before reaching this conclusion, the team, based at Reading’s Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition and the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH), analysed data from 1 million people via a series of population studies. The results were published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

Their analysis of 29 different population studies revealed that diets high in dairy products did not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers said it had a “neutral” impact on overall health.

“This meta-analysis showed there were no associations between total dairy, high- and low-fat dairy, milk and the health outcomes including all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease,” says the report, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

Ian Givens, a professor of food chain nutrition at Reading University, who was one of the researchers, said: “There’s quite a widespread but mistaken belief among the public that dairy products in general can be bad for you, but that’s a misconception. While it is a widely held belief, our research shows that that’s wrong.

“There’s been a lot of publicity over the last five to 10 years about how saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and a belief has grown up that they must increase the risk, but they don’t.”

As Givens says, recent years has seen a resurgence in people eating more fat. This comes after multiple studies have shown that previously “bad” items like butter are actually incredibly beneficial for overall health. The American Heart Journal published research last year showing that full-fat dairy reduces diabetes risk – contrary to popular opinion.

It was revealed last year that the sugar lobby funded studies during the 1960s stating that fat is responsible for cardiac disease, obesity, and diabetes. In fact, those trials showed that sugar was the culprit.

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