Should You Eat More Full Fat Dairy Products?

Cheese, yogurt, whole milk and other dairy products often receive a bad rap for being unhealthy. If you are one of the millions of people who love these rich, fatty foods, there is some good news to celebrate. A recent study conducted by an international team of experts has determined consuming full fat dairy foods does not heighten the risk for stroke or heart attack.

About the Study

The study was conducted by academicians at Wageningen University and Copenhagen University. The study’s results stem from a meta-analysis of nearly 30 prior studies that attempted to determine if dairy products boost the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, heart problems or any other cause. These studies involved an in-depth analysis of over 938,000 participants from across the globe. Their health and food consumption behaviors were studied across three and a half decades. The details of the study were recently published in the popular European Journal of Epidemiology.

Study Results

The study’s findings show the consumption of full-fat dairy products doesn’t harm or improve human health. Rather, such dairy products have more of a neutral impact on biological health. So don’t feel guilty the next time your reach for a slice of pizza, a cheese stick, a glass of whole milk or a cup of yogurt. Consuming these items, even the full-fat versions, will not increase the odds of a stroke or heart attack. It is quite the surprising finding as most people believe dairy products hinder their health.

The finding is a direct contradiction to the widely held view that dairy products our human health due to an egregiously high saturated fat content. The team of experts that conducted the above referenced study dismiss the stereotype of dairy products as being bad for our health as a complete misconception as well as a “mistaken belief.” Though there has been plenty of discussion across the past decade in regard to how saturated fats heighten the odds of cardiovascular disease, the truth is foods high in saturated fats do not increase the risk. Nor does the consumption of dairy products heighten the risk for general mortality stemming from any other cause. In fact, the study determined fermented dairy products might even slightly decrease the risk for suffering a stroke or heart attack.

Is it Prudent to opt for Low-fat Versions of Dairy Products?

Federal government health advisers direct people to be careful when consuming food that is high in saturated fat. They are adamant consumers should opt for low-fat versions of cheese, milk and other dairy products over those that are high in saturated fat. Though few know it, saturated fat is actually quite important to a healthy and balanced diet. Governments around the world typically recommend consuming fats as a whole to provide 35 percent of energy. Health and nutrition experts agree that saturated fats should comprise upwards of 11 percent of total food energy. It is clear that dairy products are essential to a balanced and healthy diet. Though vegans can get by without consuming dairy, they often rely on supplements to ensure proper nutritional balance.

There is no doubt certain dairy products are loaded with salt and saturated fat. The key is to avoid consuming copious amounts of these uber-rich products. Eat full-fat versions of dairy items in moderation. Most consumers currently purchase low-fat versions of dairy products as they have been taught that consuming foods high in saturated fat harms the heart as well as cardiovascular health. As an example, over 80 percent of the milk sold in the United Kingdom is skim milk or semi-skim milk. Therefore, it should not be difficult for the vast majority of consumers to balance out their full-fat dairy intake with reduced fat varieties.

Avoid Dairy at Your own Peril

The federal government’s illegitimate push to blame full-fat dairy products for numerous health problems has actually harmed our health. Plenty of people are consuming little, if any, milk out of a fear that dairy will hinder their health. The truth is insufficient consumption of dairy has the potential to damage bones and possibly eventually lead to health conditions such as osteoporosis. Dairy is essential to maintain an adequate level of calcium and prevent bones from becoming overly-brittle during the aging process.

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