Full-Fat Dairy Products and Heart Risk: Is There a Link?

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Full-fat dairy products like butter, cheese, milk, and yogurt just may have a place in a healthy diet after all, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston found no significant link between dairy fats and an increased risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

The study involved about 3,000 adults over age 65 and was designed to evaluate how fatty acid biomarkers in dairy products relate to heart disease and overall mortality. The researchers measured subjects’ blood levels of three different fatty acids at the start of the study, and then again six and 13 years later. They found that higher levels of these fatty acids were not associated with a significant increase in heart disease risk or death, and, in fact, one type of fatty acid found in whole-fat dairy products was associated with a 42 percent lower risk of fatal stroke.

While the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend fat-free or low-fat dairy, some such products are high in added sugars, which can have a negative impact on cardiovascular and metabolic health, according to the researchers.

Sourced from: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition