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Many people choose skimmed or low-fat milk on the basis it’s ‘healthier’ than full fat, but the latest evidence suggests we should think again.
Full-fat dairy is higher in saturated fat, which is thought to raise cholesterol, in turn furring up the arteries and leading to heart disease. However, a study published last month showed that full-fat dairy was not linked with higher rates of the condition.
Fact - Research - Journal - Clinical - Nutrition
In fact, the research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that people over 65 with the highest levels of fats derived from dairy in their blood were no more likely to develop heart disease or stroke than those with the lowest levels.
And one type of dairy fat molecule — heptadecanoic acid — found in people’s blood was associated with a lower risk of death from stroke. This latest study adds to a growing body of evidence that — apart from the extra calories it contains — full-fat dairy isn’t unhealthy.
Evidence - Whole - Risk - Disease - Dispute
‘The evidence that saturated fat as a whole is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease isn’t in dispute,’ says registered dietitian Helen Bond.
This should be music to the ears of the dairy industry which has been facing a downturn in sales. In the year to March 2018, sales of alternative milks such as rice, soya and almond went up by 15 per cent, while pasteurised cow’s milk sales stayed largely static.
Dairy - Category - Products - Regard - Weight
But even within the dairy category it’s likely that different products affect us differently, particularly with regard to weight.
A 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine examined how changes in people’s lifestyles led to gradual, long-term changes in body weight, and found that butter consumption was linked with weight gain, while yoghurt — both full and low fat — was linked to the biggest reduction in weight over...
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