Researchers say foods that are high in dairy fat can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Higher intakes of dairy fat were not associated with an increased risk of death. An international team of scientists studied the dairy fat consumption of 4,150 60-year-olds in Sweden — a country with one of the world’s highest levels of dairy production and consumption — by measuring blood levels of a particular fatty acid that is mostly found in dairy foods. Experts then followed the cohort for an average of 16 years to observe how many had heart attacks, strokes and other serious circulatory events, and how many of them died.

Lead author Dr Kathy Trieu from The George Institute for Global Health said that consumption of some dairy foods, especially fermented products, have previously been associated with benefits for the heart.

“Increasing evidence suggests that the health impact of dairy foods may be more dependent on the type – such as cheese, yoghurt, milk, and butter – rather than the fat content, which has raised doubts if avoidance of dairy fats overall is beneficial for cardiovascular health,” she said.

“It is important to remember that although dairy foods can be rich in saturated fat, they are also rich in many other nutrients and can be a part of a healthy diet. However, other fats like those found in seafood, nuts, and non-tropical vegetable oils can have greater health benefits than dairy fats,” Trieu said.

if you don’t eat dairy

Dairy foods are a good source of protein, calcium, potassium, and other nutrients, someone who can’t or doesn’t want to consume dairy can focus on eating various foods to improve their heart health. If you’re looking for a non-dairy milk replacement, you may want to try one of these:

  • Hemp
  • Oat
  • Almond
  • Soy
  • Rice
  • Coconut

You can also find non-dairy cheese, yogurt, and sour cream products.

 

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