Health experts always recommend their patients to go for low-fat dairy over whole fat milk and milk products due to their high saturated fat content which is believed to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. But, now, a new global study has surprisingly found that consumption of full-fat dairy and dairy products may be more beneficial for the heart.
The study conducted with 130,000 participants across 21 countries in five continents has found that people who consume three servings of milk daily have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality as compared to those consuming lower dairy levels.
For the purpose of the study, the research team analyzed data collected between January 2003 and July 2018. Participants aged between 35 and 70 were followed up for an average of 9.1 years, during which there were 6,796 deaths and 5,855 major cardiovascular events. Their daily intake of milk and dairy products was recorded during this time.
They were grouped into four groups- no dairy, less than one serving per day, one to two servings per day, and more than two servings per day. One serving is equal to a 244g glass of milk or yogurt or a teaspoon of butter (5g) or a 15g slice of cheese.
At the end of the study, it was found that the high dairy intake group had lower rates of total mortality, non-cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular mortality, major cardiovascular disease, and stroke as compared to the no intake group.
While in comparison to the people who took half a serving of whole-fat dairy daily, people who took three servings of whole fat dairy were at a reduced risk of heart disease. The research team also looked at the differences in health benefits provided by milk and yogurt compared to butter and cheese. Milk and yogurt were found to be healthier choices.
The researchers concluded that the consumption of dairy should not be discouraged.
The research study has been published in the latest issue of the journal The Lancet.