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Many of us believe that the only way we can enjoy dairy is to only choose low-fat options.
That’s meant thin, watery milk and saying no to rich, delicious full-fat Greek yogurt and all its creaminess for years… not to mention butter and cheese.
After all, how many times have you heard that dairy fat, in particular, is bad for the health of your heart?
However, if your grocery shopping involves picking up that gallon of one percent milk, skipping the butter and avoiding cheese in order to stay healthy, it might be time to rethink your strategy…
Highest consumption equals highest protection
A team of researchers from the George Institute for Public Health delved into the eating habits and heart health of Swedes who are among the world’s biggest consumers of dairy. The team tracked 4,000 participants for over 16 years, looking at their dairy consumption.
And to ensure the accuracy of their study, they measured blood levels of certain fatty acids, or fat ‘building blocks’ that are found in dairy foods, which gives a more objective measure of dairy fat intake.
They then kept a record of how many of those participants suffered a heart attack, stroke or other serious circulatory event. They also looked at deaths from all causes during this same time period.
And what they found might surprise you.
The team discovered that people with higher levels of fatty acids because of their dairy intake actually had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who’d been following the low-fat advice.
Additionally, the team reported that those with the highest levels of fatty acids from dairy fats in their diets also had a lower risk of death — from any cause.
The researchers were also able to confirm their findings by combining these results with 17 other studies involving a total of almost 43,000 people from the US, Denmark and the UK. Hard to argue with numbers like that!
Which dairy should you choose?
So if dairy is back on your grocery list, which options are best?
Well, according to the lead author of the study, Dr. Kathy Trieu of The George Institute for Global Health in Australia fermented dairy products like yogurt may offer the biggest heart health benefits.
“Increasing evidence suggests that the health impact of dairy foods may be more dependent on the type — such as cheese, yogurt, 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.
“Our study suggests that cutting down on dairy fat or avoiding dairy altogether might not be the best choice for heart health.”
Their findings also back up those of a large international study of participants from 21 countries followed for over nine years, which also suggests full-fat dairy products may lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity — which can all lead to heart disease.
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!