Dairy puts your heart at risk

| Post published on April 30, 2016
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Dairy and other animal fats have been shown to put you at risk of heart disease and stroke

Dairy products contain varying amounts of fat but a considerable portion of it is always saturated fat. This study investigated the link between dairy fat intake and the incidence of heart disease and stroke among 220,000 people whose diets and health were followed for decades.

When compared to sugary diets, dairy fat intake did not pose a higher risk for heart disease and stroke but comparing one unhealthy diet to another doesn’t really make much sense. The authors used all the data to look at the effect of replacing dairy fat with other types of fat and found that replacing it with polyunsaturated fats (from various food sources) reduced the risk by 24 per cent, whilst replacing it with vegetable fat cut the risk by 10 per cent. On the other hand, replacing dairy fat with other animal fats only increased the heart disease and stroke risk.

And what’s truly worth highlighting – replacing dairy fat with healthful carbohydrates from wholegrains was associated with an amazing 28 per cent lower risk of heart disease and stroke!

Chen M et al., 2016. Dairy fat and risk of cardiovascular disease in 3 cohorts of US adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 104 (5): 1209-1217.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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