Healthy Links Vol. 6
Healthy Links Volume 6
The Low-Fat Dairy Myth
While scanning the Web and enjoying my ‘bullet-proof’ coffee this morning (expresso roast with heavy cream and grass-fed butter and a little vanilla extract blended with my emersion blender), I found a scientific article (geeky & wonky) that totally debunks the low-fat-dairy lie Americans have been sold for, well, as long as I can remember. If you can get through the science-speak your jaw will drop as you read this 2016 review of numerous scientific studies and trials proving that normal and high-fat dairy present no adverse risks to cardiovascular health.
This comprehensive review was published in Advances in Nutrition, an International Review Journal and entitled “Comprehensive Review of the Impact of Dairy Foods and Dairy Fat on Cardiometabolic Risk.” (November 2016, vol. 7: 1041-1051, 2016)
If you don’t want to read it, I’ll give you a few excerpts worth mulling over. The study summarizes the current state of affairs as follows:
“. . . numerous randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have reported rather mixed effects of reduced- and regular-fat dairy consumption on blood lipid concentrations and on many other cardiometabolic disease risk factors, such as blood pressure and inflammation markers. Thus, the focus on low-fat dairy in current dietary guidelines is being challenged, creating confusion within health professional circles and the public.”
In other words, scientific studies have not proved that normal fat dairy is bad for you.
The review goes into great detail, but this excerpt tells it all:
“This comprehensive assessment of evidence from RCTs suggests that there is no apparent risk of potential harmful effects of dairy consumption, irrespective of the content of dairy fat, on a large array of cardiometabolic variables, including lipid-related risk factors, blood pressure, inflammation, insulin resistance, and vascular function. This suggests that the purported detrimental effects of SFAs on cardiometabolic health may in fact be nullified when they are consumed as part of complex food matrices such as those in cheese and other dairy foods. Thus, the focus on low-fat dairy products in current guidelines apparently is not entirely supported by the existing literature and may need to be revisited on the basis of this evidence. Future studies addressing key research gaps in this area will be extremely informative to better appreciate the impact of dairy food matrices, as well as dairy fat specifically, on cardiometabolic health.”
The review concludes as follows:
“. . . the focus on low-fat dairy products in the current guidelines is not entirely supported by the existing literature, because no evidence currently supports a detrimental effect of regular- or high-fat dairy products compared with low-fat dairy on a large spectrum of cardiometabolic disease risk factors.”
So, we have every right to lose our minds as we read how the wrong the low-fat dairy myth has been, and for so many years!
PS People definitely may have other serious health issues with dairy products that do not relate to cholesterol/blood lipids and other heart health factors, but these studies indicate that support for a blanket low-fat-dairy directive is thin.
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