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New research on eating whole dairy products

Dairy that is high in fat quantity will not send people to an early grave.

This is the latest conclusion reached by a team of scientists after they conducted research at the University of Texas on the link between dairy fats found in full-fat milk, yogurt, cheese and butter and the cause of death or, more specifically, heart disease and stroke — two of the world’s biggest killers often associated with a diet high in saturated fat.

“Our findings not only support, but also significantly strengthen, the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase risk of heart disease or overall mortality,” said researcher Marcia Otto. The study investigated how multiple biomarkers of fatty acid present in dairy fat related to heart disease and all-cause mortality over a 22-year period. This measurement methodology by Otto and colleagues, as opposed to the more commonly used self-reported consumption, gave greater and more objective insight into the impact of long-term exposure to these fatty acids.

Nearly 3,000 adults were included in the research, which measured plasma levels of three different fatty acids found in dairy products at the beginning of 1992 and again at six and 13 years later.

“Consistent with previous findings, our results highlight the need to revisit current dietary guidance on whole fat dairy foods, which are rich sources of nutrients such as calcium and potassium. These are essential for health not only during childhood but throughout life, particularly also in later years when undernourishment and conditions like osteoporosis are more common,” Otto said.

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