Full-fat dairy foods make for healthy hearts, study reveals

Eating three portions of full-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt every day can be good for your heart and mean that you live longer, according to new diet research.

Getting a decent daily dose of full-fat dairy goodness means you are half as likely to suffer a stroke, while chances of getting a serious heart disease are cut by about 25%, compared with those who eat less than half a serving a day.

The nine-year study, published in medical journal The Lancet, analysed data gathered from more than 130,000 people in 21 countries.

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While researchers found that the difference between eating full-fat and low-fat dairy foods was marginal, they discovered that milk and yogurt were better promoting a healthy heart than butter and cheese.

Consuming a standard serving of dairy product – equivalent to a 244g glass of milk or yoghurt, a 15g of cheese, or a 5g teaspoon of butter – three times each day can help to prevent early death or cardiovascular diseases.

These findings contradict government advice that says dairy foods can be incorporated into a healthy diet but recommend opting for low-fat options, especially if a person is trying to lose weight.

Dairy foods are nutrient-rich and contain essential vitamins, minerals, macro and micro-nutrients, which are needed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.