Cheese, whole milk, and ice cream — all are dairy products that have sometimes been shunned by dieters looking to maintain a healthy weight. Unfortunately, no one has yet to invent an ice cream-based diet.
In fact, it has been a widespread belief held by many doctors worldwide that whole fat dairy products can be detrimental to one’s health, as they are high in saturated fats, which can increase the risks of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. However, a recent meta study just published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that dairy products with a high fat content do not increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The new research analyzed 29 separate studies to reach that conclusion.
The studies, analyzed by a team of international doctors, involved 938,465 people of all different weights and ethnic backgrounds. All the research had been undertaken within the past 35 years, and among all these participants the doctors could not find one health problem associated with the high saturated fats in dairy products.
“No associations were found for total (high-fat/low-fat) dairy and milk with the health outcomes of mortality, CHD (coronary heart disease) or CVD (cardiovascular disease),” the researchers wrote in their study, as reported by USA Today.
Not only that, but the researchers also discovered that consuming fermented dairy products may actually lower a person’s risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.
However, even though this finding is quite positive for cheese lovers everywhere, some doctors are quite skeptical — a diet high in saturated fats is never a great idea. Some medical professionals even believe the study is misleading, and worry it will give foodies the wrong idea about what is healthy to eat.
“Dairy products form an important part of a healthy balanced diet; however, many are high in saturated fat and salt. We’re all consuming too much of both, increasing our risk of heart disease, said a representative from Public Health England to The Guardian. “We recommend choosing lower-fat varieties of milk and dairy products or eating smaller amounts to reduce saturated fat and salt in the diet.”
So whether or not doctors believe this is a good idea, one thing is for certain: those dairy cows need to work a bit more. Considering only 9% of the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers goes towards making ice cream, this study may make cows and dairy farmers busier than ever before!