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Study finds three dairy servings beneficial for heart health

An observational study has examined the link between the consumption of whole-fat dairy and cardiovascular health. And it is good news for people who love dairy products!

Institutions like The United States Department of Agriculture and American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that adults should have just three servings of low-fat dairy every day. Because the high content of saturated fat in dairy products can raise LDL cholesterol levels, which poses a threat to cardiovascular health.

But a new research has challenged these guidelines. This large-scale observational study reviewed the dietary habits of over 1,30,000 individuals from 21 countries to find that whole-fat dairy products have a positive effect on cardiovascular health and it may lower the risk of mortality and heart diseases.

For the study, the team sent out a questionnaire to collect self-reported data on the eating habits of 136,384 people over a follow-up period of 9.1 years. The age of the participants was between 35 to 70. And their primary dairy consumptions were milk, yogurt and cheese. For the study, the portion size of milk and yogurt was kept at 244g each. And cheese was kept at 15g.

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The team divided the volunteers into four groups basis their intakes. One was no dairy group, next was the group with one serving every day, third who consumed one to two servings daily, and fourth was the group which ate over two daily servings every day.

After the study was done, it was revealed that the high-intake group was not at any increased risk of dying from any cause, and less likely to die of cardiovascular disease, or to have a stroke or develop any major heart disease. The researchers also found that who consumed full-fat dairy only were at the lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular issues.

"Our findings support that consumption of dairy products might be beneficial for mortality and cardiovascular disease, especially in low-income and middle-income countries where dairy consumption is much lower than in North America or Europe," said Dr Mahshid Dehghan, lead author in the study.

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