Studies Crown New Heart-Health Champ: Dairy
How to Get the Biggest Benefit
“Avoid dairy products,” the experts told us. “All animal fat adds to your risk of heart trouble.” But new research is proving conventional wisdom wrong again. There’s a new heart-health champ: Dairy products. And full-fat dairy may be the best of all.
When I was a kid, everyone “knew” you should drink 3 glasses of milk a day. Milk provided essential nutrients like protein, calcium, and vitamin D. It was good for growing bones and overall health.
Then, suddenly, dairy products were bad. “We had it wrong,” they told us. “Dairy has too much animal fat. So go easy on the dairy.” Low-fat yogurt was about the only “good” dairy left. And then only because it contains probiotics.
But the latest research shows we may have had it right in the first place. New studies show dairy products – including full-fat milk – may just be good for your heart.
Swedish doctors tracked the diets of 26,930 adults for 14 years. At the end of the study, they found those who ate the most full-fat dairy products had a lower risk of serious blood sugar problems than those who ate the least. 23% lower, in fact.
Full-fat yogurt had the largest single effect. Those who ate the most cut their risk by 20%. Low-fat dairy products didn’t offer any advantage.1 Apparently, it’s something in the fat that promotes healthy blood sugar levels.
At about the same time, scientists at Australia’s Monash University finished a second study on dairy. They tracked the diets and heart health of about 4,000 adults for nearly 20 years.
Some of the volunteers in this study avoided dairy, while others ate a modest amount – just 3 to 7 servings a week. People who avoided dairy had higher blood pressure, more body fat, and a greater body mass compared to dairy eaters.
The volunteers who ate dairy products were also less likely to have heart problems. And enjoyed a lower mortality rate over the course of the study.
Five servings of dairy per week seemed to provide the best benefit. Eating more wasn’t a problem, but didn’t offer any greater health benefits.2
Finally, if you’re looking to boost your heart-healthy Omega-3s, milk is a great choice. At least if it’s organic, according to research from Washington State University (WSU).
The WSU scientists compared several hundred samples of conventionally raised and organic milk. They found conventionally raised milk has a much higher ratio of Omega-6 fatty acids to Omega-3s.
This is key, because the higher this ratio is in your diet, the higher your risk of heart problems. Their conventionally raised milk samples averaged out at 5.8:1. That’s more than twice the average of organic milk… 2.3:1.
Interestingly, the ideal ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s is also about 2.3:1. Exactly what they found in their organic milk samples.
The WSU team also found full-fat organic milk is an excellent source of ALA – a “parent” fatty acid your body can convert to EPA and DHA. These are the healthy Omega-3s found in fish.3
These studies seem to show that adding a modest amount of full-fat organic dairy products to your diet may offer significant benefits for your heart. Because it also contains probiotic cultures, yogurt may be your optimum choice.
For best results, choose a brand without added sugars. And be sure the label says “active cultures” or “live cultures,” so you’ll get the full benefit of the probiotics as well.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Click here for Best Life Herbal’s CardioAdvance, The First Real Advance In Total Heart Health Support
1 “Study shows consumption of high-fat dairy products is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes,” Diabetologia. Sep 15, 2014.
2 “A heart-felt need for dairy food,” Monash University. Sep 16, 2014.
3 “Researchers see added nutritional benefits in organic milk,” Washington State University. Dec 9, 2013.