Is full-fat dairy back?

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Controversy has long surrounded full fat dairy products and their health effects; however a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no significant link between dairy fats and premature death.

The study analysed almost 3000 participants over the age of 65 for 22 years, measuring plasma for level of various fatty acids associated with dairy consumption. The findings showed that none of the fatty acid types were significantly linked with total mortality and one of the varieties of fatty acids was actually associated with a 42% lower risk of dying from stroke.

More and more research is showing that the saturated fat in full fat dairy products is neutral, with neither positive nor negative health effects, unlike the saturated fat found in processed baked and fried foods.

Although the “low fat is good, high fat is bad” message has been drummed into many of us for decades, it is important to recognise that everything has its place and there are different ways for various types to be used.

Take home message? There’s no need to shun full fat dairy but don’t eat a whole wheel of brie in one sitting; include a variety of dairy products in your diet, in moderation.

- Gina Horn, Dietitian 

Bradford Clinic