Cardiovascular health

Is dairy bad for your heart or good? The yogurt, cheesy truth


Recent research found that yogurt and cheese, as part of the Mediterranean diet, are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Landmark studies concluded that the Mediterranean diet may support reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). A new study examined the specific role of fermented dairy foods in this preventive action, taking into account the context of the whole diet. As previous research shows that consumers with a healthy diet eat more yogurt, they focused on the separate effects of yogurt. Yogurt is one of the foods most negatively associated with the risk of weight gain, which is an important contributor to CVD.

 Yogurt and cheese are best

Fermented dairy foods, including yogurt and cheese, are associated with a decrease of inflammatory biomarkers, which contribute to the development of CVD. Dietary trials suggest that cheese does not have a similar impact on increased LDL-cholesterol levels as butter, containing the same amount of saturated fat. The same results were found for yogurt, concluding that yogurt and cheese are essential to diets that protect against CVD.

 Source: Tapsell, L.C. et al., Fermented dairy food and CVD risk, British Journal of Nutrition, April 2015, Vol 113(2), pp. 131-135.

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