Indulging in ice cream, yogurt, or cheese that is now low in fat is actually healthier for a person.
A new study suggests that eating full-fat dairy products could reduce one's chances of dying from stroke.
More Ice Cream Please
Researchers from the University of Texas claim that the saturated fats found in dairy products are not bad for the heart. This contradicts dietary guidelines in the United States and in the UK, suggesting that people should consume low or no-fat dairy products.
The research team states that low-fat products contain more sugar, which can lead to a person developing a heart disease. Milk, yogurt, and cheese have nutrients, such as calcium and anti-inflammatory fatty acids.
For the study, the scientists examined 3,000 adults age 65 years or older for 22 years. They studied the participant's plasma to determine the different levels of fatty acids in 1992 and then again in 2005.
The levels of fatty acids found in the participants were not linked to mortality. The researchers discovered that people with a higher fatty-acid level had a 42 percent less risk of dying from stroke.
"Our findings not only support but also significantly strengthen, the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase the risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults," lead author of the study Dr. Marcia Otto stated.
Dr. Otto continued that consumers have been exposed to various and conflicting information about dieting when it comes to fats. Thus, it is important to have more studies like this that will help people make choices based on facts.
When the researchers analyzed the most popular non-dairy alternatives, they discovered that soya milk had the greatest nutritional profile due to its high levels of compounds that fight against cancer. Almond milk also contains healthy fatty acids, which can help a person lose weight, however, other nutrients are lacking.
Sai Kranthi Vanga, a Ph.D. student from McGill University, stated that consumers chose these alternative as a substitute for cow's milk, which does not mean they contain the same nutrients.
Cow's milk is the most common allergy many babies suffer from. At least 3.5 percent of infants are allergic to cow's milk but 80 percent do grow out of this allergy by the time they reach the age of 16.
The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.