Sunday, June 15, 2014

Research indicates fats in dairy foods don’t increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and may in fact benefit health.

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Milk Fat Does a Body Good
By Karen Giles-Smith, MS, RD

"The fats in whole dairy foods are highly complex and may contain beneficial ingredients," says Adam Lock, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of animal science at Michigan State University. More than 400 different fatty acids have been identified in milk fat. The fatty acids in whole milk are approximately 62% saturated, 30% monounsaturated, 4% polyunsaturated, and 4% other types such as naturally occurring trans fatty acids, which include conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Lock believes the most compelling evidence showing that dairy foods are beneficial to health includes two research reviews suggesting that those who consume large quantities of milk are at no greater risk of heart disease than those who consume little. In fact, there may be a small but valuable decrease in heart disease risk with increased consumption.7,8 "[Consumers who drink lots of milk] probably have an overall survival advantage," Lock says.

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