If you’re like most folks, you grit your teeth and follow the standard diet advice for dairy foods. You swap the delicious full-fat dairy for bland and lifeless low-fat and “lite” versions. After all, you want to be healthy.
And let’s be honest, you hate every bite of it. But you eat it anyway because you’ve been told it’ll help you live longer. And everyone wants to live longer, right?
Now, new research shows what you could really get if you make that trade. It’s not the longer life you’ve been promised. And it’s NOT the better health, either.
Instead, it’s something they said you’d be avoiding by making that sacrifice. And that’s heart disease. Talk about unfair.
So go ahead and pour yourself a tall, cool glass of WHOLE milk. Maybe treat yourself to some slices of full-fat cheese, too.
And enjoy them guilt-free while I share the latest research on dairy.
Low fat is a lose-lose situation
What makes this study so important is that it’s not based on a nutritional survey. Typically, that’s how much of this type of work is done.
Nutritional surveys ask volunteers to recall what they ate, how much, and how often. And you can get some valuable information that way. Particularly if it’s your only option.
But the survey method relies on two things people aren’t always great at, especially when it comes to diet: memory and honesty.
People tend to forget things. And…let’s face it… they might also play up “healthy” foods and cover up the “bad” ones out of embarrassment.
But this new research doesn’t rely on memory and honesty. It’s based on the one thing that never lies: blood tests.
Researchers took samples from some 4,200 Swedish volunteers. They were looking specifically for 15:0, a fatty acid found in full-fat dairy. The more full-fat dairy you eat, the higher the levels of 15:0 in your blood.
Then, the researchers tracked the volunteers to see who developed heart disease and who didn’t. They even went a step further and used data from other nations, including the United States.
What they found SHOULD be the final nail in the coffin of dairy food being linked to heart disease as well as the notion that the full-fat “good stuff” is somehow bad for you.
The truth is, it’s just the opposite. Full-fat dairy was linked to GOOD health outcomes. In fact, it may even help SAVE your life.
Avoid heart disease with full-fat dairy
Overall, folks with higher levels of 15:0 had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease. Although, in the United States, the benefit appeared to be a little smaller.
But that smaller drop in risk is likely because the American diet isn’t as good overall. Plus, we spend too much time sofa surfing.
However, the link to a lower risk for heart disease was still there despite the additional obstacles. Folks with higher levels of both 15:0 and another dairy fat called 17:0 had a 12 percent lower chance of developing heart disease.
Of course, heart disease isn’t EVERYTHING. And if you’re thinking there might be other reasons to switch to low-fat dairy, you’re right, of course.
But the study also looked at another outcome. And that is the one that matters the most. Who lived, and who died. And it turns out it didn’t appear to matter one way or the other.
In other words, people who ate full-fat dairy not only had a lower risk of developing heart disease. They also lived just as long as those who suffered through eating bland low-fat dairy foods instead.
This means you can safely go ahead and switch back to whole milk (a change I’ve encouraging readers to do for years), full-fat yogurt, and real-deal cheese.
It not only won’t harm your health, but it could also help improve it too. (Click here to find out what low-fat milk is REALLY doing to your body.)
But keep in mind sugary additives, as you find in many yogurts, flavored milk, and even some processed cheese, are still no-nos. Instead, get back to basics and enjoy the natural stuff, such as plain full-fat Greek yogurt with some berries, for maximum health.
With the fat back in the mix, you won’t need all those artificial flavors anyway.