CBS Local — Pass the cheese, please. While it may not be the healthiest thing in the world, a new study claims that full-fat dairy products are not as bad as once thought. Eating full-fat cheese, milk or yogurt does not increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to a study published in European Journal of Epidemiology, via Guardian,
The study was an in-depth analysis of 29 prior studies that looked at the link between dairy products and risk of cardiovascular disease or heart problems. Their findings were such that these dairy products have a “neutral” effect on those areas.
“This meta-analysis showed there were no associations between total dairy, high- and low-fat dairy, milk and the health outcomes including all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease,” the report reads.
Experts from Europe coalesced for this research. A pair from England, one from Denmark and one from the Netherlands were in on the study.
“There’s quite a widespread but mistaken belief among the public that dairy products, in general, can be bad for you, but that’s a misconception,” said Ian Givens, one of the researchers. “While it is a widely held belief, our research shows that that’s wrong. There’s been a lot of publicity over the last five to 10 years about how saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and a belief has grown up that they must increase the risk, but they don’t.”
The government, though, still suggests watching dairy consumption.
“Dairy products form an important part of a healthy balanced diet; however, many are high in saturated fat and salt. We’re all consuming too much of both, increasing our risk of heart disease,” a spokesman for Public Health England told Guardian. “We recommend choosing lower-fat varieties of milk and dairy products or eating smaller amounts to reduce saturated fat and salt in the diet.”
The researchers stand by their report.
“Our meta-analysis included an unusually large number of participants,” said Givens. “We are confident that our results are robust and accurate.”