This topic provided the inspiration for The Skeptical Cardiologist. As such, I’ve researched it a lot and write regularly on the fact that there is no evidence that full fat dairy increases your risk of heart or vascular disease.
I’m particularly amazed that Americans believe that low or non fat yogurt crammed full of sugar is a healthy food choice.
Read about the Low Fat Yogurt Scam
Yoplait versus Snickers-Snickers candy bar may be healthier than low fat yogurt crammed with added sugar.
Dairy Fat Is Associated with Being Thinner and Less Diabetes
Dairy Fat Is Associated with a Lower Risk of Heart Disease
I have written in defense of real cheese.
Some points to consider in why dairy and cheese in particular are healthy:
- Blood pressure lowering effects. Calcium is thought to be one of the main nutrients responsible for the impact of dairy products on blood pressure. Other minerals such as magnesium, phosphate and potassium may also play a role. Casein and whey proteins are a rich source of specific bioactive peptides that have an angiotensin-I-converting enzyme inhibitory effect, a key process in blood pressure control. Studies have also suggested that certain peptides derived from milk proteins may modulate endothelin-1 release by endothelial cells, thereby partly explaining the anti-hypertensive effect of milk proteins.
- Inflammation and oxidative stress reduction. These are key factors in the development of atherosclerosis and subsequent heart disease and stroke. Recent animal and human studies suggest that dairy components including calcium and or its unique proteins, the peptides they release, the phospholipids associated with milk fat or the stimulation of HDL by lipids themselves, may suppress adipose tissue oxidative and inflammatory response.
Organic, Grass-Fed Dairy
Finally, if you have the option and the money to buy it, I recommend consuming dairy from pasture-raised and grass-fed cows. The descriptor organic now implies this.