There’s no question that the reputation of whole-fat foods has changed quite a bit in recent years. With the popularity of the high-fat, low-carb keto diet growing every day, it’s pretty clear that people are starting to understand the difference between healthy fats (hello, avocado) and unhealthy fats (we’re looking at you, highly-processed meats). Now, recent research suggests that some whole fats may actually be linked to living a longer life.
The September 2018 study, published in The Lancet, analyzed more than 130,000 people in 21 different countries. Researchers recorded participants’ dietary intake at the start of the study and then followed up with them for an average of 9.1 years. They put people into four groups of dairy consumption: no dairy, less than one serving of dairy per day, one to two servings of dairy per day, and more than two servings of dairy per day. Finally, the researchers took a close look at the rates of mortality and cardiovascular disease by the end of the study.
Researchers found that people who later three servings of whole-fat dairy per day had lower rates of both mortality and cardiovascular disease in comparison to the folks who ate less than a half a serving of whole-fat dairy each day. In the context of this study, sample servings of whole-fat dairy products included a glass of whole-fat milk, a cup of whole-fat yogurt, one slice of whole-fat cheese, or a teaspoon of butter.
"Our findings support that consumption of dairy products might be beneficial for mortality and cardiovascular disease, especially in low-income and middle-income countries where dairy consumption is much lower than in North America or Europe," said lead author Mahshid Dehghan, PhD, in a press release.
Ironically enough, this study’s findings are quite a bit different from the current dietary recommendations, which actively encourage minimizing consumption of whole-fat dairy products for the sake of preventing cardiovascular disease. That said, it’s worth keeping in mind that whole-fat dairy products might not be appropriate for everyone out there, especially for people who are lactose intolerant or who have a dairy allergy. If you’re considering adding more whole fats to your diet, be sure to talk to your doctor first to see what the best options are for you.
Next, learn about some of the tastiest superfoods that can help you live longer in the video below: