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Are dairy fats beneficial for good health?

8 November 2016  •  Author(s): New Food

For decades, experts advised people to reduce their fat intake, however they now agree that fats are actually beneficial for people’s health, and dairy fats have an important role to play. 

fonterra-dairy-fats-healthy

Fonterra Senior Research Scientist and Nutritionist, Dr Elisabeth Weichselbaum, explained that the idea that fat makes you fat was flawed. Research today shows that, people who eliminated fats from their diet often replaced them with refined carbohydrates, which in turn is thought to have contributed to the double burden of obesity and diabetes.

“Fat not only provides a valuable source of energy, but also delivers key building blocks for the body and essential, fat-soluble vitamins. Dairy, which is a natural source of fat, plays a key part in this because it is packed full of nutrients.

Fats are actually beneficial for people’s health, and dairy fats have an important role to play.

“In fact, evidence suggests that diets with higher amounts of dairy, including full fat versions of foods like cheese, milk and yoghurt, are associated with a lower risk of conditions such as a stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

“Including dairy in the diet can also help with weight management. People who consume more dairy, including full-fat dairy, have been found to gain less weight over time. It’s a good idea to make sure you get your daily serves of dairy when following a weight-loss plan as this can help lose more body fat and maintain muscle,” Dr Elisabeth Weichselbaum said. 

However, not all dairy is created equal. New Zealand’s cows graze outdoors all year round so are predominately grass-fed. Milk from grass-fed cows have higher levels of beta-carotene, omega-3, vitamin E and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is a unique polyunsaturated fat. Early evidence indicates that CLA may play a role in supporting immune function, maintaining cardiovascular health and may have anti-inflammatory properties.

“As the multiple health benefits of fats become more well-known, we’re seeing more consumers reaching for dairy as a nutritious and healthy food choice,” Dr Weichselbaum said.

One response to “Are dairy fats beneficial for good health?”

  1. Michael Potter says:

    Interesting ideas, but without proper references ” research today..”, “evidence suggests…”, and “early evidence” lack credibility. The statement ” Research today shows that, people who eliminated fats from their diet often replaced them with refined carbohydrates, which in turn is thought to have contributed to the double burden of obesity and diabetes.” does not make sense. This wrongly perpetuates the populist idea that sugar is converted ( in the body) to stored fat. In fact sugar , if not needed to supplement Glycogen reserves, is quickly eliminated from the body as carbon dioxide or in the urine. The only source of fat contributing to obesity is dietary fat , surplus and therefore stored because of the over-consumption of carbohydrate, the latter a relative easier to use energy source, and the former relative more difficult to eliminate . The trigger for diabetes and cardiac problems are the abundance of long chain saturated fatty acids, not sugars.

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