The heart health benefits of dairy foods
We all think of dairy foods and the benefits of the calcium to our bone health however do we think of dairy and benefits to our heart health? Probably not, in fact many of us have been avoiding dairy foods such as cheese thinking it will increase our bad cholesterol levels and be detrimental to heart health.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines say that consumption of milk, cheese and yogurt is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and colorectal cancer – some of the main causes of death in Australia.
One in six Australians has heart disease, the leading cause of death in Australia. The good news for dairy lovers is that milk, cheese and yoghurt can play a positive role and help reduce the risk of heart disease, along with an overall healthy diet and lifestyle. Studies show that people who regularly consume milk, cheese and yogurt (including regular-fat varieties) are more likely to have a reduced risk of heart disease than those who don’t.
The reason dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt can help keep your heart healthy may be due to the nutrients they contain. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin B12, zinc, vitamin A, protein and carbohydrates. They are a powerhouse of nutrients. In fact milk and yoghurt are often used as part of an athlete’s diet for muscle growth and recovery post exercise.
These combination of nutrients in dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt may be a reason why the saturated fat in these foods does not appear to contribute to high cholesterol levels like other saturated fats in processed low nutrient containing foods can. A good reason we need to look at foods as a whole, and eaten as part of an overall diet, rather than individual nutrients alone. Low fat dairy products can still be a suitable choice as too can full cream milk products, it will depend on your individual health needs.
With this good news you can enjoy your wholegrain biscuits and cheese as a snack, add more yoghurt to your breakfast, enjoy a Rokebys Breakfast smoothie after exercise or as a snack on the run and pour yourself a daily glass of Rokeby’s Probiotic Milk.
Your overall healthy diet and lifestyle is obviously key to your heart health, including a variety of nutritious, delicious, wholegrains, legumes, nuts, fruit, vegetables, lean meat, fish and dairy foods too.