Reducing the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, used data from previous studies to discern the association between dairy and animal fats and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in American adults.
The study reviewed dairy fat and other fat consumption data using validated food-frequency questionnaires from more than 43,000 men and 175,000 women during three different studies, each spanning at least 20 consecutive years. Of the subjects studied, 14,815 developed some form of CVD, close to 7 percent of the total.
The researchers found that replacing dairy foods with foods containing polyunsaturated fats—primarily found in vegetables, nuts and fish—in just 5 percent of a subject’s diet reduced the risk of CVD by an average of 24 percent. But replacing the same percentage of dairy fats with other animal fats increased the incidence of CVD by 6 percent.