Science justifies the fat in dairy products

In the past century, dairy products have gone from being a necessity on the table to being considered harmful to health due to their fat content. Hundreds of articles have been written about how harmful butter is. Although they have been in the human diet for hundreds of years. The lists of harmful foods also included cheese, and the latest studies have begun to prove the fat content of dairy products.

Milk and its derivatives are essential ingredients in preparing a variety of dishes and drinks. In addition, cheese, butter, and yogurt are an important source of nutrients. Such as calcium, proteins and vitamins, which play a crucial role in human health. It is part of the gastronomic culture in most regions of the world.

Until recently, nutritionists and cardiologists prohibited eating butter for people with heart disease or obesity. This is due to the belief that saturated fats found in foods such as butter increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. It has been adopted by many experts, and is based on the idea that reducing saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet would prevent heart attacks. More recent studies question this.

It has been replaced with ghee

Butter, a food that has been a cooking staple for centuries, was replaced by margarine in the mid-20th century. Because of the belief that all fats are harmful to health. “Starting in the 1950s, the idea that saturated fats were bad slowly emerged. They had to be replaced with polyunsaturated fats,” says Neeta Foroohi, professor of nutrition at the University of Cambridge.

Butter is made by heating milk, separating the cream, cooling it, mixing it, and extracting the buttermilk. Margarine is made by mixing oil with water to form a solid product. Before adding other ingredients such as emulsifiers and colorants. Margarine producers soon realized that adding hydrogen resulted in the production of “hydrogenated” or “trans” fats. Which later became known for its harmful effects on health. Trans fats are a form of trans fat. Research shows that a diet high in trans fats can have worse health effects.

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Worse than butter

A diet high in man-made trans fats increases bad LDL cholesterol and lowers good HDL cholesterol, says Lisa Harnack, a professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Which leads to an increased risk of heart disease. Trans fats found in some types of margarine have a more negative effect on cholesterol than saturated fats found in butter. According to the World Health Organization, it can cause up to 540,000 deaths annually in the world.

With so much confusion surrounding butter and its types of fat, Claire Collins, professor of nutrition and dietetics at Newcastle University, suggests people may return to eating what they like best. For example, in Australia, butter consumption has increased in recent years, overtaking margarine.

Goodbye legend

Fat content of dairy
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This is a phenomenon stimulated by recent scientific studies that have debunked the myth that saturated fats are harmful to health. For many years, these fats have been unfairly accused of raising cholesterol and causing heart damage. Nowadays, it's carbohydrates that are under scrutiny.

For the past 80 years, people with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) have been told that they should follow a diet low in saturated fat to lower their cholesterol levels. David M. Diamond, a professor in the Department of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Physiology at the University of South Florida, is the lead author of a study titled “Dietary Recommendations for Familial Hypercholesterolemia: An Evidence-Free Zone,” published in the journal British medical journals. According to Diamond, they found no evidence that a low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet reduces heart disease in individuals with high cholesterol.

The study challenges the justification of dietary recommendations for familial hypercholesterolemia. Based on the lack of support for the diet-heart hypothesis. Diamond claims that saturated fats have been wrongly accused and condemned of causing heart disease. He explains that people with FH, who have a genetic defect that causes their cholesterol levels to become very high, are at the same risk of heart disease as anyone else if they take proper care of themselves.

Diamond points out that products promoted as “helpful” for lowering cholesterol, such as certain foods and medications such as statins, benefit companies more than the patients who consume them. He insists that there are no conclusive studies indicating what diet is best for people with heart disease. She points out that reducing sugar is always heart-healthy and that a low-carb diet improves the really important values.

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Dairy fats enhance the anti-colic effect

there New study Which even suggests that the fats in dairy products are beneficial. In many developed countries, chronic inflammatory diseases are on the rise, partly due to negative changes in diet and lifestyle. Consumption of foods typical of the Western diet, combined with overeating and lack of physical activity, leads to chronic metabolic inflammation, known as metagenic inflammation. This contributes to the increase in non-communicable diseases that are a growing concern and are associated with an imbalance in the intestinal microbiota. Including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

It has been found that fermented dairy products have an anti-inflammatory effect. Especially in people with metabolic disorders. However, it remains unclear how dairy components, such as proteins and fats, contribute to the overall probiotic effect of these fermented foods. Probiotic products containing certain immune-modulating bacterial strains, such as Propionibacterium freudienrichii, may help relieve chronic inflammatory diseases.

A recent study used a probiotic strain of P. freudenreichii to ferment different types of milk, and showed that milk fermented with these bacteria prevented colitis in mice. The milk fat in the fermented product enhanced the protective effects of the probiotics. According to the study results, biologically active proteins found in milk have anti-inflammatory effects. The research opens new possibilities for developing functional fermented foods that modulate the immune system.

Common sense is on the table

With the myth that saturated fats are bad for health debunked, we can “enjoy all forms of animal foods” with less guilt. But there are researchers such as Melissa Lin, a postdoctoral research fellow at Deakin University, and Nita Foroohi, from the University of Cambridge, who believe that in the case of butter and ghee more research is still needed to compare the effects on health. Or we still need to study more in-depth foods that contain lower saturated fats, higher polyunsaturated fats and no trans fats.

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The idea that a low-fat diet can reduce heart disease has been questioned in recent decades. Nita Foroohi, a professor of nutrition at the University of Cambridge, believes that we should not worry too much about total fat, but rather about the percentage of fat in it. Specifically, we should be aware of the amount of saturated fat we eat. The general recommendation is that saturated fats should not account for more than 10% of our total energy.

Currently, dairy products are not necessarily harmful to people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, as they may have beneficial or neutral effects in preventing these diseases. Some studies even suggest that dairy consumption, especially yogurt, may be a useful tool for preventing chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. We have already seen that the fats found in dairy products can have an anti-colitis effect.

For Claire Collins, professor of nutrition and dietetics, it's our long-term dietary patterns that really matter. Ultimately, the choice regarding whether to consume butter, cheese, or yogurt should be based on individual health needs. It's just one piece of the overall nutritional puzzle. Although bread and butter sometimes has a place, the recommendation that almost all researchers agree on is that a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, is the key to good health.

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