Farmer Portal

Jun 2017

Dairy In The Media

Dairy products are healthy, ‘dair-y’ say it!

Over the years, there’s been a fair bit of scaremongering in the media about full fat dairy products, with the public being told that they put their health at risk by choosing them over the low- or non-fat versions. However, all is not lost – we’re here to tell you that you can have your buttered toast in the morning and dollop that cream on your strawberries this summer, as multiple recent studies have found that full fat dairy products don’t carry the health risks previously thought.


An international team of experts have contradicted the view that dairy products can be harmful because of their high saturated fat content.  Results from a meta-analysis were published in the European Journal of Epidemiology showing no correlation between full fat dairy products and risks of heart attack or stroke.


Ian Givens, a professor of food chain nutrition, at Reading University commented on the findings: “There’s quite a widespread but mistaken belief among the public that dairy products in general can be bad for you, but that’s a misconception. While it is a widely held belief, our research shows that that’s wrong.”


Public Health England recommended that people should choose lower-fat options to reduce the risk of contracting heart disease.  However, Givens and his colleagues found contradicting results: that fermented dairy products actually have the potential to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke.


The health benefits of full fat dairy products aren’t just restricted to adults. In the past, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has advised that toddlers should switch to semi-skimmed milk once they turn two years old, in order to prevent obesity.  However, research with more than 275,000 children found those consuming full-fat varieties had a lower body mass than children who’d had moved to semi-skimmed.


What we must also remember is not just that these products’ health risks are being disproven time and time again, but that milk-based foods are also packed with vitamins and minerals essential for the body: one glass of milk has the equivalent potassium amount of a small banana and the same levels of calcium as ten cups of raw spinach.  It has even been suggested that dairy may play a role in helping to manage type two diabetes.


So, there you have it, full-fat dairy products aren’t such a nightmare after all!