“[A] new study by Harvard Chan School researchers published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated the relationship between dairy fat intake and risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. Researchers followed more than 43,000 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, 87,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, and 90,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II… For dairy lovers, the good news is that various foods including full-fat dairy milk, yogurt, butter, cheeses, and cream were not found to increase heart disease risk (compared to a background diet that typically contains high amounts of refined carbohydrates and sugars). However, it is important to note that these foods were not found to decrease risk either.
What did predict risk of cardiovascular disease was ‘fat swapping.’ When dairy fat was replaced with the same number of calories from vegetable fat or polyunsaturated fat, the risk of cardiovascular disease dropped by 10% and 24%, respectively. Furthermore, replacing the same number of calories from dairy fat with healthful carbohydrates from whole grains was associated with a 28% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Replacing dairy fat with other types of animal fat, such as from red meat, predicted a modest 6% higher risk of cardiovascular disease.”Oct. 25, 2016