Researchers have discovered another reason to dig into a delicious cheese platter with a new study revealing a link between a dairy-enhanced diet and better heart health.
While many may avoid eating cheese, milk and yoghurt, the study undertaken by the University of South Australia has found eating a Mediterranean diet, plus a healthy serving a dairy is more effective than a low-fat diet.
According to the study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition having two to three servings of dairy each day is the best way to go to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Sadly in Australia 4.2 million people are affected by cardiovascular disease will one Aussie dying every 12 minutes from the heart condition. While low-fat diets are generally recommended for those likely to develop the disease, through thorough research, scientists found dairy also led to significant health benefits.
To find this out, researchers compared the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet supplement with two to three serves of dairy each day, with a generic low-fat diet.
The results showed that a the former significantly improved blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, mood and cognitive function.
PhD candidate Alexandra Wade said while dairy is not usually considered the best option, a good amount of healthy fats can be incredibly beneficial.
The MedDairy diet also meets additional calcium requirements recommended by Australia’s national health bodies.
“Living in Australia, we have different dietary requirements, notably a need for more calcium to protect against osteoporosis,” Wade explained.
“These needs are unmet in the traditional MedDiet, which makes it difficult for people to adopt in the long term.
“This study delivers healthier options for Australians by tailoring the nutrients in the MedDiet to meet the needs of a non-Mediterranean population.”
According to the researcher along with the usual MedDiet necessities such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes and wholegrain breads, in Australia, women up to age 50 years – and men up to age 70 years – should consume 1000mg per day of calcium per day and 1300mg thereafter, which is roughly between 3.5 and 4.5 serves a day.
“The new MedDairy diet allows for three to four servings with dairy, which means Australians can more sustainably meet their recommended daily nutrient intakes while also maintaining the significant health benefits offered through the MedDiet,” Wade said.
“When it comes down to it, people want to be able to enjoy a colourful, tasty and nutritious diet. And if you’re one of the thousands of people seeking to improve your cardiovascular and cognitive health – look no further than the MedDairy diet.”