Dairy Foods and Cardiovascular Health

Southeast Dairy Association - Salmon Cakes with Coleslaw and Lime Dill Yogurt Sauce

Within the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, three healthy eating styles are recommended: MyPlate, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Mediterranean. Each of these eating styles recommend nutrient-rich dairy foods. In fact, this study showed higher consumption of total dairy (more than two servings per day compared to a half serving) was associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, major cardiovascular disease and stroke. 

Hypertension, which affects nearly one-third of American adults, is a major risk factor for heart disease. Dairy foods provide nutrients to help combat high blood pressure, such as calcium, vitamin D, potassium and phosphorus. A recent study showed that eating yogurt regularly (2 cups/week) was associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease in adults with high blood pressure.

The unique composition of milkfat and the effect of milkfat-containing foods, such as whole milk, on heart health may be different than that of other sources of fats. A growing body of science is changing what we know about saturated fat from dairy foods and its role in cardiovascular disease risk.

Remember when choosing healthy eating plans for your clients, higher consumption of dairy foods can play an important role in helping to maintain overall health, especially heart health.

Try this delicious heart healthy recipe for a dose of omega-3 fats and dairy’s essential nutrients.

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