Reading University professor says popular Turkish ingredient reduces risk of diabetes and heart disease
Dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt do no increase the risk of stroke or a heart attack even if they are full fat, according to new research.
The study, which contradicts conventional wisdom that such products are unhealthy, found there was no added risk of heart disease by consuming them.
Ian Givens, a professor of food chain nutrition at Reading University who was involved in the study, said there was also evidence that traditionally Turkish foods like yoghurt were beneficial.
“There is definitely increasing evidence that fermented dairy products like yoghurt are associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,” Professor Givens told Haber this week.
He added: “There were also indications from our study of reduced risk of cardiovascular disease with fermented dairy foods.”
Fermented milk products including yoghurt and cheese are widely consumed in Turkish homes and restaurants, both in the UK and back home in Turkey.
The study, which involved Professor Givens and experts from universities in Denmark and the Netherlands, caught attention because it appeared to contradict public authorities advice that full-fat milk and cheese can be harmful to the health.
“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,” Professor Givens said earlier in the month.
“While it is a widely-held belief, our research shows that that’s wrong.
“There’s been a lot of publicity over the last five to 10 years about how saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and a belief has grown up that they must increase the risk, but they don’t.”
Britain’s National Health Service says “milk and dairy foods such as cheese and yoghurt are good sources of protein and calcium” but adds: “they can be high in saturated fat, so it’s important to make healthy choices.”