28. May, 2017

Is full fat dairy back?

Saturated fat is a particularly controversial topic. A lipids expert at my uni lectured us in second year about the benefits of saturated fat from dairy, and it was illuminating to say the least. Turns out it does not increase (bad) cholesterol.
 
Human nutrition is a very complex science. Anyone that is overly confident in their beliefs/statements clearly doesn't get it (are you listening, Pete Evans?). A university-trained nutritionist is a scientist. They give the best available evidence-based advice, and they will tell you 'this is what we know right now' (ie best available evidence). They will change their position in the face of overwhelming new evidence. This may differ slightly from the current Australian Dietary Guidelines in specifics, but not by very much, and it's only because it takes such a long time to review the evidence & change the guidelines. We have recently started doing 'rolling' updates, nutrient by nutrient, which is a much better system. It means we are constantly reviewing something, instead of trying to review the lot at once with several years (or more) gap in between.
 
"...current research clearly demonstrates important health benefits of cheese for prevention of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers. All the positive effects are due to a complex interaction between beneficial bacteria, minerals and bio-active cheese ingredients."
 
I've looked at the evidence, and I can assure you that I only eat full fat cheese, though I do have skim lattes when out & about, because of the higher calcium & protein content. As someone that doesn't eat meat and is middle aged, those 2 nutrients are particularly important to me. At home we have nothing but full fat milk, cheese, butter & yoghurt. The low fat mantra of the twentieth century is dying a natural, but long overdue, death. Good fats abound - dairy, avocado, olive oil. Get into them for good health!
 
Reference:
 
Thorning, TK, Bertram, HC, Bonjour, J-P, de Groot, L, Dupont, D, Feeney, E, Ipsen, R, Lecerf, JM, Mackie, A, McKinley, MC, Michalski, M-C, Rémond, D, Risérus, U, Soedamah-Muthu, SS, Tholstrup, T, Weaver, C, Astrup, A & Givens, I 2017, 'Whole dairy matrix or single nutrients in assessment of health effects: current evidence and knowledge gaps', The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 105, no. 5, pp. 1033-1045.