In America, cardiovascular disease (heart disease) remains the number one cause of death. And nearly one in three people has high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Lifestyle habits, including diet and physical activity, are an important part of any plan to achieve and maintain heart health.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan includes 2 to 3 daily servings of dairy foods and 8 to 10 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and is recommended by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association to prevent and control high blood pressure.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommend choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy foods to help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, however recent observational and trial evidence indicates eating dairy foods—regardless of fat content—is not associated with higher risk for CVD. A 2016 study shows that the DASH eating plan can be modified to include whole milk, yogurt, and cheese without sacrificing health benefits.
Learn more about dairy’s role in a heart-healthy diet below.