Dairy and Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, up to 80% of heart disease is preventable, and there are many things people can do to reduce their risk.

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 and explore the latest science below.
  • Science Summary: Whole and Reduced-Fat Dairy Foods and Cardiovascular Disease

    A growing evidence base supports reassessing the role of whole and reduced-fat dairy foods in healthy, calorie-balanced eating patterns.

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  • Fat-Free Milk vs. Whole Milk: What are the Nutritional Differences?

    This article will dive into differences and similarities between fat-free milk nutrition and whole milk nutrition to help you decide the best option for your lifestyle and health.

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  • What you Need to Know About Whole Milk Nutrition & Health

    Recent research and articles have shed new light on the role of saturated fat in today’s diet, and whole milk appears in a lot of these discussions.

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  • Branched-Chain Fatty Acids

    Branched-chain fatty acids are an underexplored area of nutrition that can have potentially great biological and health benefits.

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  • The Latest FDA Regulations on Whole Milk Dairy Foods

    In 2016, the FDA began a process to evaluate current science in relation to the use of the term “healthy” on food labels.

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  • Dairy’s Trio of Nutrients for Heart Health

    Calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies show these nutrients have benefits for your heart, specifically lowering blood pressure.

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