Dairy and Heart Health

February is American Heart Month. 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 below.  

  • DASH Eating Plan

    DASH is recommended by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as one of the best healthy eating plans for people of all ages.

  • El Plan de Alimentación DASH

    Vea cómo la dieta DASH puede mejorar su salud general.

  • Science Summary: Blood Pressure

    Total dairy food consumption is linked to lower risk for high blood pressure.

    VIEW & Download Summary
  • Ask Dr. Dairy: Does Saturated Fat Increase the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?

    The science on saturated fat intake and CVD continues to evolve.

    Learn More
  • Science Summary: Cardiovascular Disease

    Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt are foundational foods in heart healthy eating patterns.

    VIEW & Download Summary
  • Dairy’s Trio of Nutrients

    Low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt boast a trio of nutrients.

    VIEW & Download Resource

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