Chennai: With the burden of Non Communicable Diseases found to be soaring high, especially among youngsters, doctors have been advising the general public to refrain from overconsumption of products such as cheese.
However, a study by an international team of experts has found that the consumption of even full fat dairy products does not increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The findings, which were published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, contradict the view that dairy products can be harmful because of their high saturated fat content. It stated that consuming cheese, milk and yogurt - even full-fat versions - does not increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, challenging the widely held belief that dairy products can damage one's health.
“The concept of products like cheese causing cholesterol is nothing but a mere misconception. There are three kinds of fats, namely saturated, unsaturated and trans fat. It is the trans fat that is the main factor leading to the development of cholesterol. The problem with diseases such as diabetes and cholesterol is not entirely related to fat but to the overconsumption of carbohydrates,” said Dr K. Kannan, Head of the Cardiology department at Stanley medical College and Hospital.
The study, the results of which comes from a new meta-analysis of 29 previous studies on whether dairy products increases the risk of death from any cause and from either serious heart problems or cardiovascular disease, concluded that such foodstuffs did not raise the risk of any of those events and had a ‘neutral' impact on human health.
Stating that the concept came to light only about four months ago, renowned Nutritionist Dr. Dharini Krishnan said, “Until the findings of this study were published, for over a decade, every organisation, whether the American Heart Association or American Diabetic Association or American Dietetic Association, has conveyed the need to reduce saturated fat intake stating that it is one of the major sources for cardiovascular diseases.”
“For ten years, doctors and associations have been drilling it into everybody forcing them to move off ghee, butter and cheese and as India is the cardiac capital, doctors and other experts have been trying to form a link. However, the two are far from connected,” she added.