The Heart Foundation has updated its Position Statement on Dairy and the Heart in response to the trend in people opting for full-fat dairy.
The update doesn’t change advice to eat mostly reduced-fat dairy but offers a softer stance, acknowledging dairy as ‘neutral in relation to heart disease’.
The foundation points out, though, that eating less dairy fat in favour of heart-healthy sources of fat, such as nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocado and olive oil, is associated with reduced risk of heart disease. It’s important to note this review does not include butter.
The foundation recommends saturated fat makes up less than eight per cent of energy in our diet. But the last Adult Nutrition Survey found average intake is 13 per cent, with dairy, excluding butter, making up nearly one-fifth of that intake. So high-dairy consumers are better to choose reduced-fat options.
Like Healthy Food Guide, the Heart Foundation says the context is important. If a person has a heart-healthy diet that’s low overall in saturated fat, whether the milk you drink is full or reduced-fat is not so important.