Dairy has had an increasingly rough go of it the past few years, as alt-milks have continued to take up more and more shelf space in grocery stores and coffeeshop chains. While that’s probably due in part to dairy products causing a range of health issues like indigestion and breakouts for some people, a new expansive study claims that dairy consumption—yogurt, specifically—could be pivotal for lowering your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Published in the American Journal of Hypertension, the study examined people with high blood pressure: nearly 56,000 women between the ages of 30 and 55 and more than 18,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75. In 1980, the participants completed a 61-question survey on their dietary habits the previous year, and they reported subsequent medical diagnoses (which were confirmed through medical records).
Since high blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular issues, according to the study, the researchers sought to find links between diet and cardiovascular health. Building on previous research that indicated a link between high dairy consumption and lower rates and risks of cardiovascular diseases, the study specifically examined the role of yogurt.
“Yogurt may benefit heart health alone or as a consistent part of a diet rich in fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.” —study co-author Justin Buendia, MD
Ultimately the results showed that participants who consumed more than two servings of yogurt per week were 20 percent less likely to experience heart disease or strokes in the future, according to Science Daily. Women saw a 30 percent reduction in risk of heart attack, while men saw a 19 percent reduction.
“Our results provide important new evidence that yogurt may benefit heart health alone or as a consistent part of a diet rich in fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains,” study co-author Justin Buendia, MD, told Science Daily.
So the next time you’re grocery shopping, be sure to load up on yogurt (and cheese, to live longer, natch).
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