It's been engraved in our minds that fat is the enemy. You've probably seen many "reduced fat" and fat-free dairy products line the shelves at your local grocery store. At this point, it's almost instinctive to choose the ones that have a low-fat label. However, according to a recent study, it turns out that full dairy fat isn't that bad.

Research conducted by The University of Texas' School of Public Health showed that consuming saturated dairy fat had no link to cardiovascular health. The study tracked the saturated fat consumption of 2,907 65-and-older Americans with no cardiovascular conditions for a 22-year period. At the end of the study, blood samples were taken from each participant, and their fatty acid levels, indicators of risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, were measured. The findings concluded that eating full dairy fat did not pose a greater risk of cardiovascular disease events or ailments. So it's okay to breathe a sigh of relief now.

Benefits Of Eating Full-Fat Dairy

This study isn't the only one that has indicated that full-fat dairy has health benefits.

Lower Risk Of Diabetes

A 15-year study conducted at Tufts University found that those who ate the most dietary fat had a 46 percent lower risk of developing diabetes. The reason is that consuming unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in the place of carbohydrates lowers blood sugar and improves insulin resistance and secretion.

Better Cardiovascular Health

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Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating full-fat cheese raises healthy HDL cholesterol levels, which are linked to a decreased risk of heart disease. In addition, dairy contains more than 400 types of fatty acids that may have anti-inflammatory effects on the body which helps to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Improved Digestive Tract

Contrary to belief, dairy can help reduce belly bloat. Full-fat dairy is lower in lactose, which makes it easier for those with a lactose intolerance to digest it. Also, dairy contains the fatty acid butyric acid that is known to aid in gastrointestinal health. In fact, according to a study done by Polish researchers, it may be an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.

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