Healthy Diet Including Whole-Fat Dairy Linked to Lower Mortality

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by Healthday

Reduced risk of mortality, CVD for diet high in fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, and high-fat dairy

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) — A healthy diet, including whole-fat dairy, is associated with lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published online July 6 in the European Heart Journal.

Andrew Mente, Ph.D., from Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University in Canada, and colleagues developed a healthy diet score in 147,642 people from the general population from 21 countries (the PURE study) and examined the consistency of the association in five independent studies from 70 countries. The healthy diet score was developed based on six foods that have all been associated with significantly lower mortality risk (fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, and dairy [mainly whole-fat]). All-cause mortality and major cardiovascular events were the main outcome measures.

The researchers found that in PURE, a diet score of ≥5 points was associated with a lower risk of mortality, CVD, myocardial infarction, and stroke compared with a diet score of ≤1 during a median follow-up of 9.3 years (hazard ratios, 0.70, 0.82, 0.86, and 0.81, respectively). Similar results were found in three independent studies in vascular patients, with a higher diet score linked to significantly lower mortality, CVD, and myocardial infarction (hazard ratios, 0.73, 0.79, and 0.87, respectively), while the risk for stroke was nonsignificantly lower. A higher diet score was associated with lower first myocardial infarction and stroke in two case-control studies (odds ratios, 0.72 and 0.57, respectively).

“The new results in PURE, in combination with prior reports, call for a re-evaluation of unrelenting guidelines to avoid whole-fat dairy products,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

The PURE Study was partially funded by several pharmaceutical companies.

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