What are the risks of consuming cholesterol in dairy?

Even though regular-fat milk naturally contains cholesterol, studies have shown that consuming dairy foods does not raise ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in the blood. In fact, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recognise the importance of including milk, cheese and yoghurt in the diet, particularly for reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and hypertension.

Last updated 30/04/2021

Dairy was once thought to be bad for cardiovascular health due to its relatively high salt and saturated fat content. This is why in the past some health professionals might have recommended limiting dairy in the diet, particularly regular or higher-fat varieties.

There are two types of cholesterol in the blood; LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol.

Even though regular-fat milk naturally contains cholesterol, studies have shown that consuming dairy foods does not raise ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in the blood.

This is because when nutrients are eaten as part of a whole food, which contains other essential nutrients and bio-active components, as in the case of dairy foods, they work together to affect health rather than how you would expect them to act as nutrients on their own.

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