A new study claims that dairy fat can be beneficial to heart health, Shape magazine wrote on 6 October.

In the study, the research team analysed the blood samples of 4,150 people with a median age of about 60 years in Sweden, a country with high dairy consumption, the report said.

This was followed up 17 years later by seeing how many of the participants had experienced heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, and other heart health issues, Shape wrote.

After adjusting the findings for factors such as age, activity levels and diet, the team found that those who had higher levels of dairy fat in their blood had a lower risk of heart disease compared to those who had lower levels of dairy fat, according to the report.

The study was then followed up with 18 similar studies involving nearly 43,000 people in Denmark, the UK, and the USA, and the results were comparable, Shape said.

However, the researchers were careful not to draw too many conclusions about their results, which were published in PLOS Medicine, the report said.

“The findings from our study using fatty acid biomarkers suggest that higher intake of dairy fat were associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk in diverse populations including Sweden… though more trials are needed to understand if and how dairy foods protect cardiovascular health,” the researchers wrote.

The American Heart Association currently recommends that people eat two to three servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products per day, with fat-free milk, fat-free or low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheeses being ideal choices, according to the report.