Here’s yet another reason to ditch the cream with your coffee and go for the skim milk instead: Swedish scientists have found eating low-fat dairy foods can reduce the risk of having a stroke.
The study, published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke, found people who drink low-fat milk and eat low-fat yogurt and cheese are significantly less likely – 12 to 13 percent -- to have a stroke than those who consume full-fat dairy foods.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm tracked the health and eating habits of 74,961 adults -- 45 to 83 years old – for a period of 10 years to reach their conclusions.
All study participants were free of heart disease, stroke and cancer at the start of the study and completed a 96-item food and beverage questionnaire. During the study, 4,089 strokes occurred (1,680 in women and 2,409 in men).
"This is the largest study to date to examine the association between consumption of total, low-fat, full-fat and specific dairy foods and the risk of stroke in adult men and women," said lead researcher Susanna Larsson. "From a public health perspective, if people consume more low-fat dairy foods rather than high-fat dairy foods, they will benefit from a reduced risk of stroke and other positive health outcomes."
Larsson and her colleagues concluded the benefits of low-fat dairy foods are likely due to the vitamins and minerals they contain: calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin D.