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Dairy fat: perceptions and realities.

Lock, A. L., Givens, D. I. ORCID: and Bauman, D. E. (2014) Dairy fat: perceptions and realities. In: Kanekanian, A. (ed.) Milk and Dairy Products as Functional Foods. Society of Dairy Technology series. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 174-197. ISBN 9781444336832

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/9781118635056


Milk provides many key nutrients but the saturated and trans fatty acids in milk fat are associated with perceived negative effects on human health, especially cardiovascular disease. Recent epidemiological studies and dietary intervention trials challenge this perception, however; available evidence does not support the concept that consumption of saturated fats or dairy products adversely affects the risk of coronary heart disease (although replacing some saturated fats with mono or polyunsaturated fats is likely to provide benefit). Furthermore, the trans fats found in dairy products are consumed in very low amounts and do not appear to have the negative health effects associated with the consumption of industrial sources of trans fat. Milk fat is an excellent source of oleic acid that originates mainly by endogenous synthesis from stearic acid, but increasing the milk fat content of unsaturated fatty acids requires dietary formulations that bypass rumen biohydrogenation. Recent research indicates that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids have potential beneficial effects in health maintenance and the prevention of chronic diseases. Enhancing the milk fat content of these fatty acids offers exciting possibilities, but educating consumers about inaccurate and inappropriate generalisations about fat remains the primary challenge. Finally, individuals do not simply consume milk-fat-derived fatty acids on their own, but rather as components in dairy foods which are highly complex and may contain many beneficial ingredients. Overall, dairy products are critical in providing many of the essential nutrients in the human diet. Nevertheless, dairy products vary in their nutrient composition, including fat, and this needs to be considered in the context of dietary recommendations and our need to consume a balanced diet.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Animal Sciences > Animal, Dairy and Food Chain Sciences (ADFCS)- DO NOT USE
ID Code:36672

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