Hoping to lower your stroke risk? A recent Swedish study reports that you can help lower your risk of stroke by increasing your consumption of low-fat dairy products. 7,500 adults took part in the 10-year study by filling out a food diary to track what they ate on a daily basis. The outcome of the study showed that those who consumed around four servings of low-fat dairy products daily reduced their risk of stroke by 12 percent.
Susanna Larson, an associate professor of epidemiology at Karolinsk Institute in Stockholm and lead author in the study explains that a combination of nutrients found in low-fat dairy foods helps lower one’s blood pressure, a key risk factor for stroke. While the study showed the correlation between low-fat dairy product consumption and reduced stroke risk, it did not show that dairy products with a higher fat content had the same effect.
It should be noted that other researchers studying the same area, however, are not convinced that consuming low-fat dairy products helps to reduce stroke risk. Adam Bernstein, M.D., for example, says that he did not find the same connection when he conducted a simular study. Bernstein explained that Swedish people have different diets than the individuals in other parts of the world and the fat percentage in Swedish dairy products varies, but is usually about a half a percent less than the standard.
Although consuming low-fat dairy products is not enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we can learn from the participants in the Swedish study and consciously eat a healthier diet that will lower blood pressure and reduce stroke risk.