Dairy that's high in fat can lead to clogged arteries, but low-fat products can reduce your stroke risk by up to 12 percent.
Consuming plenty of low-fat dairy foods like milk and yogurt appears to reduce the risk of having a stroke.
Swedish researchers followed nearly 75,000 middle-aged and older men and women over a period of 10 years. The study began in 1997 when participants completed a questionnaire about their lifestyle, diet and exercise habits, body mass index, work, and education. All were free of any history of heart disease, stroke, or cancer at the time.
High-fat dairy foods contain more saturated fat, which can increase LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels and, in turn, lead to clogging of the arteries that supply blood to the heart and brain.
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Over the next ten years, researchers followed the incidence of stroke using the Swedish Hospital Discharge Registry. There were 4,089 cases of stroke reported including 3,159 cerebral infarctions, 583 hemorrhagic strokes, and 347 cases of unspecified strokes. A cerebral infarction occurs when there is a blockage in a vessel that supplies blood to the brain, and a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.
Among the participants in the study, those who consumed a daily average of four servings of low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese had a 12 percent lower risk of stroke than those whose diet included full-fat versions of these dairy foods. High-fat dairy foods contain more saturated fat, which can increase LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels and, in turn, lead to clogging of the arteries that supply blood to the heart and brain.