HocIns_No_9_MilchfettMilk fat has been classed as unhealthy for several decades. But we now know that this conclusion was wrong. Milk fat's bad reputation dates back to the 1950s. At that time, a large-scale study showed a connection between heart attacks and saturated fatty acids. The results of the study triggered an anti-fat theory, which continues to have an effect today.

Animal fats in particular, including milk fat, were criticised for their high content of saturated fatty acids – and this had an impact on dairy products. Consumers were advised to replace butter with vegetable margarine and to choose low-fat products.

However, fat influences the specific properties of a product and is therefore often replaced by sugar. Some low-fat products even need to be greatly modified to match their natural counterparts. The most famous of these is margarine, a purely manufactured product. Margarine is therefore not automatically healthier than butter.

Milk fat – a component of the food pyramid around the world

New studies clearly show that saturated fatty acids do not lead to heart attacks per se and
that low-fat products are often the worse choice. In addition to saturated fatty acids, milk and
milk products also contain small amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. A further advantage are its natural ingredients such as proteins, valuable vitamins and calcium.

A cross-comparison covering all continents and 14 different countries shows that the consumption of milk and dairy products plays an important role; whether in Benin, China or the Dominican Republic, it is always included in the food pyramid.

In the meantime, recent studies have reversed the reputation of milk fats. A healthy, varied diet may also include whole milk, normal-fat dairy products and butter.

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