The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Health Implication of Trans-Fatty Acids in Dairy

Health implication of trans-fatty acids in dairy

Health risk factors associated with the intake of dietary trans-fatty acids (TFAs) have prompted interventions to curb excessive consumption. However, naturally derived TFAs, such as those in cow’s milk, appear to have different health effects from industrially derived TFAs. The review briefly summarises current research on the health effects of dairy-derived TFAs and presents the findings in context of South African dietary patterns. Findings suggest that the link between TFA consumption and health outcomes is multifactorial and the current consensus is that the intake of dairy-derived TFAs is unlikely to pose a health risk in context of South African dietary patterns. The definitive health and nutritional benefits of dairy foods are considered to offset the potential risk of dairy-derived TFAs, especially in the amounts generally consumed as part of the South African diet. Milk, maas and yoghurt therefore remain important components of an optimal diet for South Africans.

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