Does eating dairy raise cholesterol?
No. High blood cholesterol levels that cause cardiovascular diseases have been linked to the intake of saturated fat for a long time. However, researchers have found that the saturated fats in milk and other dairy have no or a neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels. Oleic acid in milk contributes to lowering blood cholesterol levels.
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Cholesterol is a type of fat found in the blood. The body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to support cell formation and hormone production. Total cholesterol levels above the healthy range can lead to narrowing and hardening of the arteries and so increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Although the intake of saturated fat is generally associated with increasing cholesterol levels, each saturated fat is different and varies in its ability to increase blood cholesterol levels. Research has shown that certain saturated fats in fact have a neutral or even a lowering effect on cholesterol levels. The saturated fatty acid in milk, oleic acid, is known to have a lowering effect on blood cholesterol levels.