— If you’re worried about the dairy you eat, it’s important to make sure you don’t buy unpasteured dairy products.
A study published in the journal Food Science and Technology found that when it comes to unpasteursing, the most common ingredient is hydrogenated fats, which can be found in processed foods, baked goods, soft drinks and even yogurt.
“The study was a little bit of a surprise to me, because it really doesn’t seem to be the case that hydrogenated margarine and butter are particularly harmful to your health,” says Dr. Sarah McAlister, the lead author of the study and a professor of food science at the University of Florida.
“I think we need to be careful about what we’re putting in our bodies and what we are eating.”
The study analyzed data from 3,000 people who were asked to answer questions about their consumption of dairy products such as skim milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese and yoghurt, and a few dairy products, such as whole milk and cottage cheese.
The dairy products were purchased from a grocery store or the Internet.
People who bought unpasteURized dairy and milk products were more likely to be overweight, and more likely than those who bought milk products and unpasteURAged dairy were to have a history of diabetes.
The study did not look at whether those who had both dairy and unpastURAged milk products consumed the same amount of milk.
McAlister says that’s important because it suggests that hydrogenation, which involves heating liquid to a high temperature and then separating out the fats, isn’t necessarily the culprit behind the link between unpasteurturization and a higher risk of diabetes and other health problems.
The study also found that people who bought hydrogenated dairy products also ate more cheese than people who didn’t buy it.
That suggests people are eating more cheese to get the same effect as people who don’t eat hydrogenated milk products.
“There’s a lot of evidence that hydrogenating fats does increase your risk of insulin resistance,” says McAlison.
“But we don’t know what exactly is causing it.”
The researchers also found higher levels of insulin in people who ate hydrogenated cheese, which is why the researchers recommend avoiding the cheese.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there’s no evidence that consuming hydrogenated foods and dairy products causes insulin resistance or any other health conditions.
The American Heart Association says it doesn’t recommend that people consume hydrogenated cheeses.
However, the American Cheese Council says it is “not a dietary recommendation.”
It also says that the health benefits of dairy are well established and that hydrogening dairy products isn’t associated with an increased risk of any chronic diseases.
“Dairy products are a rich source of essential nutrients that are safe for most people to consume,” the American Council on Science and Health says on its website.
The researchers say there’s also evidence that unpasteureurized dairy, including skim milk and cream cheese, is safe to eat.
But they also caution that there’s still a lot more research to be done.
For instance, there are no studies that show that hydrogened milk or cream cheeses cause a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
“That’s a major point,” says McDermott.
“What we really need to do is get into these studies that actually look at the long-term health impacts of hydrogenation,” says Matson.
“And we need those to be conducted by people who are actually getting the benefits of hydrogenated and unpaseurized dairy.”
The U-M study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.K. Medical Research Council, the Netherlands Department of Health and Clinical Sciences and the U-K.
School of Food Science.