The Dairy Fat Paradox: A Systematic Review of the Evidence

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A systematic literature review of prospective cohort studies was conducted to investigate the association between consumption of fat-free/1% versus reduced-and/or full-fat dairy on the incidence of overweight/obesity, central adiposity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults. Fifteen articles met the inclusion criteria. No significant relationships between dairy fat intake and cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes mellitus were found. The limited research published on the relationship between overweight/obesity, central adiposity, and dairy fat intake makes it difficult to draw generalizable conclusions at this time. Registered dietitian nutritionists should continue to encourage clients to eat calorically balanced, nutrient-dense diets, and engage in regular physical activity.