Provender Brown Perth Deli

Dairy For The Win!

Two new medical studies highlight good reasons to include quality dairy in our diets.


There has been much in the way of the ‘demon dairy’ message over the years. In my twenties, so around about the nineties, women were force-fed images of super-slim models and celebs who claimed to have given up dairy in pursuit of a wash-board stomach and a thigh gap.

In more recent years, its been more about our physical health than our body shape, although arguably the two have become conflated into one frightening message.

Add to this recent trends for plant- based alternatives and it probably comes as no surprise to learn that milk consumption is now half of what it was in the 1970s.

So, it was music to my ears to read a recent article in the Times highlighting two important studies that provide good reasons to reintroduce dairy to our diets.

The scientific papers can be found here for those who like the deep facts:

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Research Shows The Health Benefits of Dairy

Using the results of a global study, researchers at the University of Reading have found that not only does drinking milk not raise your cholesterol levels, it can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease.

At the same time, a second paper funded by The National Natural Science Foundation of China looking into food and cancer, indicated that eating yoghurt every day cuts your chance of getting liver cancer.

Dr Linia Patel, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association told The Times; “Cutting out dairy completely means you risk being deficient in certain nutrients. Milk and dairy typically provide almost a third of our recommended daily amount of calcium, important for healthy bones.

“But dairy also provides other important nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, iodine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B12, and while you can get these from other foods, by cutting out dairy you miss an easy and nutrient-dense way of getting them in your diet.”

We are now super fans of Dr Patel here at Provender Brown!

Here are some of the findings of recent years. It goes without saying that we are NOT doctors and that you should check with your own GP and medical practioner if you are at all concerned about your health and diet. This blog was created using an article in The TImes newspaper and the above links to medical research.

Milk Against Heart Disease

For those who didn't read the full paper (us) the researchers at University of Reading found that drinking milk will not raise your cholesterol and can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease. The study revealed that regular milk drinkers had lower levels of good and bad cholesterol and were at a 14 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Recent trends in plant based milk have triggered an steep decline in our intake of iodine, a trace mineral that is important for the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid disorders can cause low energy levels, poor metabolism and fertility problems.  

Yoghurt Against Cancer

In the Chinese study, which analysed data from 5,000 people, it was shown that eating 40g of yoghurt every day helps to lower the risk of liver cancer by 5.4 per cent. Another study showed that people who eat yoghurt two to three times each week have an 8 per cent lower risk of developing liver disease than those eating less than one serving a week.

In addition, a study by the Medical Research Council’s epidemiology unit at the University of Cambridge found that people who consumed natural, unsweetened yoghurt regularly had a 28 per cent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who never ate it.

And several studies have shown that yoghurt is associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk. In a paper published last year researchers at the University of Lancaster suggested that this might be because beneficial lactose fermenting bacteria in yoghurt are similar to the bacteria present in the breasts of mothers who have breastfed (each year of breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer by 4.3 per cent). 

Cheese Against Cognitive Decline

In 2020 Auriel Willette, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, analysed data collected from 1,787 adults who were aged 46 to 77 at the completion of the study. He reported that cheese was “by far” the most protective food against age-related cognitive problems, even late into life.

Patel describes cheese as a “complete protein”, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids needed to build and repair the body’s tissues.

It also contains magnesium and calcium, as well as vitamins A, B2 and B12. “It also has a low glycaemic index, meaning it won’t trigger blood sugar spikes that can lead to hunger pangs and raise the risk of type 2 diabetes in the long term.”

Butter Against Type 2 Diabetes

One analysis of nine papers that included more than 600,000 people concluded that moderate butter-eating is not linked to a higher risk for heart disease and might be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes.
Patel says that this saturated fat is not as bad for us as once thought.

“The evidence to date shows that saturated fat is not associated with a raised heart disease risk,” she says. “But it also doesn’t prove that eating more saturated fat is better for you. It’s fine to eat butter, just watch your portions and aim for no more than a couple of teaspoons daily.”


As with all foods, choosing to buy good quality produce with an emphasis on provenance is good for you and the environment. Here at Provender Brown our cheeses, yoghurts, butter and milk is largely handcrafted from small producers – many of them Good Food award-winners - and we are renowned for stocking the very best of Scottish, British and European cheeses, including Spanish cheese, French cheese and Italian cheese.

Find our cheese, yoghurt and butter selection in our online shop. 

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