OVER the years, we've been told to reduce our fat intake, and that includes when it comes to desserts.

But are low-fat puddings actually worth the hype? Or might they actually be more dangerous for our health than the full-fat alternatives?

Findings from a study have suggested eating desserts made from low-fat dairy — such as frozen yoghurt — may bad for brain health.

Researchers found that those people who opt for just one low-fat dairy product a day could be increasing their risk of developing Parkinson's disease by over a third (39 per cent).

This is when compared with those who eats less than one low-fat dairy product a week.

The more low-fat dairy products someone eats, the more chance they have of developing Parkinson's at some point in their life, researchers concluded.

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What is Parkinson’s, how is it treated and what are the symptoms?

The study, published in the journal Neurology, looked the dairy consumption and health information of over 120,000 people for nearly 25 years.

Some low-fat dairy products which might be lurking in your fridge include fat-free or low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, or milk.

Parkinson's disease is a condition that affects the brain. It causes problems like shaking and stiffness that get worse over time.

Interestingly, the researchers from the University of Harvard found that full-fat dairy products showed no link to the debilitating neurological condition. 

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The researchers noted, that eating low-fat dairy doesn’t cause Parkinson’s disease, rather there is simply some sort of connection between the disease and one’s entire dairy intake.

What actually causes that connection is still not clear.

Experts said it challenges long-standing health advice to ditch fat from diets.

Lead author of the study. Katherine C. Hughes, ScD, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston said: "The results provide evidence of a modest increased risk of Parkinson’s with greater consumption of low-fat dairy products.

"Such dairy products, which are widely consumed, could potentially be a modifiable risk factor for the disease.”

The overall chances of a person developing the disease were still tremendously low, researchers did stress.

What are the symptoms of Parkinsons disease?

According to the NHS, symptoms can include:

  • involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremors)
  • slow movement
  • stiff and inflexible muscles
  • depression and anxiety
  • balance problems
  • loss of sense of smell
  • problems sleeping
  • memory problems

Just one per cent of the nearly 6,000 people in the study who consumed at least three servings of low-fat dairy products daily wound up developing Parkinson’s disease.

This compared to 0.6 percent of the nearly 78,000 who reported having less than one serving a day.

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Previous research has found that a diet rich in full fat dairy and meat can lower the chance of obesity.

Meanwhile, experts are calling for meat and dairy to be wiped from menus across the UK – meaning children being fed exclusively vegan meals.

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