Adults who consume the most dairy, compared with the least, are at the highest risk for early death, according to a study published in the BMJ. Among 217,755 participants from three large Harvard cohorts, the Nurses' Health Study, Nurses' Health Study II, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, those who consumed the most dairy products had the highest risk for total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and cancer mortality. The researchers also found that when dairy is replaced with beans, whole grains, or nuts the risk for death decreases. When dairy is replaced with red and processed meat, the risk increases. Replacing meat with dairy may explain why some studies find a reduced risk for death with dairy consumption. However, the most protective diet excludes both meat and dairy.