You’re at the grocery store in the dairy isle and you’re staring at your choices for milk. You can choose whole, 2%, 1%, or skim milk. Now, you’ve probably been thinking that the order of healthiest milk to the least healthiest milk is skim, 1%, 2%, and whole. Your thought process is that the fat content in milk determines if the milk is healthy or not; especially since milk’s fat is predominately saturated fat which is been known to clog arteries and be the root cause of other issues.
I mean 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories compared to 4 in 1 gram of protein and carbohydrates. So it becomes common sense to avoid higher fat content milk in favor for lower or no fat milk.
However, that common sense mentality on milk may not be true after all…
Why Whole Milk May be Good for Weight Loss
Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have brought new evidence to light that claims whole milk may be good for weight loss.
One study in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care found that middle aged men who consumed high fat milk, cream, and butter were significantly less likely than men who do not to become obese within the next 12 years. That means that in the long term by consuming high fat milk, butter, and cream you’ll be less likely to become obese.
My taste buds sure are happy to hear that news!
Another study published by the European Journal of Nutrition, was a meta-analysis of 16 different observational studies. In case you don’t know, a meta-analysis is a research method in which constraining and combining research results occurs from different studies to find patterns among study results, disagreement or other relevant data. The meta-analysis found that the hypothesis for the studies were all along the lines of that high-fat dairy foods contributed to obesity and heart disease. All of these studies found no significant evidence proving that the hypothesis was correct.
The Reasoning Behind it All
While the exact reason why high-fat dairy products lower obesity rates is not currently known, there are a couple explanations that make sense in explaining why this phenomenon is happening.
The first explanation is that high-fat dairy makes you feel fuller from less. While each serving of dairy high in fat contains more calories than low fat dairy, people are consuming fewer overall calories than people consuming low fat dairy products due to feeling more full. While this may be the reason why, there is another explanation that is a bit more complex and scientific.
The second explanation is that there may be bioactive substances in milk fat that may be altering our metabolism in a way that increases the burning of calories to offset the extra calories that are in whole milk.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of the reason why it happens, the fact is that high fat milk and dairy provides benefits that offset the additional calories in milk. It is because of this reason that switch back to whole milk isn’t such a bad idea after all. However, like with most things, you should practice moderation. Just because whole milk is proven to assist in preventing obesity, doesn’t give you free reign to over indulge in your favorite high fat dairy choices without consequences. Celebrate the good news in moderation without having to feel guilty about ruining your diet.
Are you making the switch back to whole milk?