For decades, people have been asked to avoid full-fat milk due to its high saturated fat content. It asked to consume low-fat milk instead of the full-fat ones. However, in recent years, scientists have called this recommendation into question. It appears skimmed or toned milk may not be the healthiest choice, while whole milk may bring more health benefits, contrary to popular belief. Let’s find out how.
Whole milk and low-fat milk are distinct from each other in terms of their fat content. By weight, whole or full-fat milk contains 3.25% milk fat; low-fat milk contains around 1% milk fat. Whole milk provides extra calories due to its high fat content. However, they also contain more vitamin D and omega 3 than other type of milk. An important difference in nutritional status between dairy types is the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, the type of fat that has been linked to many health benefits, including improved heart and brain health, and reduced inflammation. The more fat a cup of milk has in it, the higher its omega-3 content particularly in case of cow milk.
Initially, researchers believed that saturated fats increased cholesterol levels, which increased the risk of heart disease. However, the relationship between saturated fat and cholesterol is very complex.
Further, some studies indicate that certain foods high in saturated fat may affect the health of the heart in different ways. For example, one review showed that cheese and yogurt were actually linked to a lower risk of heart disease, while red meat and butter were associated with higher risk.
For this reason, it is important to consider the overall nutritional composition of an ingredient rather than just focusing on individual nutrient it contains.
Drinking whole milk as part of a healthy diet may have some health benefits, including a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. It may also protect against type 2 diabetes and improve the reproductive health of women, but more research is needed. Low fat milk provides approx. the same amount of protein and calcium as whole milk but contains fewer calories.
It is best to decide on your dietary needs if you are choosing the right type of milk for you. As always, take into account such factors as your current weight, your current diet, your level of activity, and other factors such as age.