Full fat milk and cheese (also known as full cream in other countries) has gotten a bad rap over the past few years. This resulted in many of us reaching for low fat, or even skimmed milk (the horror!). But are we making the healthy decision? Recent evidence suggest that we might be getting it all wrong!
In recent years, many of us have moved away from ‘bad’ saturated fats. We were told to stay away from full fat milk and to ‘eat less cheese’. This led us to eat more ‘healthy fats’ like nuts, olive oil, and avocado. But recent studies are showing that eating cheese and drinking full fat milk can actually be good for us!
Trending diets such as the low-carb high fat diet (LCHF) placed the spotlight on the fact that ‘fat does not make you fat’. And this seems evident in the results of many who follow this diet. They eat more fat, but lose weight! A study by European Journal of Nutrition, demonstrated that those who consumed high fat dairy products actually had a smaller amount of fat tissue, than those who did not. The outcome was not definitive, but the researchers stated that the results did not support the idea that high fat dairy will lead to obesity.
Usually when fats are discussed, we immediately think of cardiovascular health. But this is not the only aspect of your health affected. Those who put on a lot of weight are actually at risk of type 2 diabetes. Consuming high fat dairy products could have a preventative effect. One 2016 study found that consumers of full fat milk had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes! You might be wondering how this is even possible? It’s in the way the milk sugars are absorbed. The fats in the milk slower the absorption of milk sugars, preventing a sudden spike in your blood sugar. The European Journal of Nutrition study also found that those who consumed high fat dairy products, were not at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
If fats are not the issue, what should we blame? It seems the real culprit is sugar. This might sound like a conspiracy theory, but decades ago, the sugar industry sponsored studies to take attention away from sugar and place it solely on fats. It’s what started the notion that fats are responsible for heart disease, and we ignored the impact of sugar for years. This is another reason why full fat is better for you. Low fat (or reduced fat) products often contain added sugars. And contrary to popular belief, these sugars are NOT added to keep the consumer ‘hooked’. It’s used to add flavor (which will now be less due to a lower amount of fat), and also to provide bulk to a product.
Will you be choosing full fat from now on?