The Case Against Low-fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever
It turns out that full-fat dairy makes you less likely to develop diabetes. Who would've thought?
In a new study published in the journal Circulation, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and his colleagues analyzed the blood of 3,333 adults enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study of Health Professionals Follow-up Study taken over about 15 years. They found that people who had higher levels of three different byproducts of full-fat dairy had, on average, a 46% lower risk of getting diabetes during the study period than those with lower levels. “I think these findings together with those from other studies do call for a change in the policy of recommending only low-fat dairy products,” says Mozaffarian. “There is no prospective human evidence that people who eat low-fat dairy do better than people who eat whole-fat dairy.”
It turns out that consuming low-fat dairy doesn't make people consume fewer calories -- they just fill the gap with carbohydrates instead of fat. After all, fat tends to stay with you a little longer and make you less hungry. People who aren't getting that fat crave carbs instead.
It’s also possible that the fats in dairy may be acting directly on cells, working on the liver and muscle to improve their ability to break down sugar from food. And then there’s the possibility that for certain high fat dairy foods, like cheese, which is fermented, microbes may be working to improve insulin response and lower diabetes risk too.
Regardless, it's time to stop depriving yourself of fat. Enjoy that whole milk and full-fat mozzarella. Choose the full-fat yogurt over the sugary, low-fat (or -- gasp -- non-fat) version. And while you're at it, read The Fat Fallacy -- because, like I said, it's not a new idea that full-fat dairy is actually better for you!