Whenever we think of dieting, we often think of consuming “low fat” or “fat free” items. Marketing geniuses have embedded it in our brains that we must not consume fat if we are trying to lose it, especially when it comes to eating dairy products that are high in fat. It is typically thought that consuming full-fat dairy products, as opposed to low-fat or fat free products, is bad for your health and waistline. However, new research suggests that consuming dairy products that contain some fat is beneficial to a person’s overall health and should not be avoided. So, which is better for you, fat free milk or whole milk?
Since the fat in milk is a combination of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats, it does not have to be avoided completely. Some of the fats in milk can raise HDL cholesterol levels, which is associated with maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels. In addition, many studies have shown a reduced body fat and obesity risk in people who consume whole fat dairy foods. Also, dairy foods, like milk, contain vital nutrients including calcium, vitamins A, D, and E, and fatty acids. These nutrients are better absorbed in the presence of fat. Some great options of whole fat dairy products include hard natural cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, and parmesan. Also, soft cheeses such as ricotta and cottage cheese, yogurt, and milk.
Although diets should include whole fat dairy products, that does not mean they should be eaten in excess. Eating dairy products with full-fat in moderation is important and will help maintain a healthy diet and weight, as well as aid in maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol in our bodies. So, next time you are at the grocery store and you stroll by the dairy aisle, find a good whole fat product and enjoy it in moderation.