Let's face it, skim milk doesn't have much appeal: It's watery and not as tasty as its fattier alternatives. But at 80 calories a glass, and all the nutrients and vitamins of whole milk, it's always been the dairy of choice for adults looking to lose weight. And it's been part of the dietary recommendations for kids and grownups for ever.
But it looks like those recommendations may be changing. This week, two studies found evidence that drinking and eating higher-fat dairy may be MUCH better for your health--and weight.
In the first study, researchers from Tufts and Harvard Universities followed 3,000 men and women over 20 years and found that those who'd eaten more high-fat dairy products in that time were much less likely to develop diabetes; in fact, they'd cut their risk by a whopping 46 percent.
Not only does high-fat dairy lower your chances of developing diabetes, but it may keep you thinner, too. At least, that's what the second study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found when researchers compared roughly 18,000 women. Those who ate more whole-fat dairy products were 8 percent less likely to be obese or overweight than those who stuck to lower-fat fare.
Researchers aren't sure what in dairy is producing these results. It could be that higher-fat varieties keep you fuller longer, and less likely to snack on sugary carbs (which your body just converts to fat). Or there may be something in the higher-fat varieties at play that influence insulin and metabolism. At any rate, one of the researchers from Harvard told Time.com: "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. There is no evidence that people who eat low-fat dairy do better than people who eat whole-fat dairy.”
If you want to make the switch to higher-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt, talk to the doctor about the best ways to do that for your health needs.
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