The 8-Week Program forums have been buzzing with questions about skim milk vs full-fat… Which is better for me? Does full cream milk really make you fat? Should we be cutting out milk altogether? HELP!
Let’s clear something up first. Full-fat milk (AKA regular, full cream, whole milk) is not really full fat: it contains only around 3.25 per cent butterfat, while skim milk (AKA nonfat, fat-free) typically contains no more than 0.15% fat. Which, if you’re only drinking a glass or two a day, doesn’t amount to much.
Whole milk sales plummeted after the big saturated fat scare of the Seventies – when everything naturally creamy and buttery was traded for processed and man-made “low fat” foods instead. That, some scientists say, is when it all went wrong.
But wait, full fat milk is still bad for you… isn’t it?
Surprise! No, saturated fats are not the enemy. They’re highly stable, lower cholesterol, enhance the brain and even protect the liver (really!). Obviously, that’s no free pass to gorge on burger and fries, but the small amount in natural milk is really rather good. Ergo:
- Scientists warned us off full-fat milk because of evidence pointing to increased LDL levels (bad cholesterol). But new research actually suggests that dairy also increases HDL levels (good cholesterol) which helps metabolise LDL anyway.
- Dairy fats have been shown to be safe for people at risk of heart attack. One study even reported that fatty acids in milk may protect vulnerable people from having a first heart attack!
- The “milk makes you fat” argument doesn’t convince us – in fact, a 12 year study associated high dairy fat intake with a lower risk of dangerous belly fat, while low dairy fat intake showed the opposite.
- Got gut issues? Promising studies with mice have shown milk fat globules may heal the intestinal mucosa (protective lining of the gut) and help with leaky gut syndrome.
- For the parents out there, milk fat is even associated with a lower risk of asthma in preschool children!
And if that’s not enough…
Former skim-drinkers on our forums have reported feeling satisfied after a full-fat tea or coffee – something they’d never experienced before. Fat (along with protein, also found in milk) fills you up longer, curbing the sugar cravings you get when your stomach is empty.
We think this makes it an easy decision – the next time you’re ordering a coffee, skip the skinny stuff! This “white stuff” is too good to give up.
Do you drink full fat or skim milk… or both?