You never really know where you stand. Only a few years ago there were so many reports warning us that you should avoid full-fat anything as it was bad for cholesterol and could cause heart issues and make us overweight.
With that in mind, so many people switched from butter to low-fat margarine and from full-fat milk to semi-skimmed. We know people who are so obsessed with avoiding “fat” in their diet they’ve switched to completely skimmed milk as a result of officials telling them eating/drinking fat results in you becoming fat. Skimmed milk is dire.
The latest research has fully reversed this trend and is now recommending us to switch to full-fat milk as it will help maintain a healthy heart.
Work by the McMaster University in Canada, published in The Lancet, has collected research data from more than 130,000 people across 21 countries and for the last nine years, monitoring the difference between full-fat and low-fat dairy foods. Their conclusion found that people who ate/drank three standard portions of full-fat milk, butter or yoghurt were a quarter less likely to die early, compared to those who had less than half this. A standard portion was equivalent to a 244g glass of milk or yoghurt, a 15g piece of cheese, or a 5g teaspoon of butter.
Dr Sarah Berry from King’s College London stated “dairy foods are nutrient dense and contain essential vitamins, minerals, macro and micro-nutrients within a complex food matrix with probiotic functions,” she said. “As we consume foods and not nutrients, the results highlight the importance of food-based guidelines, not nutrient-based”.
The irony is that this research conflicts with the UK government’s own health advice, which state that dairy foods can be incorporated into a balanced diet, but advises people to choose the low-fat options.
Either way, we’re unsure about whether we can even tolerate drinking full-fat milk. We’re part of the generation who was told that you should cut down on fat in your milk and as a result, became used to drinking semi-skimmed. Move to full-fat milk and it feels heavy and creamy and not hugely enjoyable.
Our advice is to maintain an active lifestyle and incorporate some full-fat elements into your diet. Avoid ‘light’ or ‘reduced fat’ yoghurts and feel free to enjoy a regular yoghurt. If you want to lose weight, you’re wiser looking for dairy products such as a yoghurt with less sugar than reduced fat.