Go whole or go low?

Should you go for full cream milk or low fat milk?

I remember when I was a student, I believed in “low fat, low salt, low sugar”, just like most people do. I would go for low-fat or even fat-free dairy products, including milk, yoghurt and cheese, because of the saturated fat (aka bad fat) in full cream dairy products, as well as the higher calories. Being able to take in the same amount of protein and calcium with lower calories in low-fat milk, why not?

Best Milk for Your Coffee

There are some studies might make you think twice.

A review done by Dr. Mario Kratz, which included 25 studies, showed that there’s no contribution of full-fat dairy foods to obesity or cardio-metabolic risk. Dr. Sara Holmberg also supported this statement in her study in 2013. Not just that, they actually believe that consuming full fat dairy reduces the risk of obesity and promotes weight loss in overweight people. Several more European studies have suggested similar links between full-fat dairy and lower rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

  1. Higher fat content = higher satiety

Some scientists believe that the higher fat content in the full cream dairy products increases satisfaction and satiety, which means that you might decrease the intake of the dairy products and other food, compare to consuming low-fat dairy products.

  1. The dairy fatty acids

A few studies, including one published in 2013 and the latest study  that that was done over 15 years and included more than 3000 participants, suggest that the biomarkers of dairy fatty acid – Pentadecanoic (15:0) acids, Margaric acid (17:0), and Trans-palmitoleic acid (trans-16:1n-7) – might help you lower the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, and that participants who consumed full-fat dairy had gained less weight than people who consumed low-fat or fat free dairy products.

This does NOT mean that all saturated fat is good for you and will help you lose weight, and that you can now stuff your face with all that fried bacon! There are many research showed evidence that replacing saturated fats (such as bacon, pork fat and chicken skin) with the polyunsaturated types (found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish) offers greater benefits by actually reducing the risk of heart disease.

So which one should we choose? It really depends on your health goals and diet habits. If you have no weight concerns and don’t consume a lot of milk in your diet, going for full cream milk would be the best choice (tastes better too), but if you consume glasses of milk a day as well as other dairy like yoghurts and cheese, skim milk is significantly lower in calories and will help to keep your energy intake in check.

MYTH:

  • Full cream milk has higher nutrition value?

Nope. Skim, low-fat and full fat milk are all rich in vitamin D, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B2 and vitamin B12. The content of protein and carbohydrate are very similar in all of them.

  • Low-fat/fat-free milk is higher in sugar than that of full-cream milk?

Nope. “Because low-fat dairy products are highly processed and loaded with additives and extra sugar” isn’t a 100% true statement. Here’s a table of comparison below:

1 cup (250ml) Calories Total Fat (g) Chol. (mg) Carbs (g) Sugars (g) Protein (g) Calcium (mg)
Skim Milk 90 0 5 13 12 8 300
1% Milk 110 2.5 10 13 12 8 300
2% Milk 120 3.5 15 12 12 8 300
Whole Milk 150 8 35 12 11 8 300

P.S That one gram of carbohydrate/sugar in 250ml of milk really wouldn’t make a big difference.

xoxo Love Tammy

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