A new report reveals that more Americans are eating full fat food now than in the past.
The report, published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, shows that sales in butter and whole milk are up. In the U.S., butter sales rose 14% in 2014 and increased 6% in the first three months of this year. In addition, the report shows that whole milk sales were up 11% in the first half of 2015 and sales of skim milk dropped 14%.
The topic of “fat” and its place in the American diet has been hotly debated over the years. A 2014 TIME cover story challenged the view that fat is inherently bad for your health, and a growing body of data has suggested that a low-fat diet may not be a healthy way to eat.
“I think this is part of a trend toward more natural foods — more organic, unprocessed and simple foods,” Stefano Natella, the Global Head for Equity Research at Credit Suisse and an author of the new report told the New York Times. “All these foods have a natural characteristic attached to them. Full-fat milk sounds a lot more natural to people than 2 percent or skim milk. Cows don’t produce skim milk. You have to process it to take out the fat.”
The data also shows that consumption of butter is growing worldwide at a rate of 2-4% each year. “The conclusion of this report is simple,” the study authors write. “Natural unprocessed fats are healthy and key to the evolution of society that focuses on developing healthy individuals, not just on treating those who are sick. Natural foods high in monounsaturated and saturated fats are one of the preferred sources of energy for our bodies to use and store.”
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