The Case Against Low-fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever

For years you've been told to go for skim over full-fat dairy. Even the latest dietary guidelines for Americans urge people to avoid the full fat, and following this lead, school lunch programs provide only low-fat milk and no whole milk at all, even though they do allow chocolate skim milk with its added sugars. But large population studies that look at possible links between full-fat dairy consumption, weight and disease risk are starting to call that advice into question. And some research suggests people who consume full-fat dairy weigh less and are less likely to develop diabetes, too.

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In a new study published in the journal Circulation, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and his colleagues analyzed the blood of 3,333 adults enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study of Health Professionals Follow-up Study taken over about 15 years. They found that people who had higher levels of three different byproducts of full-fat dairy had, on average, a 46% lower risk of getting diabetes during the study period than those with lower levels. “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,” says Mozaffarian. “There is no prospective human evidence that people who eat low-fat dairy do better than people who eat whole-fat dairy.”

MORE: Ending the War on Fat

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