Whole Milk May Be Better For You Than Skim, According To New Research


If there is a sillier argument about food on the Internet than what kind of milk you should drink, or whether you should drink milk at all, it’s hard to find. That said, dairy, if you can digest it, can be a useful part of your diet, and whole milk, it turns out, might have more health value than you think.

Researchers at Tufts University noted that most of what we know about dairy fat is self-reported, and self-reporting is garbage. So they decided to carefully track the health and dairy consumption of people who consumed whole milk versus skim milk drinkers, and, among the results, found that the whole milk drinkers had a lower chance of developing diabetes, as low as 46%. And yes, they controlled for weight gain and its potential health effects, so the fatty acids in dairy might have some surprising benefits.

It should be noted that they’re not arguing we should all crack open a bottle of full-fat moo juice every day, not least because roughly 60% of us can’t digest lactose. Rather, this study is used as a jumping-off point to argue we shouldn’t focus on just one nutrient in dietary studies. The study’s lead author, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, is quick to point out that they don’t know what the precise mechanism is between whole milk and lowered diabetes risk; it might have nothing to do with the dairy at all.

Instead, Mozaffarian is arguing we need a more balanced diet that looks at everything we put in our mouths, and use some common sense about what we eat. Increasingly, we’re seeing that there’s no magic diet that fits every need, but rather diet is something highly specialized, and even unique to a person. So, if you like skim in your coffee, keep pouring it in, just think about what else you’re eating into the bargain.

(via Time)