Milk is one of the most nutritious drinks on the planet.
That is why it is a major part of school lunch and is a popular drink of all ages.
For decades, nutritional guidelines recommend drinking only low-fat dairy products for people two and older .
However, in recent years, scientists have been reviewing this.
Recent studies show that nonfat milk is not always a healthy choice
Different types of milk: Raw cream, low fat and non-fat
Have a lot of type milk sold on milk stalls at most grocery stores.
They are mainly different in fat content. Whole milk is sometimes called "regular milk" because the amount of fat in it is unchanged. Non-fat milk and low-fat milk are produced by removing fat in whole milk.
The fat content is calculated on the mass fraction of the total liquid.
Here is the fat content of common milk types:
- Whole milk milk: 25% fat from milk.
- Low fat milk: 1% fat from milk.
- Nonfat milk: 0.5% less milk fat.
The table below summarizes the nutrients in one cup (237 ml) of some types of milk:
|Non-fat milk||Low fat milk||Whole milk milk|
|Carb||12.5 g||12.7 g||12.8 g|
|The protein||8.3 g||8.2 g||7.9 g|
|Fat||0.2 g||2.4 g||7.9 g|
|Saturated fat||0.1 g||1.5 g||4.6 g|
|Omega-3||2.5 mg||9.8 mg||183 mg|
|Calcium||306 mg||290 mg||276 mg|
|Vitamin D||100 IU||127 IU||97.6 IU|
Because fat has more calories by weight than any other nutrient, milk with higher fat content will have more calories .
Vitamin D is a nutrient with varying content depending on fat content. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it is only found in fat in milk. However, most milk manufacturers add vitamin D to milk, so each has the same amount of vitamin D.
As you may have noticed, one of the most important nutritional differences between milk types is the content omega-3 of them.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to many health benefits, including increased heart and brain health and reduced risk of cancer. The more fat the milk has, the more omega-3s ( 6).
In addition, studies have shown that organic whole milk contains a large amount of omega-3 even higher than regular whole milk .
Conclude: The main difference between available milk types is their fat content. Whole milk contains more fat and calories than non-fat milk.
Why is whole milk sometimes considered bad for health?
For many years, nutritional guidelines have guided people to avoid drinking whole milk, mainly due to its content saturated fat .
Formal nutrition recommendations recommend reducing saturated fat due to their association with heart disease and coronary artery disease.
Some studies have shown that saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, and researchers know that high cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease .
Based on this information, experts have assumed that saturated fat is the cause of increased risk of heart disease. However, there is no empirical evidence to prove that this is true .
In the 1970s, public policy was adopted based on a hypothetical connection between saturated fat and this heart disease. As a result, official guidelines instruct people to reduce saturated fat.
One cup (237 ml) of whole milk contains 4.6 grams of saturated fat, about 20% of the daily amount proposed by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans .
For this reason, the guidelines recommend consuming only low-fat or non-fat milk .
In recent years, this proposal is being reviewed. Currently there is a lot of experimental data showing that eating saturated fat does not cause heart disease .
Conclude: Previously, whole milk was considered unhealthy because it contained saturated fat, but recent studies do not support this recommendation.
Do you need to be afraid of saturated fat?
There is very little scientific evidence to suggest that you should avoid saturated fat in your diet .
In fact, the review of 21 studies concluded that there is no significant evidence that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease .
The old hypothesis is that saturated fat raises cholesterol levels and high cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease.
However, the relationship between saturated fat and cholesterol is more complex than that.
Saturated fat increases the concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood, called "bad" cholesterol.
But people often ignore the saturated fat also increases the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), "good" cholesterol. HDL has a protective effect against heart disease .
Also, not all LDLs are dangerous.
There are many different types of LDL and only small and dense LDL particles have the worst effects on the heart and arteries .
Interestingly, saturated fat actually changes LDL from small, dense particles into larger, less harmful particles .
Conclude: There is no strong evidence that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. Saturated fats increase LDL, but not the most harmful LDL. It also increases HDL levels well.
Drinking whole milk can really help you control your weight
Many people avoid drinking whole milk because they admit that excess fat and calories will make them weight gain .
What's interesting is that the truth is exactly the opposite. Many studies have shown that consuming high-fat dairy products, such as whole milk, can help prevent weight gain.
In one review, 11 of 16 studies found an association between milk consumption with high fat content and low obesity risk .
A very large study has shown that women who consume a lot of fat dairy products are at least at risk of being overweight over time .
Another study of 1,782 men found that people who consumed a lot of high-fat dairy products had a 48% lower risk of abdominal obesity than men with moderate consumption.
In the same study, men who ate low-fat dairy products had a 53% higher risk of abdominal obesity .
This is significant because abdominal obesity, the obesity, causes fat to accumulate around the waist, possibly the worst weight gain.
Studies have found that having fat around the abdomen increases the risk of death from heart disease and cancer .
The relationship between milk and weight control is a research topic over the years and there have been inconsistencies.
However, most of these studies either included all types of dairy products or focused on low-fat milk .
In studies that only consider high-fat dairy products, such as whole milk, there is a consistent relationship between milk with high fat content and low body weight.
The study of nearly 20,000 women found that people who consumed more than one serving of whole milk per day were 15% less likely to gain weight within 9 years than women who did not drink milk or low-fat milk .
Conclude: People who drink whole milk tend to lose weight. There is no evidence that drinking whole milk instead of fat-free milk will make you gain weight.
Whole milk may reduce the risk of chronic disease
Not only is there no scientific evidence to prove that saturated fat in whole milk causes heart disease, but some studies also suggest that drinking whole milk is related to health benefits.
Many studies show that drinking whole milk is associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors, including insulin resistance , abdominal obesity, low HDL levels and high triglyceride levels.
When these risk factors appear at the same time, the risk of diabetes and heart disease is high .
A study of more than 1,800 people found that adults who use the most high-fat dairy products have a 59% lower risk of metabolic syndrome than adults who consume dairy products. on the least .
A study in 2016 of nearly 10,000 adults showed that high-fat dairy products reduced the signs of metabolic syndrome. Research shows that there is no benefit associated with low-fat dairy products .
The health benefits of whole milk are due to the fatty acids in milk.
In a large study, those with the highest levels of milk-derived fatty acids had a 44% lower incidence of diabetes than those with the lowest acidity .
Drinking whole milk may have other noticeable benefits including increased fertility and reduced risk of colon cancer. However, there is no clear evidence .
Conclude: Drinking whole milk may have some health benefits, including reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome.
The main benefit of skim milk is that it has lower calorie intake
In some cases, skim milk may be the best choice for your diet.
If you are following a very low calorie diet, for example, you will get an extra 63 calories When drinking a cup (237 ml) of whole milk instead of non-fat milk, so is beyond your needs.
Non-fat milk also gives you a relatively low calorie protein source. Both whole milk and skim milk contain about 8 grams of protein per cup.
However, in whole milk, protein makes up only 22% of calories, while it accounts for 39% of the calories in nonfat milk.
Nonfat milk is "solid nutrition," which means it provides a large amount of vitamins and minerals with very little calories.
Actually, skim milk is one of these The most calcium-rich food source , provide about 300 mg per cup. This is even higher than the calcium content of whole milk, which is 276 mg per cup.
If you need to increase the amount of calcium in your body but can't get more calories in your diet, skim milk is the best option.
Conclude: Skim milk provides all the protein and calcium that whole milk has, but with significantly less calories.
Messages to note
The recommendation to avoid using whole milk can be quite common in the past, but it has no scientific basis.
There may be some cases of nonfat milk as the best choice, but for most people, whole milk offers clearer nutritional benefits than low fat and nonfat milk.
Drinking whole milk regularly can help you control your weight over time and reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome.