After sifting through the research (you have to read the fine lines!!) this is what I found.
1. Studies show that children consuming lowfat or skim milk were heavier then those consuming whole milk. However, they do not know why. It is suggested that possibly those children drinking the lowfat milk were already heavier in the first place. Another reason pointed out may be that whole milk which is higher in fat provided more satiety so less snacking on other foods (8 grams of fat per 1 cup of whole milk vs 5 grams for 2% vs 2.5 grams for 1% and 0 grams fat for skim). Also, at age 2 consuming more diary products or switching from whole milk to lowfat milk did not prevent overweight in early childhood.
Here are the studies that pointed out these findings
- Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumed and weight status in preschoolers (Archives of Diesease in Childhood, 2012)
- Prospective association between milk intake and adiposity in preschool aged children (Journal of American Dietetic Association, 2010)
My take away point: If you are drinking lowfat or skim milk, ask yourself what are you snacking on? Are they processed foods? Are they high in sugar? Are they empty calories? etc….. Again remember lowfat or skim milk is still more processed then whole milk which means man tampered with the natural design. Is it really better? Will your cravings for carbs and sugar stop if you increase the good fats in your diet? Probably. Such as butter, palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, tallow…. Drinking skim milk will not make your weight drop–the secret lies in the whole balance of your diet. You need the most nutritious form of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates!
2. A study shows that drinking excess milk causes weight gain. Is it the fat content? The calcium content? The lowfat milk? The whole milk? They found it had nothing to do with the fat content because skim, 1%,and calcium were associated with the weight gain. Their conclusion was that it is the excess calories provided from milk.
Here is that study:
- Milk, dairy fat, dietary calcium, and weight gain: a longitudinal study of adolescents (Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 2005).
My take away point: Too much milk is not a good thing. But is really too much of anything good for you? But aren’t I supposed to “Drink milk for your bones! You need the calcium!!” Often what is not thought of is the source of the diary. Unless it is raw milk, the calcium will not be assimilated into your bones properly due to pasteurization destroying beneficial enzymes.
3. What’s up with the processing of skim milk? Does skim milk cause heart disease? Why do they add skim milk powder to nonfat milk but don’t put it on the label? Let’s answer those questions. Simply skim milk has all the fat taken away and synthetic vitamin A and D3 is added. Homogenization is done to disperse the fat in milk and the altered fat is possibly thought to contribute to increased allergenicity of homogenized milk due to the increased proportions of whey and casein proteins. (claims that homogenization may cause atherosclerosis have not been widely supported or proven see article here). Skim milk however does not have fat that would be affected by the homogenization process. Dairy companies are not required to add skim milk powder to nonfat milk anymore so there is no worry about the very small amounts of oxidized cholesterol. If they do, then they have to put it on the ingredient label.
My take away point: Skim milk has no fat so there is no worry about homogenization issues. It has no cholesterol so one does not have to worry about the adverse effects of processed cholesterol. But see that’s the problem with skim milk–it has no fat or cholesterol. Its been depleted of the naturally occurring fat soluble vitamins A D E and K which are only found in fat. Also, the needed components of your cell membranes are made from your dietary fat, equally saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Remember every organ from your skin to your brain is made up of cells and weak cell membranes mean a weak and diseased prone body. If you are drinking skim milk are you getting those needed nutrients elsewhere? If you can find raw milk, it really is the way to go.
4. Are saturated fats bad? No, they do not increase your risk of heart disease like once thought. In fact there are many benefits to saturated fats. They act as carriers for the fat soluble vitamins: A D E and K. Saturated fats provide the components for building healthy cell membranes and hormones as well as helping the absorption of minerals.
Find out 7 Reasons to Eat Saturated Fat here
Saturated fat is the group name for the different types of saturated fatty acids found in a variety of foods. Here is a brief list of the main saturated fatty acid in specific foods: lauric (coconut oil, breastmilk, and palm kernel oil), myrstic (cow milk and dairy products), palmitic (palm oil and meat and tallow), stearic (meat), butyric (butter), and caprylic (coconut oil and palm oil).
A sample few of the commonly known fatty acids
- lauric: increases HDL cholestrol, may reduce acne, inconclusive effects on heart disease
- myrstic: immunity and stabilize proteins
- palmitic: ongoing studies (2013 review)
- stearic: lower LDL cholesterol
- butyric: anti cancer for colon and promotes healthy colon epithelial cells and
- caprylic: anti microbial and anti fungal
My take away point: The different types of saturated fatty acids are beneficial to human health and needed as part of a balanced nutritious diet. A 2014 study finds that “Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”