When shopping in the grocery store, you likely have your own habits. Whether we like it or not, we’re all slaves to certain brands or products. We just get used to buying them regularly, which means that we’re much less likely to stray away from them and try something new. After all, why bother changing things up when you’re happy with the products you get?
The moment you reach the milk aisle, you likely know just what you’re going to reach for. You barely have to think about it at all. You simply glance up, grab the familiar-looking bottle, and move on. Many of us ladies tend to stick to skim milk for one unsurprising reason – we believe that it’s the healthiest option out there.
I mean, the government specifically tells us so on myplate.gov:
“Choose fat-free or low-fat milk. If you usually drink whole milk, switch gradually to fat-free milk, to lower saturated fat and calories”
But, wait, what if they’re wrong? Could the very institution that amassed a $20 trillion dollar debt, liberated Iraq, and invented government cheese be wrong about milk?!
Full-fat dairy products may be healthier, according to science
Steering clear of dairy fat (or, indeed, any type of fat) may seem like a natural thing to do. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply lower your cholesterol, it makes sense to cut back on the things that you assume are bad for your general health. But, here’s the interesting thing, full fat is not always as terrible for you as you may initially assume.
While you may think that less fat means less harm to your body, that’s not always the case. According to a recent Swedish study, eating high-fat dairy products is actually linked to a lower risk of obesity. It sounds odd since we’re told to believe that less fat on our lips means less fat on our hips. Sometimes, though, a little healthy fat can do our bodies a whole load of good.
And that’s not the only research to suggest that eating a little more real dairy could keep us healthy. In fact, last year, another 2016 study found a surprising link between eating dairy fat and lowering your risk of diabetes. Again, the suggestion here was that introducing a little more full-fat dairy into your diet could have some positive health benefits.
The problem with skim milk: Buy milk with fat instead
If you’re still loyal to skim milk, (also known as “skimmed” milk in Canada and the U.K.) there’s one thing that you ought to know before you go gulping away. The skimming process does not simply mean taking the fat out of your milk and leaving you with a delicious and not-so-creamy product.
There’s a whole load more to it, actually. While the manufacturers have to remove certain elements of the milk, they also have to replace them with something.
Shockingly, much of the time, the thing they use as a replacement is –sugar! The main issue with that is that it makes your sugar intake surge immensely without you even knowing it and that could be making you pile on those extra pounds.
Weight Watchers & Milk
So, the interesting thing is that popular diets like Weight Watchers seem to make a point of favoring the low-fat or skim milk options in their plans. In fact, Weight Watchers Online (view today’s coupons) even says:
“Keep in mind that only “non-fat” (0% milk fat) and “low-fat” (typically labeled as 1% milk fat) items count towards the Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines for dairy. “Reduced-fat” items (typically labeled as 2% milk fat) do not.
However, even though whole milk is going to cost you more Weight Watchers points (PointsPlus), they do emphasize the benefits of drinking milk of any kind, and list dairy milk alternatives on weightwatchers.com along with PointsPlus values:
Milk: Weight Watchers PointsPlus values per cup:
- Whole dairy: 4
- Reduced-fat milk: 3
- Lowfat (1%) milk: 3
- Nonfat/skim milk: 2
- Buttermilk: 3
- Goat’s milk: 5
- Sheep’s milk: 7
- Almond milk (unsweetened): 2
- Coconut milk: (light) 6
- Rice milk: 3
- Soy milk (fat-free): 2
Don’t Buy Skim Milk: Consider Whole, Soy Milk, or Almond Milk Instead
Well, one way to include more full-fat dairy in your diet is to opt for either whole milk, 2% milk or a non-dairy alternative rather than skim. This tiny change to your regular routine is certain to ensure that you get a decent dose of dairy on a regular basis.
You can also take the advice of diets like Medifast and consider some of the healthy non-dairy alternatives that are out there like soy milk and almond milk which have half the calories (and half the Weight Watchers PointsPlus) as 2% or whole milk.
You could also consider snacking on full-fat yogurt when you get a chance and even indulging in a little tasty cottage cheese now and then. No, really. According to the research we’ve already mentioned, doing so could reduce your risk of obesity and diabetes. It may seem counter to your instincts, but it could be just the change you need.
Mother, Should I Trust The Government?
It’s also interesting to note that the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate (the hipster rival to the U.S. government’s “MyPlate”) omits the glass of dairy milk altogether, replacing it with a glass of water and adds, “you should limit milk/dairy to 1-2 servings a day.”
Hmmm… I wonder if milk’s ubiquitous presence on MyPlate has to do with the fact that the dairy lobby spends over $7 million each year to lobby the U.S. government? I mean, they’d probably recommend that we all suck our milk directly out of a wild buffalo if someone paid them enough.
Anyway, enough about politics. As with everything, your intake of dairy products should be in moderation. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about exercising and eating a balanced diet. With that in mind, cutting dairy fat out of your diet altogether seems a little ludicrous, right?
- More: Reasons Why Skim Milk is a Scam – cafemom.com