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Milking It

New studies support argument for full-fat milk
Full Fat Milk
Photo: Guy Montag via Flickr

The conventional wisdom about milk in the U.S. since the 1960s has gone something like this: skim or nonfat milk, good for you; full-fat milk, not so great for you. Low-fat milk is what's served with numerous public school lunches, recommended in the government's official dietary guidelines and espoused on the Department of Agriculture's website. That thinking, however, has been called into question in recent years by researchers, nutritionists and doctors. And two new studies are adding heft to those arguments, Time reports.

A study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition earlier this year, tracked 18,438 women. Those who consumed high-fat dairy products (perhaps counterintuitively) were 8 percent less likely to be obese.

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Another recent study in the journal Circulation found links between the consumption of full-fat dairy and a lower risk of diabetes. "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," Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, who oversaw the study, says.

When people cut out full-fat dairy, they often replace it with sugar (think chocolate milk) or carbs, which can be linked to diabetes and weight gain. Mozaffarian adds, "It's crucial at this time to understand that it's about food as a whole, and not about single nutrients." And to that, we happily raise our glass of full-fat milk.

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