Is Low Fat Milk Unhealthy?

For more than two decades we’ve been encouraged to go low fat or even no fat when it comes to milk, but stunning new results may change all that. Sixteen international studies into milk have revealed something that’s stunned the experts – the advice most of us follow every single day has been all wrong.

For more than twenty years we’ve been fed the message that full cream milk is bad news for our health, and as a result the traditional drink has been modified in every way possible.

In 1989 Australians were drinking 1.25 billion litres of full cream milk and very little reduced fat. Now despite population growth, we’ve dropped to 1.1 billion litres of full cream milk. Reduced fat accounts for 630 million litres and skim milk 110 million. However there’s been a revelation that could see even the most health conscious revert back to full cream.

We’ve been told that saturated fat is enemy number one – linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However in full cream milk saturated fat makes up less than four per cent, while helping the body absorb key nutrients and vitamins.

According to Dairy Australia’s Glenys Zucco “this science is certainly showing that there is a place for full fat dairy foods in the diet.” A review published in the European Journal of Nutrition has stunned health experts with a simple conclusion: dairy fat does not mean an increased risk of weight gain. While full cream has less than four per cent saturated fat, lite milk has less than two per cent and skim milk less than one per cent.

But when you start taking out the saturated fat you risk losing some of the goodness. According to nutritionist Kristen Beck “you will drop some of the fat soluble vitamins – so vitamin A, D and K.” Beck says “reduced fat is a hedge bet – still contains some of the fat – it will also have a lower glycemic index because of that fat intake. Also it will retain more absorbability of vitamins A and vitamin D.”

Specialising in obesity Associate Professor Tim Gill from Sydney University says the biggest problem is Australians simply don’t drink enough milk. Many are misled into thinking soy substitutes are better. “There’s no advantage from a calorie point of view, and cow’s milk generally has a better nutrition profile,” Professor Gill said.

While three serves of diary is the recommended guideline according to Diary Australia 73 per cent of Australian women and almost 60 per cent of men don’t have enough of it. 80 per cent of children are also missing out. If the international review is to be believed fans of full cream can start to gulp it down guilt free.


Ref: Lynda Kinkade , August 1, 2012, Today Tonight
For more information read the study: The relationship between high-fat dairy consumption and obesity, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease.

Or Visit: Dairy Australia – good-news-on-milk.aspx