When you try to lose weight, one of the first things you may cut from your meal plan is high-fat meats, cheeses, and dairy products. However, before you switch your whole milk for skim, read about this recent report that drinking high-fat whole milk may help you lose weight in the long run.
There are two main types of fats in our food:
- Saturated fat: a dense fat found in high-fat meats, dairy products, and oils. When eaten in large amounts over a long term, this type of fat can clog your blood vessels and increase your heart disease risk.
- Unsaturated fat: a fat found in such foods as nuts and fish that can actually help reduce the fat in your blood vessels. If eaten every day, unsaturated fats can help reduce your heart disease risk.
Several studies showcased in this report by Swedish researchers looked at the link between consuming full-fat dairy products and obesity. It was found that:
- Those who drank whole milk and consumed more full-fat dairy products such as cream and butter were less likely to be obese compared to those who consumed less of these products.
- Full-fat foods may make you feel fuller, so you eat less overall and lose weight.
More studies need to be done to find out the true link between full-fat foods and weight management. However, these findings do match up with previous studies showing that children who ate only low-fat or fat-free dairy products had a much higher chance of becoming obese.
What do these results mean for me?
- Even though full-fat products may fill you up more than low-fat dairy products, there is no confirmed guarantee that you will lose weight from this factor alone.
- Although they contain healthy omega-3 fats, full-fat dairy products are still high in saturated fat which, if eaten in excess, can increase risk of heart disease.
- It is suggested that those with high cholesterol should continue to limit dairy fats.
What fat is OK to keep in my daily meal plan?
- It may be healthier to consume some full-fat dairy products, such as cheese and butter, since they contain fewer unnatural substances in them than processed cheeses and margarine.
- Keep saturated fat daily intake to less than 10-percent of daily calories. For the standard 2000-calorie meal plan, this equates to about 20 grams of saturated fat or less every day.
- Keep total fat intake to about 20 to 35 percent of calories from fat each day, or about 60 grams of fat on average based on the standard 2000-calorie meal plan.