We’ve been brainwashed for decades to believe that dairy fat is harmful (as well as dietary fat), however recent research overwhelmingly suggests the opposite.
Consider the following:
- Studies show that people who eat full-fat dairy foods had the lowest risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
- Studies also show that higher circulating levels of trans-palmitoleic acid (a fatty acid found in full fat dairy) are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Lastly, another study demonstrated that women who eat two or more servings of low-fat dairy foods per day, particularly skim milk and yogurt, increased their risk of infertility by more than 85 percent compared with women who ate less than one serving of low-fat dairy food per week.
All of these studies were observational in nature, so they don’t prove causation that full-fat dairy is responsible for all of the effects mentioned. But they certainly make it difficult to argue that full-fat dairy is harmful and contributes to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Compounds in high-fat dairy products (not non-fat), such as butyrate, phytanic acid, trans palmitoleic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid—have been shown to have beneficial health effects. This demonstrates why full fat diary is much more beneficial to your health than non-fat, which is the opposite of what we have been fed for the bast few decades.
- Butyrate provides energy to the cells lining the colon, inhibits inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, and may prevent colonic bacteria from entering the bloodstream.
- Phytanic acid, one of the fatty acids in dairy fat, has been shown to reduce triglycerides, improve insulin sensitivity, and improve blood-sugar regulation in animal models.
- Trans palmitoleic acid, was found to be associated with a decrease in diabetes, heart disease and inflammatory markers.
- Conjugated linolenic acid (CLA), a natural trans fat found in dairy products, may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Finally, dairy fat is also a good source of fat-soluble vitamins like retinol (active vitamin A) and vitamin K2, which are difficult to obtain elsewhere in the diet.
Full fat dairy is best however dairy is not for everyone?
There’s no question that dairy doesn’t work for everyone. Some people with bacterial overgrowth in their gut are allergic/intolerant of the proteins in dairy, or are highly sensitive for lactose (the sugar in dairy). In those cases dairy must be avoided, or additional steps must be taken (such as consuming fermented dairy products like kefir or Greek yogurt, which are lower in lactose) to make it tolerable.
But for people who tolerate dairy, there’s really no reason to choose low-fat or non-fat varieties. By doing so, you may be reducing or eliminating the benefits you would get from consuming dairy products in the first place!
So please, if you tolerate dairy, choose whole milk, full fat cream, yoghurt, cheese and butter. It is better for your health!