Drinking Whole Milk Is Less Likely To Make You Fat, Studies Show

Remember high school literature class? How many of those summer reading list books did you actually read the whole way through? If you’re like most students, you probably just skimmed the CliffsNotes, asked your friends and developed an elaborate in-class cheating system to fake your way through the test for a solid C. Why? It just seemed right.

In America, we’ve been taught to treat our milk like we treat our reading assignments: we opt for the skim instead of the whole. But according to a new study, that logic needs to be taken out to pasture.

Per Medical Xpress, a “systematic review and meta-analysis led by St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto found children who drank whole milk had 40 percent lower odds of being overweight or obese compared with children who consumed reduced-fat milk.”

This wasn’t some one-off, bogus study. The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed 28 studies from seven countries, and “explored the relationship between children drinking cow’s milk and the risk of being overweight or obese.”

Wholly cow

Here’s where things get crazy: Absolutely none of those studies, which involved almost 21,000 children between the ages of one and 18 years old, showed that reduced-fat milk kept kids from being overweight, while “18 of the 28 studies suggested children who drank whole milk were less likely to be overweight or obese.”

The CliffsNotes version of that quote is that you’re probably better off drinking whole milk, even if you’re concerned about your weight.

What is less clear is exactly why. According to Dr. Jonathon Maguire, lead author of the review and a pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, “We cannot be sure if whole milk caused the lower risk of overweight or obesity. Whole milk may have been related to other factors which lowered the risk of overweight or obesity.”

This is a complicated issue, and results will vary based on the individual, but Healthline notes that while whole milk has more saturated fat content than 2 percent, it also has way more Omega-3s, which are linked to many health benefits, including “improved heart and brain health and a lower risk of cancer. The more fat a cup of milk has in it, the higher its omega-3 content.”

So those higher fat pros may outweigh the cons. And by the way — whole milk doesn’t mean 100 percent fat — it’s typically around 3.25 percent, which really isn’t that much more than 2 percent. Plus, it’s creamier!

So, for all you book skimmers out there — here’s your chance for redemption. Life is a test you can’t skim through. Buy whole milk, because science says it’s probably better.

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