I'm not overweight or trying to lose weight. Would I get more health benefits by consuming whole fat dairy than low-fat/non-fat dairy?
Natasha Uspensky (New York, NY) on Dec 20, 2011
There are several, contradictory answers to this question, but, in general, dairy should be consumed in moderation. If you are not looking to lose weight, and want to consume moderate amounts of dairy, there are definitely more health benefits to consuming raw, whole fat dairy products, rather than low-fat or non-fat. Whole fat dairy products are more filling than their low-fat counterparts, which can prevent overeating. Whole fat dairy also has significantly more nutrients, giving your body more benefit per serving. That said, regular consumption of ANY kind of dairy has been linked to an increase in risk of cancer and other health problems, so again, moderate consumption (if at all) is best!
Alyssa Chicci (Tolleson, AZ) on Dec 20, 2011
There is really no health benefit to consuming whole fat dairy products. An 8oz glass of whole milk contains 8 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated. The average person should have no more than 20 grams of saturated fat in a day. If you consume the recommended 3 servings of dairy per day from whole fat dairy, that would give you 15 grams of saturated fat, 3/4 of your day's worth! That leaves little room for saturated fat from other sources in which you may get it, such as meats, eggs, and tropical oils. Too much saturated fat in your diet can raise LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) thereby increasing your risk of heart disease. Also, there are 150 calories in 8oz of whole milk as compared to 100 calories in 8oz of 1% low fat milk. Even if you're not overweight, the extra 150 calories per day would equal an extra 1050 calories per week. You could slowly pack on the pounds, for a total of a 17 pound weight gain in a year, if you didn't compensate by lowering your calorie intake somewhere else in your diet. I suggest consuming 1% milk, low fat cheese, or lite fat free yogurt. Whole fat dairy is recommended for infants under the age of 1 year and may be helpful for people with certain medical needs or calorie requirements.