Hello there! Have you ever wondered if it’s better to pick full fat or low fat milk, cheese, and butter? Well, a diet expert is here to help you figure it out.
In the past, we thought that full fat dairy foods like milk, cheese, and butter were not good for our health because they have a type of fat that we were worried about. But now, we’re learning that these full-fat dairy products might not be as bad as we thought.
A dietitian named Duane Mellor says that some kinds of fat in dairy can actually help our hearts and reduce the chances of getting diabetes. In 2020, researchers found that kids who ate full-fat dairy foods were healthier than those who ate low-fat versions. This was true for grown-ups too. Also, dairy products like kefir, live yogurt, and aged cheese can help make our stomachs healthy. But, it’s true that some dairy foods have a lot of fat that might not be good for our hearts. Let’s learn more about the good and not-so-good parts of dairy, and how full fat can affect our health.
Think about the last cup of tea you had. Chances are, it had a kind of milk called “semi-skimmed.” For a long time, people said we should use this milk to cut down on fat. A dietitian named Aisling says that fat can be a problem for our hearts, but even whole milk isn’t super fatty.
In the UK, milk comes in three types:
- Whole milk (the fattest kind)
- Semi-skimmed milk (a bit less fat)
- Skimmed milk (almost no fat)
When a food has a lot of fat, it’s called “high fat.” When it has a little fat, it’s “low fat.” But even Jersey milk, which is a fancy kind of milk, only has a little bit of fat. Dairy fat is not all bad – it has vitamins like vitamin A and E. Skimmed milk does have more calcium, though. “So, while milk does have some fat, the really bad fat comes from processed foods like pastries and ready-made meals,” Aisling says.
Remember when butter was seen as not so good and people switched to spreads made from oil? Well, Aisling says it’s okay to have some butter if we’re careful. We shouldn’t eat too much, though, because butter has a lot of energy. Men should try to have no more than 30 grams of fat each day, and women should aim for 20 grams. If you like butter, that’s okay, just don’t have too much at once. But what about spreads that claim to be good for lowering cholesterol? Aisling says you would have to eat a lot of them to see any benefits. It’s better to get healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
If you love cheese, you’re not alone! Cheese is high in fat, but it’s also packed with good things like calcium and protein. Aisling says that adding cheese to meals can make them tastier and healthier. Some kinds of cheese are lower in fat, like cottage cheese and quark, which is a type of creamy cheese.
Guess what? Yogurt is a great choice for our diets! There are so many types to pick from, with different fat levels and even kinds with good bacteria that help our stomachs. Greek yogurt, for example, can have no fat or a bit more fat. You can also mix yogurt into other foods to add protein throughout the day.
So, when it comes to dairy, you have choices! Just remember, a little fat is okay, but too much might not be the best for your heart. It’s all about finding a balance that makes your tummy and taste buds happy.