Got Milk? Make Sure It’s Whole, Research Says

Think whole, full-fat milk leads to a full-fat waistline? Think again. Recent research concludes that consuming whole-fat dairy is actually linked to reduced body fat.

One study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, looked at obesity rates in over 1,700 men age 40-60 years old over a period of 12 years. The study found that the men who consumed high-fat milk, butter, and cream had lower rates of developing obesity compared to those who rarely or never consumed high-fat dairy.

And another paper, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, looked at data from 16 different studies that examined the relationship between high-fat dairy consumption and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disease. The researchers didn’t find data supporting the hypothesis that a diet of high-fat dairy foods contributes to obesity and heart disease risk. In fact, 11 of the 16 studies showed a link between high-fat dairy and a lower risk of obesity.

Executive vice president of the National Dairy Council Greg Miller tells NPR of one possible explanation, saying “There may be bioactive substances in the milk fat that may be altering our metabolism in a way that helps us utilize the fat and burn it for energy, rather than storing it in our bodies.”

It could also have to do simply with satiety — higher levels of fat in food make us feel fuller, perhaps causing us to eat less as a result.

Whatever it is, it seems milk consumption is trending towards the whole-fat variety. CEO of Organic Valley George Siemon tells NPR that his company’s sales of whole-fat milk are up 10 percent—and sales of skim milk are falling.

What’s in your fridge—are you a whole milk fan, or are you sticking to skim until there’s more evidence in favor of high-fat dairy?


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june t.
reft h3 years ago

I love milk with my chocolate chip cookies

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Don´t drink milk

Suzana Megles
Suzana Megles3 years ago

Made a mistake - sent a star to someone who eats Greek Yogurt. As a vegan, no whole milk, no dairy at all. I have been happily subsisting on soy milk, soy cream cheese, soy yogurt. None of these products cause mother cows to stand in never ending lines. None of those products cause her male calves to be incarcerated in veal crates which allows no movement for these poor tiny living beings. Is milk so important to you that the cows and their offspring have to suffer? Thank God, there are those of us who have compassion. No this is no boast. It is a factual truth.

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

I don't drink cow's milk; I use almond & coconut milk. I do however drink Keifer & recently started eating Greek yogurt. Both of the former are low-fat types. I read somewhere a while back that the conjugated linoleic acids that are in full fat dairy products is what the reasoning behind one's body burning the fat off & not storing it; but that the efficiency of this is not to proof because for one, it would have to be done in moderation (which many ppl do not do), & it has to be balanced w/ the proper omega fatty acid profile, such as: a high omega 3 intake from healthy oils like olive, avacodo, coconut. If the intake of omega 6 oils from vegetable oils are higher (as with the big majority of the american diet), & not in balance w/ the aforementioned omega fatty acids, then it will all be off kilter & therefore NOT a healthy practice of eating. It's all in the whole, & not the sum, balance is everything. Which seems to be a big American culture issue.

Jessica K.
Jessica K4 years ago

Make that full fat organic grass fed milk, raw if at all possible to get! (you may be surprised what is near you, check out listings on for local farms or farms who can deliver to your door. I cannot drink the pasteurized stuff anymore, it feels so wrong by comparison and makes me sick, while raw milk, all of its enzymes intact, does not. Even people who have been told they are lactose intolerant often find they can digest raw milk because these enzymes have not been destroyed by pasteurization. Also full fat raw milk has been helping me lose weight. The low-fat high-carb diets still being pushed are a death trap and a path to obesity.

June Bostock
June Bostock4 years ago


d h
d H4 years ago

Make that full fat organic certified raw milk. The fat reduced has been the harbinger of a multitude of disease. Just another industry ruse. The extracted fat was wanted to make the insanely rape priced cheeses. At the same time "coffee cream", whipping cream, and "ice cream" became a chemical soup conglomeration. Another example of gocernment and business via lobbyists working hard to ensure max profits for them and trash for us.
One more thing ONLY Blood Type B people can safely drink milk. Diabetes Vascular Disease and Obesity for the rest.

Sandra L.
Sandra L4 years ago

Ros, similar with my husband, not so much for Dr.s or meds but didn't have great eating habits so I have had to ease him into my 'granola' lifestyle (laughs).

Sandra L.
Sandra L4 years ago

Ros, Here is an article you may find interesting regarding fish oil supplementation. Personally, I stopped using fish oil supplements in favour of using dietary sources, my goal being a diet that provides our nutrition over supplementation where that is possible.

Julian A.
Julian A4 years ago

Ros G Part 2, continued
5. You said your husband is "vitamin D sufficient?" after taking fish oils. I assume you meant "deficient". So you assume that fish oil doesn't boost Vit D? Except for cod liver oil, of course they don't. For many people, hi doses of Vit D supplements are necessary.

5.Supplement concentrates can be part of a holistic approach, which also includes weight bearing aerobic exercise. Researchers on the cutting edge of heart disease prevention and reversal all advocate a varied mainly plant based diet. Adding life saving supplements is no contradiction. Many researchers on heart disease, cancer prevention and anti aging strongly recommend them, based on the studies. Vit D from the sun is not enough in many places and too much sun causes skin cancer, so experts including Mehmet Oz,recommend Vit D supplements. Policosanol and red yeast rice are very powerful in lowering LDL and total cholesterol and raising HDL without having to go 100% vegan, in combination with aerobic exercise and a mostly plant based diet and I've tested that.

6.Most people aren't born with great genes and need intervention including aerobic weight bearing exercise, which is essential for many reasons. A varied diet is good only if it's the right kind. There's no such thing as "moderation" when is comes to heart disease.