Full-Fat or Low-Fat Dairy – What to Consider, According to Science


The growing body of research suggests that dairy fat is not as harmful for the health of the heart as we used to think earlier. This led the consumers around the globe to reconsider their choice of yogurt or milk or any other dairy products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), among others, has emphasized on lowering complete fat, including cholesterol, trans-fats and saturated fats to improve the general health and wellbeing of the people.

These recommendations were based on the concept that that higher intake of saturated fats is linked with increased likelihood of the occurrence of diseases like cardiovascular diseases. Diets with high amounts of dairy fat lead to cardiovascular diseases because of high amounts of saturated fats. But, now the idea is changing as there is positive effect of full-fat dairy consumption on the cardiovascular health and weight management.

What the Latest Research Has to Say?

If we delve deeper into the reasons or science of this theory, we will find that fatty acids present in whole dairy foods are complex and have physiological effects. As per Adam Lock, assistant professor at Michigan State University, the structure of fatty acids is different in milk and they don’t have any noticeable effect on plasma cholesterol.


Further, research says that whole dairy foods have some useful ingredients. They have protein, which caters to your satiety along with calcium, which regulates blood pressure. Fat soluble vitamins like A, K, E and D also get absorbed in the presence of fat.

Consumption of full-fat dairy products may also impact weight positively. According to a review, published in 2013 in the European Journal of Nutrition, there are lesser chances of weight gain and obesity in people, who consume full-fat dairy products. Moreover, latest research indicates that when fat is decreased in the diet, it gets replaced with carbs or sugar, which results in abnormalities in the lipid.


Full-fat dairy fills you more, and is less processed and tastier than fat-free or low-fat dairy. If you go for a yogurt made from whole milk, instead of a 100 calories counterpart, you would feel fuller and will possibly eat lesser over the course of the day.

Nevertheless, more research may be needed to know if the USDA guidelines can be modified, but what we do know is that whole and low-fat dairy can be a part of any healthy diet. We can integrate it in our recipes for taste and nutritional benefits.