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People who drink whole milk have a lower rate of diabetes than those who drink skim

Full fat milk

(NaturalNews) People who eat more full-fat dairy products (made from "whole" milk), are significantly less likely to develop diabetes than people who eat less of these foods, according to a study published recently in the journal Circulation.

The study is just the latest in a growing body of research showing that, contrary to decades of official dietary advice, full-fat milk products are actually better for your body than low-fat or "skim" milk products.

In fact, there is no credible scientific evidence specifically linking low-fat dairy to improved health, and plenty of evidence in the other direction. The growing recognition of this fact is spurring renewed calls for changes to official dietary recommendations.

Slashes diabetes rate by half

The Circulation study found that over a 15-year period, people who ate more full-fat dairy were 46 percent less likely to develop diabetes than people who ate less. Notably, the research did not rely on dietary recalls or food journals by participants. Instead, researchers performed blood tests to objectively measure levels of full-fat dairy metabolites.

Previous studies have actually suggested that people who eat more full-fat dairy are likely to weigh less, not more, partially because higher-fat foods make you feel full sooner. The researchers controlled for weight in their analysis, however, so lower weight did not explain the lower diabetes rates observed.

Other research has indicated that low-fat diets tend to be higher in refined carbohydrates, which are more likely to produce the blood sugar spikes that lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

Skip the skim: Whole fat is real food!

Science is finally starting to bring about an end to the low-fat craze that has dominated conventional dietary wisdom for decades. Another recent study found that among a group of normal-weight women over the age of 45, who were followed for 11 years, those who ate the most full-fat dairy had an 8 percent lower chance of becoming overweight or obese. Consumption of low-fat dairy had no effect on risk, however.

Similar results came from a 2009 study conducted by researchers from the University of Gothenburg. The researchers found that 8-year-olds who regularly drank whole milk had a lower body mass index (BMI, a measure of obesity), than children who did not drink much milk, and weighed an average of 4 kg (9 lbs) less. This was true among both overweight and healthy-weight children.

Consumption of low-fat or medium-fat milk had no effect on BMI.

The researchers found that the children who drank whole milk more often consumed more saturated fat than recommended, but that this had no impact on their weight.

The health benefits of whole milk go beyond metabolism. A 2007 study in the journal Human Reproduction, found that women who ate one or more servings of high-fat dairy per day were 27 percent less likely to suffer from anovulatory infertility, while women who ate the most low-fat dairy were 85 percent more likely.

The official U.S. government dietary recommendations still recommend low-fat dairy foods.

"I think these findings together with those from other studies do call for a change in the policy of recommending only low-fat dairy products," said Dariush Mozaffarian, co-author of the Circulation study. "There is no prospective human evidence that people who eat low-fat dairy do better than people who eat whole-fat dairy."

The shifting thinking on whole-fat milk and high-fat dairy is only one part of a larger change in views on dietary fat in general. Studies are now showing that saturated fat, long demonized as a contributor to heart disease and obesity, plays critical roles in the body, and promotes metabolic and cognitive health. And last year, the top nutrition advisory board for the United States dropped a 40-year recommendation to limit cholesterol intake, concluding that no scientific evidence supported such advice.

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