Re-thinking weight loss
European Journal of Nutrition highlighted that fat does not necessarily make you fat, not even dairy fat. Apparently people who eat full-fat dairy tend to be leaner than those who opt for low-fat versions.
In 2016, a long-term study of 18,438 middle-aged women’s consumption of high-fat dairy, but not low-fat dairy, was associated with reduced likelihood of becoming overweight through the years.
After reading this, I went back to drinking ‘gold top’ full fat milk, and slowly lost excess pounds. So I asked a senior consultant at King’s College Hospital why was this? Basically, it boiled down to the fact that the full fat milk I drank at breakfast filled me up enough so that I didn’t need a fattening snack mid-morning; I was going through to lunch without my biscuit fix.
So the extra calories in the full-fat milk were slowly cancelled out by me missing my mid-morning snack – plus I was getting extra nutrients found in this milk.
Information from America
There have been recent interesting studies in the States, so here is a round-up of the latest information that might help with your weight-loss programme. If you are working with a Dietician, ask their advice – but what the Americans are saying is certainly ‘food for thought’
Brian Quebbemann, a bariatric surgeon with the Chapman Medical Center in California says fat is an incredibly satiating nutrient, filling you up, slowing down the release of sugars into your bloodstream and helping to prevent overeating. “By eating the full-fat form of dairy products, you might actually eat fewer calories throughout the day than you would otherwise,” he says.
So be careful when eating ‘low fat’ products; they can be full of sugar to replace the taste lost from fat.
While maintaining a healthy weight can certainly help lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, research suggest that dairy fat may still improve metabolic health. A 15-year study from Tufts University researchers found that, compared to people who eat the least dietary fat, people who eat the most have a 46 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
One reason: “When someone eats full-fat dairy versus low-fat dairy, the fat will actually delay the absorption of the milk’s sugar,” says NYC registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Laura Cipullo, author of “Women’s Health Body Clock Diet.” As a result, blood sugar rises more slowly over a longer period of time. Consequently, insulin follows this same pattern. Less circulating insulin means less risk for the development of insulin resistance and diabetes.” Meanwhile, the study suggests that specific fatty acids contained in dairy, such as pentadecanoic acid and heptadecanoic acid, may play special roles in risk reduction.
Yes, cheese can be part of a heart-healthy diet!. Research published this year in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consumption of full-fat cheese raises healthy HDL cholesterol levels, which are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, better than does consumption of low-fat varieties.
The study builds on a 2014 review published in Current Nutrition Reports, which concluded that fat from milk, cheese and yogurt does not contribute to the development of coronary artery disease. While researchers are still trying to understand why, Cipullo notes that dairy contains more than 400 unique types of fatty acids, some of which are believed to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
When people reduce the amount of fat they eat, they tend to increase their intake of refined carbohydrates and sugar, the driving forces behind many health problems, says Dr. Kevin Campbell, a board-certified internal medicine and cardiac specialist based in North Carolina. In fact, newly discovered documents published in JAMA Internal Medicine show that decades ago, the sugar industry paid scientists to downplay the effects of sugar and put the blame on saturated fat (like that in dairy).
Currently, 3 out of every 4 Americans eat too much added sugar, with 90 percent of it coming from ultra-processed foods. And, while I’m not promoting ice cream as a health food (everything in moderation!), it’s worth noting that full-fat tubs tend to contain less sugar than do their low-fat counterparts. Why? When food manufacturers remove fat from foods (like dairy fat from ice cream), they add in extra sugar to keep you hooked, Cipullo says. I put this theory to the test at my local gastro-pub, and find the occasional scoop of their full-fat chocolate ice-cream keeps me going throughout the afternoon, and I don’t crave biscuits at tea-time.