Recent research shows no relationship between full-fat milk and heart diseases which has been cited in previous research.
For decades, U.S. dietary guidelines recommended people to replace whole milk or full-fat milk with skimmed or low-fat milk. The reason is whole milk contains saturated fat which is often cited to contribute to heart diseases.
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The guidelines from the USDA are revised every five years to keep them in accordance with the latest research. This year a bit of controversy sparked when a recent research project found no relationship between saturated fats and coronary heart diseases. Despite that, USDA has not shown any intentions in changing its guidelines and is seemingly sticking to the old one.
“The U.S. population should be encouraged and guided to consume dietary patterns that are rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in low- and non-fat dairy products and alcohol (among adults),” USDA stated in March 2015 guidelines.
Where it has been found that whole milk does not really contribute to heart diseases, there is also little evidence to support the assertion that whole milk is healthier than low-fat milk. Assistant professor Marcia Otto of University of Texas and the author of many government-funded studies published in 2012 and 2013 claims that by asking people to avoid full fat dairy products, the United States is losing a huge opportunity for prevention from diseases.
“What we have learned over the last decade is that certain foods that are high in fat seem to be beneficial,” Otto said.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the federal government is calling so-called saturated fats responsible for it for a long time despite any solid evidence. Researchers believe that the United States Department of Agriculture has to be very sure before setting out guidelines on what should be eaten to maintain health.
“If we are going to make recommendations to the public about what to eat, we should be pretty darn sure they’re right and won’t cause harm. There’s no evidence that the reduction of saturated fats should be a priority,” Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist, epidemiologist, and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University said.
Despina Hyde, a registered dietician at NYU's Langone Weight Management program says that many researchers are now carrying on to compare whole milk with low-fat milk and to find out which one is better for our health.
“There's a lot of emerging research right now about full-fat dairy versus low-fat or non-fat dairy,” Hyde said.
“What we do know is that fat is not the enemy. Fat is good for us. It provides satiety, that feeling of fullness. It helps us to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. So it's good for us for several reasons. However, the fat that's found in dairy is saturated fat, which may not be the best fat out there. There's other, healthier fats like monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega 3s.”
Avoiding whole milk altogether does not seem an appropriate solution. It should not be taken out of a healthy diet plan. Nevertheless, this new debate has added up confusion and frustration among the U.S healthy diet culture.
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Source: Washington Post