Is it Okay to Drink Whole Milk?
What kind of milk is on this week’s grocery list? Should you purchase whole, reduced-fat, low-fat or fat-free milk? All of them provide 13 essential nutrients. Those vitamins, minerals and macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) build bones, maintain your immune system, help regulate metabolism and maintain your skin. The only difference between the types of dairy milk is how much fat they contain. An 8-ounce serving of whole milk (3.25% fat by weight) provides 8 grams of fat, reduced-fat milk (2% fat by weight) has 5 grams, low-fat (1% fat by weight) provides 2.5 grams and fat-free (skim milk) contains 0 grams.
Does that mean you should avoid whole milk if you’re worried about consuming fat?
Not necessarily. Although the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend low-fat and fat-free dairy products, they don’t suggest abolishing saturated fats. Instead, the guidelines suggest limiting saturated fats to 10% of your total daily calories, which means whole milk in moderation can be part of a healthy eating plan.
The good news about whole milk is that ongoing research indicates full fat dairy foods may be linked with healthy benefits. The saturated fats in them may help lower blood triglycerides (beneficial for heart health), maintain HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How Much Whole Milk is Too Much?
Of course, with any healthy eating plan, it’s important to consider overall calorie consumption. An 8-ounce glass of whole milk contains 150 calories, compared to 120 calories in 2%, 100 calories in 1% or 80 in fat-free milk. When deciding which is best for you, consider that saturated fats in whole milk help you feel fuller and more satisfied.
Is Drinking Whole Milk the Only Way to Reap Its Health Benefits?
No. Of course drinking a glass is milk is healthy, but whole milk used in cooking provides all the same good-for-you qualities. Next time you’re craving scrumptious food, try one these recipes that use whole milk: