AUSTRALIANS have been steadily switching from full-cream to low-fat milk over the past decade, with many citing their waistline as a reason, but an international review may have even the most health-conscious embracing the full-fat latte once again.
It has been broadly accepted that consuming saturated fat can lead to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, prompting Australian dietary guidelines to recommend low and reduced-fat milks and yoghurt.
But in a review examining the link between high-fat dairy and health, published in the latest European Journal of Nutrition, researchers concluded ”in contrast to the prevailing scientific and public sentiment, dairy fat consumption is not typically associated with an increased risk of weight gain, cardiovascular disease or type-2 diabetes. This is also in contrast to most current dietary guidelines.”
Researchers found 11 out of 16 international studies showed higher dairy fat intake was associated with lower body fat levels and lower long-term weight gain. The review, led by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Washington, noted that further studies were needed, but concluded there was ”no compelling reason” to avoid the fat found in dairy.