The conversation seems to be moving in a more balanced direction for whole milk-based dairy foods (i.e., milk, cheese and yogurt). While nutritional guidance has recommended low-fat and fat-free dairy foods for the past 30 years, the scientific evidence on whole milk and milk products is evolving and appears to be neutral to positive on cardiovascular and metabolic health outcomes. In fact, the comprehensive research on dairy foods, specifically milk, cheese and yogurt – regardless of fat level – is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Full-fat dairy, despite its higher caloric content, does not result in an increased risk for overweight or obesity. In fact, scientific studies have indicated the opposite may be true. The mechanism of action is unknown, but several have been proposed. One may be that eating full-fat dairy increases satiety — the feeling of fullness — and thus leads people to cut calories in other areas.