Whole Milk Might Actually Be Good for Your Waistline, So Drink Up

When it comes to something like whole milk, there is always that internal struggle: one side of you knows it’s going straight to the [insert body part here], but the other side is chanting, “Do it, do it, do it, it's so delicious!” But what if I were to tell you that drinking whole milk might actually lead to a slimmer figure? A recent NPR piece spotlights two recent studies that indicate that consuming whole-fat dairy might play a role in weight loss.

The first, a paper published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, focused on the relationship between dairy consumption and obesity in men. The study concluded that the higher the intake of whole-fat dairy, the lower chance they had of being obese (and vice-versa). So basically more whole milk equals less obesity. I like where this is going.

The next one, as seen in the European Journal of Nutrition, attempted to prove that high-fat dairy foods contribute to obesity and heart disease. The funny part? The study actually went the in opposite direction and concluded that high-fat dairy was linked to a lower risk of obesity. Excellent! Can we toss the soy milk and eat chocolate chip cookies now?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that whole milk is a lot more likely to fill you up than crushed up almonds and guar gum. According to Greg Miller, executive vice president of the National Dairy Council, there is more and more data surfacing that links whole-fat dairy product consumption with lower body fat.

But why, exactly? Well, it’s complicated. According to Miller, it has to do with metabolism.

"There may be bioactive substances in the milk fat that may be altering our metabolism in a way that helps us utilize the fat and burn it for energy, rather than storing it in our bodies."

So even though whole milk is packed with saturated fats (and has a bad rep), there is a surprising amount of evidence proving it could contribute to a thinner figure — and it has omega-3 fatty acids! Our conclusion: ditch the skim.