Are whole-fat milk healthier than low-fat milk?


Most of the parents in the diets of their kids include dairy products in many forms, be it yoghurts, cottage cheese or milk. It is often the case that instead of full-fat dairy products, we choose these “slim” for fear of providing their children with “unnecessary” fat intake. Is the use of lean dairy products a good choice for our children?

Children who do not suffer, for example, whey and lactose intolerance, as well as other diseases that recommend the exclusion of dairy products, can easily eat yogurts, preferably natural, without added unnecessary sugar, as well as full-fat milk. Currently, you can meet Junior milk in circulation, which contains as much as 3.8% fat. Is such a producer movement necessary?

It turns out that – definitely yes!

In a study conducted by reliable paediatricians from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, 2,745 children aged 2-6 took part. These researchers conducted an interview with their parents before the tests, and also regularly checked the body mass index (BMI). Researchers also checked serum vitamin D levels before, during and after.

In this study:

35% of children drank milk containing 2% fat,
49% of children drank milk with 3.2% fat content,
12% of children drank milk containing 1% fat,
4% of children drank skimmed milk with about 0.1% fat content,
less than 1% of children drank different types of milk.
The report states that the researchers found that children who drank 3.2% fat milk had a BMI index of 0.72 units lower on average compared to children who drank milk containing 1-2% fat.

It is worth mentioning that BMI in children is slightly different than in adults. It is interpreted on the basis of centile grids, as the child’s body mass index changes with increasing height. To determine the child’s BMI, only height and gender are needed. In addition, the results of research on the level of vitamin D are also surprising. It was observed that children who drank a cup of full-fat milk daily had a comparable level of vitamin D to children who drink about three cups of milk 1%. Therefore, the research speaks for itself.
We know, how adequate vitamin D level is important especially during childhood. Vitamin D regulates a lot of life processes. In fact, every cell of our body is equipped with a vitamin D receptor. Its proper level in our body affects our immunity, and also reduces the risk of cancer and various autoimmune diseases. It is worth adding that when the level of vitamin D is normal, our body releases much more leptin, and yet this hormone informs our brain that we are satisfied. So you can deduce that the inadequate level of vitamin D in our body makes us have an appetite problem. Perhaps this is why children who participated in the study were more hungry if they also had lower levels of vitamin D.

Dr. Jonathon Maguire explains the results of the research as follows: children who consume oily milk reach for sweet or salty snacks, including sweet juices that give children empty calories. Quite differently behaviors are children whose parents give skimmed milk. After serving such a low calorie drink, children still feel hungry and therefore reach for caloric snacks. Often, these are highly processed products, which results in the fact that they consume more calories as a result than those who drink fatty milk.
Therefore, the authors of milk research in the children’s diet unanimously suggest that the Canadian recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the American Pediatric Academy should be changed, according to which children should consume two servings of 1-2% milk per day from 2 years of age.

To sum up: when our child is healthy, there is no known food allergy, it is worth giving dairy products as part of the diet. After the age of 2, of course, milk should not be the main component of our child’s diet, but as an addition in the form of full-fat milk, kefir, yogurt or cheese – as much as possible. It is worth remembering that milk as well as milk products are a very important source of calcium in the diet of our children.

Posted on: August 25, 2018

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