Full-fat milk may reduce risk of ‘metabolic syndrome’

A new research study published in the Journal of Nutrition has indicated that people who regularly consume full-fat milk or milk products have reduced risk of being diagnosed with ‘metabolic syndrome’. In medical terms, metabolic syndrome refers to a set of risk factors associated with serious ailments such as heart disease and diabetes. This new study puts a question mark on earlier health guidelines that had urged people to stay away from whole milk and choose low-fat milk instead.

The new research

This new research study was conducted in Brazil, involving more than 15,000 civil servants. The primary objective of this research was to examine the connection between the types of milk or milk products people consume and how it affects the potential occurrence of metabolic syndrome. Some of the common characteristics of this syndrome include belly fat, high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, high blood sugar and high blood pressure.

After the data collected during the research was analyzed, researchers found that people who consumed full-fat milk and milk products such as whole milk and even butter and yogurt, had a reduced risk of getting afflicted with metabolic syndrome. In comparison, such health benefits were not available to those who consumed toned milk or milk products. This research study was supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The USDA fights back

After findings of the new research were published, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has come out in defense of its current guidelines that encourage people to choose toned milk and milk products over whole milk. USDA has said that the current dietary guidelines are based on evaluating data and evidences collected through thousands of research studies and not just one standalone research study. USDA says that the body of evidence that has been used to establish the current dietary guidelines for Americans has revealed that consumption of toned milk and milk products is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. According to USDA, toned milk and milk products work better because they supply the same type of nutrients as whole milk and yet do not carry the added calories as can be found in full-fat milk and milk products.

Evidence of potential health benefits is available in support of both toned milk and full cream milk. So, what type of milk and milk products you choose will depend on your specific needs. For example, if you think that you need to cut down on calories, then you may choose toned milk and milk products. However, if calories are not much of an issue, you can go for full-fat milk and milk products. In case you have any health issues, you would do better to consult your doctor about the type of milk you should consume.

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