Full-fat dairy has long suffered from an unfortunate stigma: Amid America's cultural obsession with low-fat diets, the conventional wisdom has become that it's healthier to consume low- or no-fat dairy products. But now, there's evidence to suggest that there are actually health benefits to consuming the whole-fat stuff—which is great news for people like us, who believe it tastes superior to its low- or no-fat counterparts.
According to Time, "large population studies that look at possible links between full-fat dairy consumption, weight and disease risk are starting to call" into question the longstanding dietary guidelines advising the consumption of low-fat dairy. This is per the journal Circulation, which published a recent report showing that people who consume full-fat dairy are 46 percent less likely to get diabetes than those who do not.
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“I think these findings together with those from other studies do call for a change in the policy of recommending only low-fat dairy products,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, one of the authors of the Circulation study, according to Time. “There is no prospective human evidence that people who eat low-fat dairy do better than people who eat whole-fat dairy.”
The Circulation study isn't the only one coming to these conclusions; a range of new research has suggested that people who consume full-fat dairy are no more likely than those who do not to get heart disease or diabetes; meanwhile, evidence suggests they are less likely to become obese.
“This is just one more piece of evidence showing that we really need to stop making recommendations about food based on theories about one nutrient in food,” Mozaffarian said, according to Time. “It’s crucial at this time to understand that it’s about food as a whole, and not about single nutrients.”
The bottom line? Studies like these can be fickle, so don't put too much stock in it. But you're probably safe indulging in that whole milk latte.