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Does low fat milk make you fat? In fact, does fat make you fat? At Diets Don’t Work PT we preach the benefits of the whole food diet wherever possible, combined with structured exercise and occasional treats to keep you sane. Much of the initial education that we offer personal training clients looks at fat, protein and carbohydrate (in particular sugar) and the effect that the latter have on blood sugar levels, insulin and fat storage. Ie the consumption of starch and sugar trigger high blood sugar levels, triggering an insulin response leading to increased fat storage. The mantra “fat doesn’t make you fat” that we love so much is again confirmed this week in a study from Canada involving 2,745 children.
The study followed children were between 2 and 6 years old, and found that whole milk drinkers were less than half as likely to be overweight as those who drank semi-skimmed or skimmed milk. They were also less than a third as likely to be really fat, or obese.
On average, the drinkers of whole milk (around 3% fat) were about 1kg lighter than those who had only skimmed milk (1% fat). The researchers speculate that the children drinking the full fat milk felt fuller for longer, so snacked less during the day on more unhealthy treats high in sugar and processed starch. Conversely, the children who drank the skimmed milk felt less full, so ate more outside of meals.
The leader of the study, Dr Jonathen Maguire, a scientist at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto said that health authorities should consider changing their advice on milk.
In the UK the government used to recommend that children should only drink full fat milk;However in 2009 the Food Standards Agency changed its guidelines and parents were advised instead to start introducing their children to semi-skimmed milk from the age of 2.