On Facebook yesterday I had an overwhelming response from all of you who drink either skim milk or almond milk when asked what kind of milk you drank. The overwhelming response led me to write this blog post today.
Unfortunately, we are programed to believe low-fat is better, but I’m writing this article to tell you why it’s not in this case. I typically recommend at the very least a 2% milk for everyone over the age of 2 years old, but usually recommend whole milk. Yes, you heard me correct, a dietitian not recommending skim milk.
Here is why:
1. Fat is the macronutrient that takes the longest to breakdown and be digested. Since fat is slower to breakdown it allows us to remain full for LONGER and me more satisfied!
I worked for a family nutrition program several years back. Most families entering the program were feeding their children skim milk (of course advised from well meaning health professionals). On the first day when I give my usual spel and recommend at least a 2% milk they all looked at me with open mouths and confusion. It took some explanation and trust before they would try it, but all that did say great benefits. I have one particular family who stands out in mind right now, their son who was gaining weight at an accelerated rate was drinking only skim milk and was drinking about a gallon a day. He would sometimes have 3-4 glasses at dinner alone. Once mom switched him to whole milk (which is ~3.5-4%) his body self regulated and he began only drinking 1-2 cups a day at dinner before being full. It was an amazing transformation!
2. Three of the main micronutrients in milk are Calcium, Vitamins A and D . Vitamin A and D are fat-soluble vitamins so think about it, if the milk contains no fat (because it has all been skimmed off) then you can’t absorb those vitamins. If you can’t absorb the Vitamin D then your bones can’t actually uptake the Calcium! So that means you’re drinking milk with no real nutrition benefit!
3. I have a solid belief that when you manipulate the fat (by skimming it off) that is naturally occurring in the milk you are therefore playing with the milks synergy…
Now, am I telling you that you HAVE to drink WHOLE MILK? Of course not! I am just delivering your the information and the great thing about this world is you get the make the decision.
Dana Snook, RDN, CIC