ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Dairy Paradox - Is Full-Fat Milk Better for Weight Loss After All?

Updated on November 15, 2016
janderson99 profile image

Dr John uses his Biochemistry & Physiology research background (PhD) to develop authoritative reviews of dieting, weight loss, obesity, food

There are many examples that highlight the imperfection and inconsistency of advice on healthy foods and dieting. What tends to happen is that one or two studies make what appears to be a research break-through. Researchers clamor to get funding for research to confirm the current trend. This introduces unconscious biases towards a certain outcome.

Meanwhile, the findings are published in newspapers and websites that are read by the general public. Health authorities pick up on the announcements and reports and offer advice to the public. Then, later research shows that the initial findings were not true or unreliable. But it is very hard to reverse the dogmas and shift to new positions. This leaves the public in the dark without answers.

The latest 'accepted truth' to be questioned is that Full Cream Milk is a poor option for weight loss programs.

The great dairy paradox is that, despite years of research, and multiple studies, the weight of evidence is in the other direction - "a high-fat dairy consumption within a typical diet and eating pattern is correlated with lower risks of obesity".

Of course, correlation does not prove causation, but the findings of recent reviews are startling and contrary to current advice and thinking.

This article discussed the latest findings dietary patterns is inversely associated with obesity risk.

Full  cream milk may not promote increase in body weight as had been claimed. Read why here
Full cream milk may not promote increase in body weight as had been claimed. Read why here | Source
Milk has been a traditional food for babies and infants. The shift away from natural milk to low-fat varieties may not be justified by research
Milk has been a traditional food for babies and infants. The shift away from natural milk to low-fat varieties may not be justified by research | Source
Milk - Glorious Milk!
Milk - Glorious Milk! | Source
The mediterranean Diet is a full complete and balanced diet rather than diets that are focused on not eating one component such as fat of sugar
The mediterranean Diet is a full complete and balanced diet rather than diets that are focused on not eating one component such as fat of sugar | Source

Recent Research Findings - The Dairy Paradox

A major review study aimed to review previous research studies to examine the relationship between the consumption of dairy fat and high-fat dairy foods, obesity, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

This study found that 11 of 16 (70%) of selected properly controlled studies showed that high-fat dairy intake was:

► inversely correlated with excess weight (higher full milk consumption - lower body weight).

► not consistently correlated with the incidence of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

A separate Swedish study of 1800 men found a similar result - that eating full-fat dairy products was correlated with a lower risk of developing excessive weight gain around the abdomen (central obesity).

The conclusion from the study, apart from the usual 'need for further research', was that consuming full-fat milk products appears to lower your risk of becoming obese rather than increasing it.

Why Do Studies Fail to Show Excess Weight is Correlated with Whole Cream Milk Consumption?

There are many possible reasons for this.

Many questions remaining to be answered.

However, these results highlight a shift from dieting focused on what you don't eat, to what you do eat. It is the complete diet package in its entirety, which is important, not just the individual parts.

There is increasing evidence of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which is based on an array of foods rather than emphasising one component such as low-carb, low-fat.

This diet emphasises whole foods with an array of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish and seafood, olive oil and reduced quantities of red meat.

The vital aspect is replacement - the diet replaces red meat with more vegetables and seafood, it replaces poor quality fats with olive oil, and it replaces processed grains with whole grains. The problem with low-carb, low-fat and high-protein diets and similar one component diets, is what replaces these items in the diet.

This research confirms a general trend that fat in the diet, per sec, is not specifically related to excess body fat. There is evidence that low fat and high carbohydrate diets seems to be correlated with long-term weight gain, rather than a high fat diet.

Another explanation is that full-fat milk provides a greater sense of fullness. Other studies have shown that many people who consume low fat dairy products have a high sugar diet.

A recent study provided evidence that a whole diet approach, with increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish was more effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease rather than reduced dietary fat diets.

© 2014 Dr. John Anderson


Submit a Comment

  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 

    4 years ago from California

    Whole milk , I heard recently, does not have the same component of lactose reduced milk has. Can't do dairy regardless, but am a huge fan of the Mediterranean diet. Liked how you pointed out bias in studies. My theory is wait 5 years and they will flipflop.

  • Eiddwen profile image


    4 years ago from Wales

    Interesting reading which is also very useful. Voted up and shared.



This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)