7Healthcast: Whole versus skim milk - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

7Healthcast: Whole versus skim milk

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(NBC) - Research out of Europe is sparking some interesting dinnertime conversation. The studies find drinking fattier milk may actually help people lose weight.

"Whole milk is probably a little bit too much fat but skim I don't think is enough fat just personally,” said Eric Lucas, shopper.

He says the fat helps his 8-year-old daughter’s developing brain and fills her up.

He's not surprised recent studies show that consuming high dairy fat could help adults avoid getting fat.

It sounds counterintuitive, but researchers found middle age men who consume whole milk, butter and cream were less likely to be obese over 12 years than those who drink skim.

It's unclear why but one theory is that whole milk could make us feel more full and less likely to eat more.

But Dr. Thomas Kottke, a cardiologist says hold on.

"There's a lot of thin people who have heart attacks,” said Dr. Thomas Kottke, cardiologist.

He says whole milk's saturated fats put you at greater risk for heart disease.

"For example Finland in the 1960's they had the highest heart disease rates in the world and they've gone to skim milk,” Dr. Kottke said.

Kottke says skim milk dropped heart disease rates by 50%.

Instead of choosing whole milk over skim, Dr. Kottke says the best option to reduce heart disease risk and stay thin is, "a dietary pattern that's mostly vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, skim milk is overall the healthiest dietary pattern."

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