Milk is one of the most nutritious natural beverages available on the planet. For example, it contains a large number of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that contribute to good health. For many years, experts believed that whole milk should be consumed rarely as it may contribute to various health issues.
Skimmed and low-fat milk was favored. But recently, this has changed, and studies show that whole milk might be better, even for weight loss. So, is whole milk fattening?
Is whole milk fattening?
Whole milk contains a decent number of calories, but most of them come from protein and healthy fats. As a result, drinking whole milk when trying to lose weight might actually be very beneficial for your health. What’s more, whole milk contains a lot of essential vitamins and minerals that help keep you healthy and even reduce your risk of several severe health conditions.
How many calories are in whole milk?
A one-cup serving of whole milk (3.25% milkfat) contains around 146 calories. While this might seem like a lot, most people don’t drink glasses of milk every day. So, you’re more likely to consume fewer calories than that. Also, whole milk is an excellent source of protein and saturated fats, which help you stay fuller for longer, consuming fewer calories from other foods.
Is whole milk good for you?
Aside from containing all essential macronutrients, whole milk is also a great source of several vitamins and minerals. For example, a single glass of whole milk provides you with 24% of your daily recommended need for vitamin D.
This micronutrient helps regulate how much calcium and phosphate is in your body as well as keeps your bones and teeth healthy. Vitamin D is especially important for children as it prevents bone deformities, rickets, and bone pain while growing.
Another micronutrient important for bone health found in whole milk is calcium. A single serving of whole milk packs a lot of this important mineral, helping you reach your daily need. Apart from being good for your bones and teeth, calcium helps keep your muscles, nerves, and heart-healthy.
This prevents many severe conditions, such as high blood pressure, muscle weakness, heart attacks, and even some neurological disorders. Because of that, it’s important to get enough calcium from your diet.
Studies also show that drinking whole milk can reduce your risk of several chronic conditions, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. What’s more, even though more research needs to be done, drinking whole milk may improve reproductive health and fertility in women.
So, while all of these are also closely connected to other factors like regular exercise and an overall healthy diet, it’s good to know about these potential benefits for your health that come from drinking whole milk.
Should you drink whole milk when trying to lose weight?
Drinking whole milk on its own is very unlikely to help you lose weight, but adding it to a healthy, balanced diet might be beneficial. For example, whole milk provides you with 7.9 g of protein in a single cup.
This equals 16% of your daily recommended need for this important macronutrient. Eating a diet high in protein has been shown to increase weight loss by boosting your metabolism and protecting lean muscle mass from becoming an energy source.
Choosing high-protein beverages like whole milk can be very good for a weight loss-friendly diet.
According to some studies, full-fat dairy also lowers your risk of weight gain when you make it a part of your everyday diet. On the other hand, drinking non-fat or skimmed milk doesn’t have any correlation to either weight gain or weight loss.
This is because whole milk is much more filling than other types of milk as it contains more protein and saturated fats. While fat is often associated with high cholesterol levels and heart disease, it’s actually not harmful to your overall health. So, drinking whole milk might be beneficial for weight loss in ways more than one.
Which type of milk is best for weight loss?
Generally, drinking whole fat milk in small quantities is good for weight loss, thanks to the protein it contains. But some experts recommend switching to low-fat or skimmed milk to avoid taking in too many calories from just drinking milk.
For example, a glass of low-fat milk contains 102 calories. It also often has added vitamin A along with calcium, which can definitely help you stay as healthy as possible.
On the other hand, if you only use milk for cooking or as an addition to coffee, you can safely include whole milk in your diet even if you’re trying to lose weight. This is because you won’t take in too many calories, but you’ll still load up on essential nutrients like protein and vitamin D.
Just make sure not to overdo it and stick to a single serving, all while following a healthy diet rich in many high-fiber and high-protein foods like veggies and fruit.
Also, when trying to lose weight, make sure to stick to plain milk and avoid flavored varieties. These tend to be very high in calories, sugar, and artificial coloring, which is bad for your health and can prevent weight loss and even cause weight gain.
Instead, you can use plain milk – whether it’s whole or skimmed milk – and make smoothies using fresh fruit. These will allow you to add flavor to milk while providing you with quite a large number of vitamins and minerals. Just make sure not to drink too many smoothies as they tend to be high in calories too.
Milk, especially whole milk, has been getting a bad rap for being high in calories and bad for your health. But adding some whole milk to your diet can actually be very good for your health as well as weight loss.
So as long as you drink whole milk in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced diet, you shouldn’t worry about it stalling your weight loss progress.
Alicia is the senior content editor and writer here at Food FAQ. She has extensive experience with acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and various supplements. When not eating food for “research”, she’s watching “Friends” for the 100th time.