Wellness

Why Americans Are Now Choosing Full-Fat Dairy (But Maybe Shouldn't)

We may be overcorrecting, guys. 🐮

Sales of full-fat butter and milk are skyrocketing: Butter sales rose an impressive 14 percent last year, and whole milk sales went up 11 percent, according to a new report from the Credit Suisse Research Institute. Meanwhile, skim milk saw a surprising 14 percent decline in purchase popularity.

Clearly, some of us are on a full-fat bender. This could be a reaction to the "non-fat 90s" when anything stripped of lipids was considered a health food. (We all know how that turned out). Or it could be linked to the growing consumer perception that "natural," wholesome foods are the healthiest picks in today's super-processed world.

"Full-fat milk sounds a lot more natural to people than two percent or skim milk," the report's author Stefano Natella told The New York Times. "Cows don't produce skim milk. You have to process it to take out the fat."

While there's nothing wrong with enjoying a little cream in your coffee or indulging in gelato or a cheese plate every once in a while, full-fat isn't exactly a good default. On the one hand, studies have shown that full-fat dairy isn't any worse than low-fat in terms of weight gain. But on the other, all the long-term data finds that a diet high in saturated fat -- which is exactly what a diet high in full-fat dairy includes -- puts you at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, among other chronic and fatal conditions.

Government guidelines recommend a cap of 10 percent of your total calories from saturated fat. And we actually aren't too far off -- at last check, Americans consumed 11 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat, mostly in the form of cheese, pizza (more cheese) and desserts.

But doctors and other nutrition experts recommend substituting saturated fats from full-fat butter and cheese with the healthier, unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, avocados and nuts. They also recommend replacing full-fat with low-fat milk to curb saturated fat intake when necessary.

While waiting for the rest of the nation to come around, amp up the healthy fat in your diet with an avocado breakfast hack:

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