Sounds like you are looking for a way to include whole milk in your diet. So let's look at your total diet, not just one food. In your nutrition tracker you will see that you have a fat range, you will also want to add saturated fat as a nutrient to track. Let me know if you need the steps to do this. As you track daily you will discover if your intake is within the fat and saturated fat recommendations when you are using whole milk. Perhaps it will be, if you are using other low fat food selections. Perhaps not, if you are selecting many high fat food selections.
Since over half of the population is now overweight or obese---using low fat dairy foods is a way to cut calories and fat; yet still get the important nutrients. When the fat is removed, milk still contains the protein, riboflavin, potassium, calcium, etc etc. Skim milk is "not" stripped of its nutrients. Based on Heart Healthy guidelines one should have fat make up no more than 35% of total calories and saturated fat should make up no more than 10% of calories for a healthy adult and no more than 7% for someone with heart disease. A lower fat diet has also been associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, etc. These are some of the many health reasons why low fat dairy is encouraged. The type of fat also plays a role in overall health. Certain types of fat are more beneficial to the body like polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. These would be found in olive oil, canola oil, avacado, nuts, seeds, etc. Yet the type of fat found in coconut oil, meat fat, dairy fat---is more highly saturated and does not bring the same benefits.
So I suggest that you find out what your individual fat and saturated fat intake is on average on most days of the week. Then you will see if and where changes need to take place so that you can "fit in" your whole milk.
When I first started losing weight I almost always had to eat my milk - string cheese, sugar free puddings, yogurt, fat free cheese slices on sandwiches. As I got used to it, I started including more cups of skim milk. Now I like drinking it a lot. I don't mind spending nearly 300 calories per day on it. For one thing, there is less sodium in a glass of milk than in the cheese slices and most of the other processed things I was eating.
I can eat 5 or more low-fat string cheeses in a sitting and still have room for more food. Yet, it only takes a cup of whole milk at most to satisfy me. How is it that the string cheese is better for me because it is lower in fat? Even Greek yogurt does not satisfy me as much as the milk does.
It takes about 20 seconds on Google to find a list of websites that outline the comparison between skim and whole milks. Basically, the only benefit to skim milk is the lower calorie and fat content, but it comes at a price.
I'm also seeing some evidence that states that there is no solid evidence that links heart disease and saturated fats.Then again, people still think dietary cholesterol (like in eggs) raises body cholesterol. Multiple sources actually point to the dietary cholesterol in egg yolks raising HDL levels.
Besides, whole milk is just about the most convenient, inexpensive way to get as close as possible to fresh, unprocessed milk. How is stripping a food of its natural fat and nutrients beneficial? I can understand being worried about man-made hydrogenated oil, but I've been realizing that the fat that occurs NATURALLY in foods (ie the fat in nuts, seeds, avocado- even saturated fats in meats and coconut oil) are not the enemy. It's more about WHERE the fat comes from rather than it being fat.
This is not saying you should go and binge on fatty steaks fried in coconut oil, but naturally occurring fat is probably not the enemy. If you are overweight, it's probably due to a LOT of other sources. You might need to cut back on your OVERALL fat and calorie intake, but not necessarily a specific kind of fat (unless we're talking about trans-fat which is just chemical garbage).
The USDA choose my plate eating plan recommends 3 servings of dairy daily to meet adult needs of 1000 mg calcium plus the benefit of protein, and other nutrients contained.
This includes fluid milk, yogurt, cheese, pudding, and calcium fortified, protein rich, non-dairy drinks (soy milk for example).
Low fat or fat free varieties are encouraged to meet this need. A serving would have approximately 90 calories. Whole milk is "discouraged" because of the fat, saturated fat content. I am not aware of research evidence suggesting that adults should use whole milk.
The message is not "drink three glasses of milk daily"--rather it is obtain 3 servings of the above mentioned foods daily to meet one's calcium needs.
Hope this helps answer your questions.
SP Registered Dietitian Becky
3/25/13 7:37 A
I think too when you consider that for that "huge chunk of calories" you're also getting protein in addition to the calcium etc.... it's really not that bad. Whether you choose whole milk or low-fat (and there are options-- 2%, 1%, skim) would depend on your personal taste, and the state of your fat grams for the day.
The My Plate recommendation shows a cup of milk but that "dairy" includes also cheese (in all its many forms) and yogurt. How an adult chooses to get their dairy, would be a personal preference type of thing. If you like milk and that's what you want-- go for it.
The "don't drink your calories" advice is generally understood to mean empty calories. Sugary drinks and alcohol, for example, contribute huge amounts of calories with little to no redeeming value. Fruit and vegetable juices concentrate calories but rob you of the fiber and possibly a few of the other benefits of whole vegetables. Milk, on the other hand, is a whole food that's nutrient dense, and there's some evidence to suggest that it reduces hunger more than most liquids and more than other foods of the same caloric value. (Interestingly enough, the same is true of tomato soup and tomato juice, only in that case there's LOTS of evidence.)
3/24/13 11:03 P
" there is a lot of evidence that links to WHOLE milk being better nutritionally, "
Really? Please provide a few credible links to that research and evidence. Thanks.
Anarie- I kinda get what you are saying. I do eat meat, and I love cheese and yogurt, but I also know that I don't get enough dairy on most days. It seems to be a good trade-off.
Mouse- Not pregnant. However, it's not too unusual for an adult to drink 2-3 cups of milk a day. Just think about it. The cereal with milk for breakfast (or a late-night snack). The multiple cups of coffee or the afternoon latte pick-me-up. It all adds up. You just don't typically see an adult sit down to a meal with a glass of milk. We hide it in our coffee and tea. (Or we make smoothies, oatmeal with milk, milkshakes and other blended beverages, etc). I just want to get down to basics and start drinking plain, ordinary, milk.
Fitness Minutes: (18,215)
3/24/13 9:41 P
I think it would be weird for any adult to drink that much milk. Standard diet advice is: "Don't drink your calories." Try tracking your calcium intake to see if are getting enough without having to add the liquid calories. Yogurt and part-skim cheese are also good for calcium and protein.
It would be a big chunk of your calories, but it's also a big chunk of your nutritional needs. It's almost all of your calcium, 24-36g of protein, and I think all of several B vitamins. There's also phosphorus and Vitamin D and a bunch of other stuff your bones need. It would give you a larger percentage of your nutrient needs than it would take from your caloric allowance.
I rarely eat meat, so dairy is my main source of protein and B vitamins. Even though I have to restrict calories a lot more than you probably do, I consider dairy a big value for my calorie "buck." Of course there are other ways to get those nutrients, but dairy makes it easy.
Fitness Minutes: (15,360)
9,709 3/24/13 8:37 P
It's a serving of dairy, not necessarily a cup of milk.
Those guidelines are also NOT for weight loss, they're for a standard 2,000 calorie adult diet. Think of it as average maintenance. You'll see as well that the list I just linked includes yogurt, cheese, and even milk-based desserts.
At any rate, if you enjoy milk, there's nothing wrong with adding it. You don't get any "fatter" drinking a cup of milk than eating a piece of cheese.
Fitness Minutes: (99,151)
11,445 3/24/13 8:35 P
I think drinking milk, both the amount and the type, are often a personal preference kind of thing. Even if the SparkPeople meal planner is saying 3 glasses a day, you can substitute something else.
As long as you're meeting your dairy/calcium needs and it fits in your calorie range, you can arrange it to your own liking.
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
349 3/24/13 8:30 P
I've actually never heard of this. It is highly unusual for an adult to drink that much milk. That might be appropriate for children or pregnant women....check this research...is it dated? That seems like a very old school way of thinking.
Now if it is referencing all dairy, that would make more since. I believe 3 servings of low fat dairy a day is the appropriate amount. But I don't see a reason for all of those to be milk....especially whole milk...you are right, that would be a huge chunk of calories and fat.
I've been looking at the USDA MyPlate and Sparkpeople Meal Planning guidelines, and it mentions including a cup of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt.
3 cups of skim milk a day adds up to close to 300 calories. That's a huge chunk in my caloric intake. To make things worse, there is a lot of evidence that links to WHOLE milk being better nutritionally, but that adds another 50-60 calories per cup of milk. (That being said, I prefer the taste, texture, and I find it makes a meal a bit more filling than skim milk).
How is drinking such a huge chunk of your daily calorie intake supposed to be good for you in regards to weight loss?
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