Full-Fat Foods Proven Healthy

Full-Fat is Better For You

Full Fat Found Healthy
Full Fat Foods are Part of a Healthy Diet. 4kodiak/Getty Images

Fatty foods have taken a beating for too long. Recent studies are shedding a clearer light on full-fat not being the demon originally thought. When a media whistle goes off to “bad rap” a food item there are plenty of companies ready to provide a miracle replacement. These are typically preservative filled products lower in fat, sugar, salt, and even no calories.

There is a famous quote from author Rory Freedman that goes “Whenever you see the words "fat-free" or "low-fat," think of the words "chemical sh*t storm.”  This pretty much sums up how full-fat is better for you, but it's also important to remember fat should not make up more than 30% of your daily nutritional intake. 

We can breathe easier, put away full-fat fears and enjoy the real deal to supply our nutrients and maintain a lean body. 

Full-Fat Dairy

dairy products
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Full-fat dairy has been a current research topic for health benefits. Exciting feedback from eighteen observational studies has indicated “that total dairy intake does not contribute to cardiovascular disease incidence or death.”  

Milk, cheese and yogurt are rising to the top as contributors to a “potential protective effect on risk of cardiovascular disease.” The Luxembourg study examined 1352 participants and collection of cardiovascular health scores (CHS). Participants showed significantly higher values when consuming full-fat dairy products at least 5 times per week.

Other positive findings included maintaining a normal body mass index (BMI) and being able to stick to healthy eating practices. The Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care related high intakes of dairy fat to lower risks of central obesity. More research is ongoing to nail down specifics but the great news so far is full-fat milk still does a body good!

Real Butter

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Pass the butter because full-fat is back. Butter has been whipped in more ways than one and wrongly accused of being unhealthy. Recent studies are revealing health benefits linked to this full-fat stick of heaven and consumer butter purchase is on the rise once again.

Butter just so happens to be a valuable source of fat soluble vitamins. If enjoying grass-fed butter, it will be rich in vitamin K2 shown to help with calcium metabolism and reduced risk of cardiac disease. 

Numerous case-controlled and cohort studies followed over 21 years have not been able to tag butter as the cause of cardiovascular heart disease (CHD) and “indicated that butter intake did not predict CHD incidence”. Research is ongoing to discover even more health benefits from butter but also remember fat is still fat.  Enjoy appropriately!

Egg Yolks

Egg Yolk
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Egg yolks have been pulled out and dumped down the drain long enough. Thankfully science has come full circle with providing positive feedback for eating whole eggs vs. egg substitutes. 

An Abstract Lipid Study where participants consumed 3 whole eggs for a 12-week period was made available in March 2015. According to the research, “daily whole egg consumption leads to greater increases in plasma HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C).”  High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the good cholesterol in our body. We strive to keep that at higher levels through nutrition and exercise. 

The study also provided feedback specific to the “egg yolk serving as a uniquely rich and highly bioavailable (>90 %) source of dietary phospholipids.” Phospholipids are simply organic fatty acid compounds in the body playing an important role in our cells. 

Research indicates eating whole eggs promotes increased metabolism and beneficial shifts in HDL composition. The positive feedback warrants further research for more conclusive evidence. In the meantime, cracking a whole egg into that scramble appears to boost the nutrient profile. 


Lean Beef or Steak
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Fire up the grill and enjoy a steak for dinner. Red meat is another taboo labeled food thought to be linked to heart disease (HD). Science spoke too soon and media jumped at the opportunity to blast red meat as the cause of HD.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has come to the rescue with more accurate information on the subject of “Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet.” Evidently all red meat was thrown under the bus instead of singling out lean beef to study as beneficial. 

A short study on differing meats was conducted recruiting healthy men and women with elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol in our body. Participants consumed a controlled feeding of 4 different diets (HAD: 33% total fat, 12% saturated fat (SF), 17% protein; DASH: 27% total fat, 6% SF, 18% protein, and 28g beef; BOLD: 28% total fat, 6% SF, 19% protein, and 113g beef; and BOLD+: 28% total fat, 6% SF, 27% protein, and 153g beef) for a 5-week period with one week break between each.

There was a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL with the DASH, BOLD and BOLD+ diets compared to the HAD diet showing a lower saturated fat diet could be beneficial. The study concludes low saturated fats in lean beef have favorable effects on heart disease and can be included in a heart-healthy diet. 


Current Nutrition Reports, Dairy and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review of Recent Observational Research, Beth H. Rice, 3/15/14

Nutrition Research, Abstract, Dairy food intake is positively associated with cardiovascular health: findings from Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study, Crichton GE et al., 4/12/14

Scandinavian Journal of Primary Heath Care, High dairy fat intake related to less central obesity: a male cohort study with 12 years' follow-up, Holmberg S et al., 6/13

Advances in Nutrition, Influence of Dairy Product and Milk Fat Consumption on Cardiovascular Disease Risk: A Review of the Evidence, Peter J. Huth et al., 5/4/12

Lipids, Author Manuscript, Egg Consumption Modulates HDL Lipid Composition and Increases the Cholesterol-Accepting Capacity of Serum in Metabolic Syndrome, Catherine J. Andersen et al., 3/15/13

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study: effects on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins, Michael A Roussell et al., 1/12

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