Dairy foods, including full-fat types, are not associated with increased body fat or other metabolic risk factors, according to a 2017 study in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, which included more than 1,000 healthy adults in Ireland.
In fact, those who ate the most dairy (more than 11 ounces a day) had lower body mass index, less body fat, higher insulin sensitivity (a good thing), and lower blood pressure than those who ate the least dairy (6 ounces or less a day), after age, total calorie intake, smoking, and other such variables were accounted for.
Milk and yogurt, in particular, were linked to lower body fat and lower inflammatory markers, while cheese was not associated, negatively or positively, with blood cholesterol, body fat, or various markers of metabolic health.
Reduced-fat milk and reduced-fat yogurt were associated with higher triglycerides and total cholesterol, however, possibly because they were part of a less favorable low-fat, high-carb eating pattern, the researchers said.
Some previous studies (though not all) support the notion that dairy consumption has a modestly beneficial effect on body weight and body fat.