I grew up drinking 2% milk. As a child I did not like skim milk because it didn't TASTE like anything (I was on to something). Once I was in college, and in charge of buying my own food, I only bought skim milk because I WOULD GET FAT IF I DRINK ANYTHING ELSE. Seriously, everything I bought was fat free, or low fat if I couldn't find a fat free version. Along with most of our nation, I was terrified of fat. Today, I will give you five reasons why low-fat dairy or fat free dairy DOES NOT do a body good.
1. It ain't REAL folks.
In order to become low-fat or fat-free the dairy has to go through some major processing. Besides homogenization and pasteurization, the fat has to be taken out. The skim milk is separated from the cream and now what used to be a WASTE PRODUCT is now a “health food.” But wait, before the skim milk gets to the consumer, non-fat dried milk or powdered milk, is added back in to make it appealing (because no one would drink it otherwise). The problem with the powdered milk is the oxidized cholesterol – the kind that PROMOTES cardiovascular disease.
2. It is nutritionally deficient.
They let the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. The butterfat present in whole milk is a great source of vitamin A and complex D vitamins. When the fat is removed from the milk, also removed are the fat soluble vitamins, minerals, and short chain fatty acids. So, now milk producers have to add those back in, but in a synthetic form (which can be toxic). These fat soluble vitamins need FAT to be properly assimilated in the body. Without the fat, they pass right on through. Another thing to consider is that since milk producers are in it for the $$, they are getting max production out of the cows. The more milk that a cow makes, the more dilute the vitamins in her milk.
3. It may make you SICK.
Low fat dairy isn't doing anyone any favors and certainly isn't living up to its status as a “health food.” Recent studies are showing us how the regular consumption of whole fat dairy can actually keep disease at bay. Not only are saturated fats anti-viral and anti-fungal, they can also keep your heart healthy! A 16 year study found that those who consumed whole fat dairy were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease. Palmitic acid, a component present in whole fat dairy, protects against insulin resistance and lowers the risk of developing Type II diabetes. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a type of fat abundant in cows (and other animals) on pasture, can significantly lower cancer risk. Without the wonderful butterfat in milk, these benefits disappear.
4. It does not keep the extra pounds off.
Here's the thing with fat. It takes longer to digest, therefore keeping you satiated LONGER. You may consume more calories, but go longer between meals. Low fat intake encourages frequent eating, which adds up in the long run. A study showed that those who ate whole fat dairy gained less weight over a long time period than those who didn't. I have been consuming whole fat dairy for 4 years and my weight hasn't budged.
5. Whole Fat Dairy Goodness!!
So, what makes whole fat dairy worth drinking? If you haven't decided to switch by now, let me remind you that whole fat dairy is rich in vitamins and nutrients, it keeps disease at bay and can help keep the extra pounds off. If the dairy you consume is raw, you get even MORE bang for your buck! You get valuable enzymes that aid in digestion and assist in nutrient absorption. Raw milk has healthy natural butterfat and unoxidized cholesterol, abundant CLA, and high Omega 3 and low Omega 6 ratios.
Making the change from low fat dairy to full fat dairy is a change that will definitely do your body GOOD. As with all food, you have choices. A GOOD option is whole fat pasteurized organic milk. Why organic? With the organic label you know you are drinking milk that has not been subject to pesticides and GMOs. A BETTER option would be Organic whole fat pasteurized milk from grass fed animals (preferably not homogenized). The BEST option is raw (unpasteurized) milk from grass fed animals. To educate yourself on the benefits of consuming RAW dairy, please visit A Campaign for Real Milk.