We’ve been told that low-fat milk is more healthful for so long, that it’s hard to believe otherwise. Since we’re fighting an obesity epidemic, low-fat milk seems to make sense. Whole milk contains 3.5 percent fat compared to 2 percent fat in low-fat milk.
You might be surprised to know that in my book, Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, I recommend whole milk. Even though the standard advice is to drink low-fat. We have forgotten that whole milk is a complete food. Each ingredient plays a part. Milk fat encourages cell metabolism, growth, and fights gastrointestinal infections. The body needs saturated fat to utilize calcium, making kids’ bones strong. Another benefit is that milk fat raises the HDL (good cholesterol).
What’s more, the all-important vitamins A and D are found in the fat. When the fat is removed in skim and low-fat milk, the vitamins A and D are removed along with it. Dairies then add synthetic A and D back into the milk, but vitamins A and D are fat-soluble. They need fat to be absorbed into your body. It only makes nonna-sense that fortified skim and low-fat milk aren’t as beneficial as whole milk!
According to a New York Times article, a federal study, the largest study of its kind, found that low-fat diets don’t prevent heart disease. Instead, scientists are finding that whole milk and natural saturated fats have been given an undeserved bad rap. Many experts say the evidence blaming saturated fats for heart disease is surprisingly weak.
Because the main effect of eating natural saturated fats is to raise high-density lipoproteins, or H.D.L., What’s commonly called the good cholesterol. And with H.D.L., the higher, the better.
In 2005, researchers from Llandough Hospital in Wales, released a study of Welsh men, that found that subjects who drank the most milk over 20 years had a lower risk of heart disease than those who drank the least. The researchers concluded, that “The present perception of milk as harmful in increasing cardiovascular risk should be challenged.”
The Weston Price Foundation goes one step further. The foundation campaigns for real milk. They say, real milk comes from real cows that eat real feed. They add, real milk contains no additives, real milk contains butterfat, and real milk is not pasteurized.
Pasteurization began in the 1920s to combat TB, infant diarrhea, fevers due to bacteria, and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods. We’ve been told that pasteurization is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but the Weston Price Foundation says times have changed and modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks, and inspection methods make pasteurization absolutely unnecessary for public protection.
Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, destroys fragile milk proteins and vitamins C, B12 and B6. Furthermore, pasteurization kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens that cause disease, and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer.
For sure, there’s a movement toward eating foods as they were intended to be consumed-pure, not processed. You can find clean raw milk from certified healthy cows available commercially in several states. It may be bought directly from the farm in many more.
It seems that health officials have identified the wrong culprit in our health woes. Whole milk doesn’t make you fat. The main dietary causes of obesity is sugar, white flour, and altered fats. For most children, the best source of calcium is milk. Give your kids whole milk; they’ll be healthier for it.