Or is a little bit of whole fat better for you?
So here we are with all the health gurus telling us that we should be eating all our foods in their natural forms aka un-processed. And yet when most of them talk about dairy, the majority of these people talk about drinking and consuming low fat milk, yogurt and cheeses. And of course, the same people talk about not using things like coconut milk or eating egg yolks.
In fact I have seen articles talking about the Mediterranean diet and talking about how low fat dairy is part of that diet. This is strange to this daughter of Italian immigrants who on her travels from her teenage yrs to the present (59 yrs old) never saw her grandparents who lived into their uppers 90’s & low 100’s (nonno & nonna – the latter) or the present healthy 80 something’s in her father’ hometown eat anything low fat.
We have been so obsessed with the concept of low fat/saturated fat/no fat that for over 30 years we have poisoned ourselves by eating margarine and substituting trans fats for saturated fats and have added refined sugars (or worse high fructose corn syrup) to products like yogurt and ice cream. And yet we are fatter and much more important less healthy than we were thirty years ago.
One of our current epidemics is the low levels of Vitamin D in the general population. Could the fact that we are not consuming enough fat to help absorb the fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D(the fat soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E and K) and Omega 3’s be playing a part in this besides not getting enough sun? Fat also help us absorb proteins and calcium.
Our brains also need fat; in fact our brains are mainly fat: http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/fats.html#fatsbuild. Could this obsession with low fat and 30 yrs of substituting trans fats be a factor in the rise of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s??
How might a low fat diet affect our dopamine receptors and our fat receptors in our tonque and brain? Click here: Discovery of ‘fat’ taste could hold the key to reducing obesity
Are you taking turmeric as a natural inflammatory supplement; talk to an Ayurvedic healer and they will tell you that cooking turmeric in butter (ghee) or coconut oil or milk potentates the effect of the turmeric.
We also know that whole fat dairy products (esp. from grass fed ruminants) contain more conjugated linoleic acid and has been shown to be possibly effective for preventing colon & rectal cancer, weight loss and atherosclerosis.
And to be fair, some of the health gurus either do not demonize saturated fat or are starting to understand that it’s not fat but inflammation and the role that refined carbohydrates have in increasing the inflammation that has a bad effect on your heath.
So what am I saying?
If you can tolerate dairy products and enjoy them, try switching to quality whole milk products (organic, growth hormone & antibiotic free, non-homogenized, grass fed, etc.) and eat them in moderation; maybe a few spoonfuls of yogurt a day or one pound of cheese consumed over 1-2 weeks.
If you eat meat, again eat them in moderation…try lean cuts from animals that have been grass-fed & raised in a sustainable manner. Eat no more than 4 ozs. a day and try to limit it to 4 times a week.
Enjoy your eggs as nature intended w/ the yolks but limit yourself to 3-4 a week. And either cook them w/ olive oil instead of butter or poach them.
Eat lots of sources of mono-unsaturated fats in addition, incorporate some nuts and seeds into your diet, eat lots of veggies, some fresh fruit and stay away from refined sugars and fake or trans fats.
In other words, enjoy your food in all its unprocessed whole glory, just be moderate in your intake.
Here are some studies comparing low fat milk to whole fat milk:
In a study in American Journal of Epidemiology 2007;166(11):1259-1269 entitled Calcium, Vitamin D, and Dairy Product Intake and Prostate Cancer Risk: The Multiethnic Cohort Study, no association of calcium or vitamin D intake was seen across racial/ethnic groups. In analyses of food groups, dairy product and total milk consumption were not associated with prostate cancer risk. However, low-/nonfat milk was related to an increased risk and whole milk to a decreased risk of total prostate cancer http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/567465
Eight-year-old children who drink full-fat milk every day have a lower BMI than those who seldom drink milk. This is not the case for children who often drink medium-fat or low-fat milk.
University of Gothenburg (2009, November 4). Children Who Often Drink Full-Fat Milk Weigh Less, Swedish Research Finds. ScienceDaily.
In a study of Effect of consumption of whole milk and skim milk on blood lipid profiles in healthy men, the drinkers of whole milk had low lipid profiles
In a 16 yr. study of Dairy consumption and patterns of mortality of Australian adults: there was no consistent and significant association between total dairy intake and total or cause-specific mortality. However, compared with those with the lowest intake of full-fat dairy, participants with the highest intake (median intake 339 g/day) had reduced death due to CVD (HR: 0.31; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.12–0.79; P for trend=0.04) after adjustment for calcium intake and other confounders. Intakes of low-fat dairy, specific dairy foods, calcium and vitamin D showed no consistent associations.
A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generallybeen thought to improve cardiovascular health. The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarizethe evidence related to the association of dietary saturatedfat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovasculardisease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologicstudies.
Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE andEMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusionin this study. A random-effects model was used to derive compositerelative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD.
Results: During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects,11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat wasnot associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD.The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantilesof saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22)for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration ofage, sex, and study quality did not change the results.
Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studiesshowed that there is no significant evidence for concludingthat dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased riskof CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVDrisks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrientsused to replace saturated fat.
Dairy Consumption and the Incidence of Hyperglycemia and the Metabolic Syndrome: Results from a French prospective study, Data from the Epidemiological Study on the Insulin Resistance Syndrome (DESIR).
This study links dairy intake with lower BMI , BP, TG, & reduced insulin resistance. (not funded by industry) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21447660
Component in Common Whole Fat Dairy Foods May Cut Diabetes Risk http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220200000.htm
© 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto