Overturning decades of dietary advice from the medical establishment, new studies are increasingly showing that whole-milk and full-fat dairy products are much better for your health than their low-fat and skim counterparts.
Just this month, studies have come out linking higher consumption of full-fat dairy to lower rates of obesity and to lower rates of diabetes. These findings run contrary to those predicated by conventional dietary wisdom, which says that eating foods higher in fat should produce more obesity and metabolic dysfunction, and thereby also lead to higher rates of type 2 diabetes.
In fact, one study actually suggested that it is the fat itself responsible for previously observed links between dairy consumption and lower diabetes risk.
Lower obesity and diabetes rates
One of the studies was conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University and Karolinska Institute, and published in the American Journal of Nutrition. The researchers analyzed data from 18,438 women participating in the Women’s Health study. They found that during an 11-year followup period, women who consumed high-fat dairy in the greatest quantities were less likely to become obese than women who ate less high-fat dairy. Consumption of low-fat dairy had no effect on obesity risk, however.
The other study was conducted by researchers from Tufts University and published in the journal Circulation. Researchers analyzed blood samples from 3,333 adult participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, testing them for biomarkers indicating consumption of full-fat vs. low-fat milk. They then compared these results to participants’ cardiovascular and diabetes outcomes over a 15-year followup period.
This study found no connection between any dairy foods and any cardiovascular risk factors, regardless of fat content. This finding also undermines the fear that full-fat dairy is bad for your weight or your heart.
The researchers did find that people who ate more full-fat dairy had a 46 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than those who consumed more low-fat dairy – nearly half the risk!
Further analysis showed that fatty acids themselves played a key role in lowering diabetes risk.
Consider raw milk
The studies are part of a growing body of research showing that high-fat diets may actually be good for your health after all.
“These days I make a point of telling my patients – many of whom are coping with debilitating heart problems – to avoid anything bearing the label ‘low fat’,” said Aseem Malhorta, a British cardiologist and adviser to the National Obesity Forum. “Better instead, I tell them, to embrace full fat dairy and other saturated fats within the context of a healthy eating plan.”
Malhorta noted that some studies have found that lower cholesterol levels are actually associated with a higher risk of death, including from heart disease. In contrast, people over 60 with higher cholesterol levels are less likely to die.
If you are planning to increase your dairy consumption, you should also consider consuming raw rather than homogenized, pasteurized milk. Most milk that you buy in the grocery store has been mixed together from many different cows and even farms, in order to produce a uniform (homogenous) texture. It has also been treated with high heat to kill off much of its microbial content.
And while the FDA claims that pasteurization is essential to prevent food-borne illnesses, raw milk advocates such as the Weston A. Price Foundation reply that food-borne illness comes from factory farms, not from small dairy operations. Additionally, many states that permit raw milk require proof that the animals supplying that milk are disease free.
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, benefits of raw milk over pasteurized milk include easier digestion, greater nutrient absorption, and health benefits including better growth, organ development, tooth health, fertility and disease resistance.
Source: NaturalNews – David Gutierrez