Back in February I heard a great story on NPR that I wanted to share with as wide an audience as possible. But I didn’t post it here on Political Outcast because this is a political blog. My interest in health research is not really an appropriate topic. The NPR story was about whole milk. “The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean.”
The reason we’re told to limit dairy fat seems pretty straightforward. The extra calories packed into the fat are bad for our waistlines — that’s the assumption.
But what if dairy fat isn’t the dietary demon we’ve been led to believe it is? New research suggests we may want to look anew.
Consider the findings of two recent studies that conclude the consumption of whole-fat dairy is linked to reduced body fat.
In one paper, published by Swedish researchers in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, middle-aged men who consumed high-fat milk, butter and cream were significantly less likely to become obese over a period of 12 years compared with men who never or rarely ate high-fat dairy.
Yep, that’s right. The butter and whole-milk eaters did better at keeping the pounds off.
“I would say it’s counterintuitive,” says Greg Miller, executive vice president of the National Dairy Council.
The second study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, is a meta-analysis of 16 observational studies. There has been a hypothesis that high-fat dairy foods contribute to obesity and heart disease risk, but the reviewers concluded that the evidence does not support this hypothesis. In fact, the reviewers found that in most of the studies, high-fat dairy was associated with a lower risk of obesity.
“We continue to see more and more data coming out [finding that] consumption of whole-milk dairy products is associated with reduced body fat,” Miller says.
Reporting on “two new stories” is somewhat misleading. Experts have known for decades that consuming fat helps keep us from gaining fat. So why am I sharing this story now? Because the issue has become political.
From Reason.com’s Hit & Run blog: “Bill Would Ban Connecticut Childcare Providers From Serving Whole Milk.”
A new bill making its way through the Connecticut legislature would ban daycare centers and home childcare providers from serving whole milk or 2% milk to the kids in their care.
This is, of course, an insane and outrageous totalitarian move on the part of the Connecticut legislature. It will also help increase childhood obesity. That NPR story is not an outlier. See here and here for confirmation. The government of Connecticut is trying to make residents fatter. Perhaps they are hoping to stimulate healthcare spending.
Additionally, as the Reason blog points out, skim milk is a health nightmare!
Skim milk—you know, the “healthy” option everyone was supposed to switch to at some point in the 1990s—is made by separating and removing the fat from whole milk, which leaves the remaining product a shade of bluish-gray. To make it look palatable, and replace lost protein, milk powder is added back in, via a high-temp, high-pressure process that causes the cholesterol in skim milk to oxidize. Oxidized cholesterol is carcinogenic and has been shown in to promote arterial plaque formation. Oh, and because skimming the fat strips milk of crucial vitamins A and D, synthetic (i.e., less bioavailable) versions of these vitamins are added back into the milk—a sort of pointless procedure anyway, considering our bodies can’t absorb these fat-soluble vitamins properly without fat.
The state of Connecticut is trying to make people sick. In so doing, they are following the example set by the Federal Government.
Of course, some will disagree with the claims above and insist that skim milk is better. Fine. If I was running a childcare center and you requested skim milk for your child, I would comply. But the Connecticut legislature needs to get out of the way and leave people alone! The very fact that they have time to consider such a bill proves they need to meet less often. They obviously don’t have enough real work to do.