Are you eating fat free dairy? Yeah, so was I. Not because I preferred it, but because much of the time it is the only thing out there. I have changed my tune. I buy very little dairy overall, but I do love myself some Greek Yogurt. Sadly, finding the organic, full fat, unflavored version is sometimes impossible, and grass-fed, even more rare. Why is this, and why is full fat better, you ask? You thought that low fat dairy was better, right? After all the saturated fat is so high and the calories…yikes!
The truth is that the method to making skim milk (therefore lower fat dairy products) is pretty unappealing and it is a highly processed product. Skim milk is the liquid that is left behind after the removal of the cream (another reason the sell it to us instead of just throwing it out). This skim milk has a light blueish color, no flavor and watery texture…yum! To make it taste a little more appetizing, powdered milk solids are mixed into the milk.
The problem with powdered milk is that during the processing, the cholestrol oxidizes. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries and is the worst kind of cholesterol. Unoxidized cholesterol (like that found in whole milk and coconut oil) actually acts as an antioxidant. The powdered milk has been so processed and stripped of any inherent nutrients (as has skim milk) that it actually becomes toxic to the body. And of course the FDA (who only looks out for the people of course) does not require that powdered milk be labeled, it is still “milk” after all. And we all thought that we were doing good for our bodies.
The best form of dairy is raw, grass-fed and unpasteurized. It is full of enzymes, probiotics and amino acids. It also acts as a natural antibiotic and has been used widely as a cure-all for centuries. Why did they start pasteurizing milk, you ask? Well, because the increase of unhygienic factory farming deemed the raw milk harmful. So many of the animals in a factory farm are sick, so of course the milk could be toxic. Because of this they began pasteurizing it and making it “safer” and nutritionally void because the high temperatures of the pasteurization process kill most of the nutrients. This a why dairy is said to be inflammatory…it’s what we do to it that makes it bad for us, way to go FDA.
And when exactly did we get this idea that fat is bad for you? In the grand scheme of humanity this concept is in it’s infant stages, and frankly has done more bad than good. We have more fat free and “light” foods than ever and we are more obese and less healthy as a nation than we have ever been. This movement was started in the 50’s by a scientist named Ancel Keys who decided (based on only a small portion of his research) that fat = heart disease. The research showed that this was not a slam dunk, but he ignored the rest, published the study and became famous. You can read about it all over but here is a short, funny video that sums it all up.
Fat comes in many forms and some are better than others (olive oil, nuts, avocado, coconut oil, whole unpasteurized dairy to name a few). The bottom line is that fat is good for you. It helps regulate your blood sugar and is slow release so it keeps you feeling fuller longer. Not to mention that it just tastes better!
The info is all over the place but here are some great articles if you want to do a little more sleuthing. We vote every time we shop, and every time you buy processed foods it tells the peeps “up the food chain” that this is how we want to eat. Keep that in mind 🙂
Photo credit: Flickr, rosipaw