Sell me on whole milk vs. low fat - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-05-2012, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've seen a few references to the fact that whole milk is a better choice than low fat. Can some of you lovely folks enlighten me? Thanks!


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#2 of 15 Old 03-05-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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Natural fats are not only healthy but essential.  I think the entire idea that low fat diets are healthier is wrong. For young children, whole milk is actually recommended even by mainstream sources FWIW

 

So, as someone who prefers whole foods, I would ask why the milk should have been altered to make it into 2% in the first place.  If there was nothing wrong with the milk, don't change it.

 

I've studied the fats issues before in depth but I don't have info at my fingertips on the science of it.  Hopefully you'll get some better answers soon :)

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#3 of 15 Old 03-05-2012, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply, I look forward to more thoughts.

 

Also, I'm curious about adults and children. Thanks!


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#4 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 04:00 AM
 
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Fat is necessary for brain function, and especially necessary for brain development!
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#5 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 04:36 AM
 
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One argument that I have read (not sure where, though...sorry!) concerns weight loss/gain and whole fat dairy - basically, the fat in whole milk and yogurt made with whole milk keeps you full longer, so you actually lose weight.  This proved true for me once I switched to whole milk in my cereal and full-fat yogurt - I actually lost a few pounds because I wasn't snacking anymore!

 

Hope some others chime in with actual data! :)

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#6 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 06:25 AM
 
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I have spent the last 12 years researching nutrition due to digestive issues so bad that I stayed home most of the time. I followed the docs advice of low-fat and to increase my grains for fiber and to reduce animal consumption until I was vegetarian( for 4 years). Wow, did that backfire and ruined my health. For 12 years I saw many doctors and nobody could figure out what was wrong (they were doing all the wrong tests). I finally found out (many docs later) that I was severely deficient in almost every nutrient. That's right, I was deficient yet all I ate was veggies, fruit, legumes and nuts,beans and grains all the time. My new integrative doc tried to convince me that I needed fat in my diet (meat included), but I could not stand the idea of those poor creatures suffering for me. Then one day I was miserable, as usual, and I looked at my beautiful girls and decided I would do what was necessary to be around for them. I still wasn't convinced that included animals. Then one day I came upon some science. I knew that science from nutrition in college. Funny how nutrition studies come at the beginning of nursing and get lost in all the studies done by pharmaceutical companies. I knew this science to be true and I decided to return to eating real food only.

 

That real science is that inflammation causes disease and is usually caused by processed foods, emotional stress, and environmental stresses, only then does it make cholesterol a problem. Our brains need fat to function properly. Our hormones require it for balance. LDL cholesterol (the so-called bad stuff) is what takes nutrients to cells. Many of our nutrients are easily absorbed via animal products and not so bioavailable via plant sources. 

 

I could go on and on. You have to really search to find the truth because it is so covered up by bad science. In the end you have to research and do what is true for you. Research and follow your instincts and not what the "experts" tell you. If you are eating one way and it is making you sick then change your diet. Your body knows. If your body is giving you trouble look at your diet and stress levels (internal and external) first and make the appropriate changes. If it's making you unable to perform at 100% then it's probably going to have the same affect on your children.

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#7 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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If someone has committed to eating whole foods, it just makes sense to eat whole milk. It's been processed less. Which is why I believe raw, whole milk is best. Here's an excerpt from an article by Dr. Mercola that provides a good summary of the benefits of whole milk:

Research shows that consuming full-fat dairy may help reduce your risk of:

  • Diabetes: Palmitoleic acid, which occurs naturally in full-fat dairy products and meat, protects against insulin resistance and diabetes. One study found people who consumed full-fat dairy had higher levels of trans-palmitoleate in their blood, and this translated to a two-thirds lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people with lower levels.
  • Cancer: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat found naturally in cow's milk, significantly lowers the risk of cancer. In one study, those who ate at least four servings of high-fat dairy foods each day had a 41 percent lower risk of bowel cancerthan those who ate less than one. Each increment of two servings of dairy products equaled a 13 percent reduction in a woman's colon cancer risk.
  • Weight: Women who ate at least one serving of full-fat dairy a day gained 30 percent less weight over a nine-year period than women who ate only low-fat (or no) dairy products.
  • Heart Disease: People who ate the most full-fat dairy were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, according to a 16-year study of Australian adults.

 


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#8 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

 

So, as someone who prefers whole foods, I would ask why the milk should have been altered to make it into 2% in the first place.  If there was nothing wrong with the milk, don't change it.

 

 


Well, most "whole milk" is manufactured and "altered"as well.  Real, unseparated whole milk has a widely varying fat content.  "Whole" milk has a specific fat content and is produced in the same way as low fat milk.  There was a recent article in Mother Earth News about dairy--very enlightening.

 

Also, do we need as much fat as we used to?  Central heating?  Less physical work?  No more walking to school?  These are just thoughts.  I grew up on 2% milk back in the early '70's before childhood obesity was cause for concern, so I think they took out the fat for profit.  (!!!????  Of course, that was in the day when kids grew up drinking reconstituted non-fat milk powder and Karo syrup out of a bottle!  Prescribed by the doctors!  Anyhow.....)  Now I think they are mindful of the obesity issue, even for toddlers.  Crazy.  

 

Anyhow, the general advice back when my oldest was an infant-- way back 7yo-- "they" recommended whole milk products until 2yo.  But a lot has changed even since then, so what they are saying now I don't know.

 

I think now this whole issue is leaning towards *fermented* dairy.  According to MEN, fresh milk was popularized in the 19th century.   Good article, though I forget which issue, I get them from the library.  Easy to find, though, as it was the main article in the issue.

 

 


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#9 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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I would like to add that whole milk (my family drinks it raw...yummy!) is a great source of vitamins A and D. These are both fat soluble vitamins, which means when you remove the fat, you also remove the vitamins. That is why you will see that skim and low fat milks are fortified with vitamins A and D. Personally, I would rather the natural forms of these vitamins, from the milk, than the synthetic ones that are added after the fat has been removed. Something to think about....

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#10 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 08:23 AM
 
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Hi,

 

In addition to what others have mentioned here's a link about raw, whole milk benefits:

http://www.realmilk.com/rawmilkoverview.html

 

And here's a link to the benefits of good fats in your diet:

http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/skinny-on-fats

 

HTH,

 

Sandy

doula-la.com

 

 

 

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#11 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post


Well, most "whole milk" is manufactured and "altered"as well.  Real, unseparated whole milk has a widely varying fat content.  "Whole" milk has a specific fat content and is produced in the same way as low fat milk.  There was a recent article in Mother Earth News about dairy--very enlightening.

 

Also, do we need as much fat as we used to?  Central heating?  Less physical work?  No more walking to school?  These are just thoughts.  I grew up on 2% milk back in the early '70's before childhood obesity was cause for concern, so I think they took out the fat for profit.  (!!!????  Of course, that was in the day when kids grew up drinking reconstituted non-fat milk powder and Karo syrup out of a bottle!  Prescribed by the doctors!  Anyhow.....)  Now I think they are mindful of the obesity issue, even for toddlers.  Crazy.  

 

Anyhow, the general advice back when my oldest was an infant-- way back 7yo-- "they" recommended whole milk products until 2yo.  But a lot has changed even since then, so what they are saying now I don't know.

 

I think now this whole issue is leaning towards *fermented* dairy.  According to MEN, fresh milk was popularized in the 19th century.   Good article, though I forget which issue, I get them from the library.  Easy to find, though, as it was the main article in the issue.

 

 

 

We need fewer calories when we are less active.  I certainly wouldn't assume that a smaller proportion of those should be from fat only because we are less active. 

 

I don't believe fat consumption is linked to obesity.  Eating fat doesn't make you fat.  Top culprits are sugars and flours and general overeating.  Nutrient deficiencies are a top reason for overeating and I think obesity is simply a symptom of malnourishment.  IMO low fat diets can be part of the problem.


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#12 of 15 Old 03-07-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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Eating diets high in whole grains can decrease ability to uptake nutrients in the colon, the rough fibrous parts of grains actually irritate your colon wall and your body thickened a layer of mucous to protect itself, this decreases the colons ability to uptake nutrients. Grains and seeds are ideal food for birds not primates.
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#13 of 15 Old 03-07-2012, 07:02 AM
 
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Also, every cell in your body runs on glucose. fat and protein are needed in much smaller amounts than carbs, but are certainly needed. Most people get entirely too much fat in their diet, even 2% milk gets nearly half its calories from fat. Although fat takes longer to digest and utilize than simple carbs, it does not give energy. It has to be broken down which requires energy input, this is incredibly inefficient and your body prefers simple carbs for fuel and to store excess fat that isn't used for hormone production, essentially the fat you eat becomes the fat you wear, unless you are on some disastrous low carbs diet that will ultimately be high fat/ moderate protein and make you irritable and exhausted. Making lots of fruit and tender leafy greens the base of your diet is the most efficient way to get most of your nutrients vitamins and minerals.
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#14 of 15 Old 03-07-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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There are obviously some different ways to look at this.  Maybe "selling" you on whole milk isn't the point because it's up to you, depending upon what you think/decide for yourself about food and fat.  The pp advocates low-fat so I would never attempt to convince her to do anything different. 

 

I don't think most people get too much fat at all.  I don't think eating low carb is "disastrous".  (I eat moderately low-carb.)   And I don't think "fat you eat becomes fat you wear."  If you agree with those statements, I don't think you need to bother taking an interest in whole milk.  I eat a high-fat diet and am at the low end of my ideal body weight range.  I've eaten high-fat for at least 5 years, and lowish-carb for 1.5 years and during this time I have improved some hormone issues and lost weight as well.  I don't think I am more irritable, but I definitely more alert.  I don't know what is right for everyone but personally I am healthier.

 


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#15 of 15 Old 03-07-2012, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas, thoughts and links everyone!


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