Milk is a frequent item on anybody’s shopping list. Who doesn’t love milk? Remember as a kid when you grabbed your favorite box of cold cereal, poured it into your favorite bowl, only to open the fridge and realize you were out of milk?
I even remember my Dad running to the store before work to buy milk for breakfast if we ever tragically ran out. It was serious business in our house, having enough milk.
My Mom and Dad each grew up on a farm and would tell us kids the most amazing stories about milk. Grandpa actually milked a cow each morning! He would carry the big pail of milk into the kitchen and Grandma would immediately place it in the fridge. As it would sit in the fridge, the cream would actually separate from the milk! Crazy! I remember thinking it was so fun that my parents got to shake the milk so the cream would mix back in.
FAST FORWARD TO PRESENT DAY
Now we live in a world where all sorts of things are done to our milk. We often see labels such as Pasteurized, Homogenized, Fortified, Reduced Fat, Skim.
Sometimes I try to convince myself there was a GOOD reason for all that has been done to our milk, but I just can’t come up with an answer other than MONEY. CORPORATIONS. PROFIT.
Many of you may think that Pasteurization was introduced to kill all the naturally occurring bad bacteria so we wouldn’t get sick. WRONG. It was introduced when companies tried to produce milk on a larger scale. The only way to make a profit was to have many cows in a small space. Consequently, the cows became sick from living, lying and eating in their own manure and urine. Take away the natural habitat of any animal and it’s health suffers. The spike in mastitis(yes cows get that too)was in direct response to the unhealthy living conditions. The large amounts of pus created by mastitis infiltrated the milk. People got sick. What was the solution? PASTEURIZATION.
Because of PASTEURIZATION, the nutritional quality of milk decreased dramatically. To prove to consumers that pasteurized milk was just as nutritious as raw, the dairy factories graciously (I say that sarcastically) decided to FORTIFY the milk, to replace the lost nutrients. The only problem is, when a food is FORTIFIED, it becomes devoid of real nutrients. Instead of naturally occurring nutrients that the body can recognize and use, synthetic isolated nutrients are added which are almost no use to the body.
To take away the awful “hassle” of having to shake your milk to mix the cream back in after it rises to the top, they added HOMOGENIZATION. This high-pressured process is so damaging to the fat globules in milk, that they actually start to clump together and become even harder to digest. No wonder so many people are intolerant to milk!
Which brings us to Low-Fat Milk
Now let’s talk about Low-Fat Milk also known as 2%, 1% & Skim. What was the reason for doing this to our beloved milk? I know what your thinking. FAT. Too much fat. We’re all fat and we want to be less fat, so the solution is to eat less fat. (We’ll get back to this crazy theory in a minute)
So, what process does milk undergo to remove fat? Michael Pollan explains it well in his book, In Defense of Food.
“To make dairy products low fat, it’s not enough to remove the fat. You then have to go to great lengths to preserve the body or creamy texture by working in all kinds of food additives. In the case of low-fat or skim milk, that usually means adding powdered milk. But powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, which scientists believe is much worse for your arteries than ordinary cholesterol, so food makers sometimes compensate by adding antioxidants, further complicating what had been a simple one-ingredient whole food. Also, removing the fat makes it that much harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are one of the reasons to drink milk in the first place.” – Michael Pollan
Did you know that people have been drinking whole milk for thousands of years? And for thousands of years people have maintained a naturally healthy weight. Ironically, when low-fat dairy sales reached their peak, so did OBESITY. What’s amazing is heart attacks were unheard of until about 1911. Obesity was rare. Is it any coincidence when society moved away from whole milk products to highly processed dairy we became sick and fat?
Here’s the proof whole milk is healthy: Since we started drinking whole milk 3 years ago, my husband and I have each had a huge reduction in cholesterol. 30 points each to be exact! We also each lost weight. Him 10 lbs. Me 25 lbs. And we drink whole milk, eat full-fat sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt & savor real butter. A LOT.
When you drink whole milk, the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, & K send a signal to your brain to make your body feel full. That is why you can eat a bunch of low-fat cheese sticks, yogurt and puddings and you will
STILL. FEEL. HUNGRY.
Well, shoot! What kind of milk should I drink?
Good, quality dairy can be hard to find these days. And let’s face it, not everybody has access to raw milk. Here are some of the changes you can make to your dairy intake to give your body a fighting chance!
BETTER – Organic, Whole dairy products. Some great brands are Horizon & Stoneyfield. Although they are still pasteurized, fortified & homogenized, this is still a HUGE step up from commercial low-fat dairy products. The Whole milk is full of fat-soluble vitamins which your body will thank you for! You will be surprised that your weight loss efforts are easier. The reason you need to buy Organic is because then you know that the grain being fed is NON-GMO (not genetically-modified) This is a huge step up from commercial dairy cows being fed candy. Yes CANDY. Read HERE about cows being fed candy and prepare to be shocked.
BEST – Organic, Whole, Raw, Grass-fed Dairy products. If you can raise your own animals like me, great. If you can’t, search for a local farm in your area (there are more than you think!). Check out my post HERE about how to find local sources of food.
Above all, the best advice I can give you is to steer clear of low-fat dairy. Your body will be so happy and you will find it’s much, much easier to obtain that healthy weight you’ve been longing for!