What Have We Done to Our Dairy?

Well, the response to the Take Some Responsibility! post from Wednesday was huge.  I guess there is hope for our country.  For every 290 lb man suing White Castle for its “discriminatingly” small booths lets hope there are millions who think this man needs to take some responsibility for his weight problems and not waste our court system’s time with such nonsense. 

Moving on…today I want to share with you a three-part piece written by Brian St. Pierre on dairy.  I have linked to some of Brian’s writings in the past ~ Brian is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and is working on becoming a Registered Dietician.  Brian has a great blog and I rely on his knowledge a lot.  He is a smart guy when it comes to nutrition.  I have written about dairy before (see The New Government Food Plate and Dairy) but there is some more good stuff in Brian’s 3-part series that make it worthwhile reading.  In Is Dairy Healthy? The Whole Story ~ Part 1 Brian talks about how the quality of the dairy products available today compares to dairy of 100 years ago.  Instead of being fed a grass-based diet (the traditional diet of cows) todays cows are fed corn-based diets (which is usually genetically modified since most of the corn in the US is GM), given copious amounts of antibiotics (to combat the negative effects from eating the corn-based diet to which they are not adapted) and injected with growth hormones to increase their milk production (I have an entire post on this that I am working on for next week).  This has a dramatic impact on the nutritional make-up of the diary that is then produced by these cows.  Read Brian’s entire piece for more details.

In Part 2 Brian discusses the benefits of whole fat dairy…yes, you read that right.  He is not a big fan of fat-free and reduced fat diary (which undergoes significant processing).  Why is that? 

Whole fat dairy from grass-fed cows contains a boatload of powerful vitamins and healthful fatty acids.  These vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they are bonded to the fatty acids in the dairy, and are therefore nearly non-existent in fat-free dairy, same for the fatty acids obviously.  The fat is where vitamins A, D, E and K2 are, as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), butyric acid, omega-3 fatty acids, trans-palmitoleate and medium chain triglycerides.  Low-fat and fat-free dairy are woefully lacking in these properties.

And in Part 3 Brian talks a bit about pasteurization and what that does to milk.  I like his piece in particular because he addresses why pasteurization came about in the first place, and how at the time, it did make milk safer.  Today, however, we are pasteurizing milk to such a degree (look at some labels ~ some will be labeled “ultra-pasteurized”…these products have an amazingly long shelf-life) that we are taking out many of the benefits of milk. 

Brian also discusses recent findings that pitted skim milk against whole milk with regards to muscle growth:

Researchers compared skim milk to whole milk in the post-training period to see which would produce greater anabolic effects.  They pitted 14oz of skim milk against 8oz of whole milk, to make them calorically equal.  Theoretically, the results should be even or in the favor of skim milk, since it had six more grams of protein.  The research actually showed that whole milk was more effective than skim, despite the lower protein content and equal total calories.

Lots of good stuff in this three-part article by Brian.  I highly recommend you take the time to read all three.  You might find yourself making some changes when it comes to the dairy products you choose to eat.

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About Lisa Van Dore

I have lived in Sherborn, Dover and most recently North Walpole, for a total of 15 years (and counting). Having recently been through the process of selling a home and buying (and renovating) a new one, I understand the conflicting emotions of excitement and anxiety inherent in the process, whether you are a seller or buyer, whether this is your first home purchase or your tenth. I have a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Indiana University. My early career found me working as a CPA, and later as the controller of Crate & Barrel. More recently I spent seven years running my own personal training business. I understand the hard work and dedication necessary to build a business and a reputation...most of my personal training clients came to me by referral and my first client was still with me when I decided to leave personal training. This speaks to the level of effort I put forth for my clients, week after week. On a more personal note, I raced triathlon for seven years and more recently completed my first half marathon. In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, Maine, hiking and, in the fall, following college football...my teams are the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!).
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