Since the 1960s, sales of whole milk increased by 61% worldwide.
In the same period, sales of skim and low-fat milk and milk products have skyrocketed, thanks to the repeated warnings about the dangers of saturated fat. But now, Harvard researcher Dr.
David Ludwig and other health and nutrition experts are suggesting that recommendations to replace whole milk with low-fat versions are all wrong – and low-fat milk may, in fact, do far more harm than good.
Behind the Fat Debate
In the last few decades, research has focused on the role of dietary fat in the causes of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic and often fatal health issues. To reduce the risk of heart disease as well as other serious ailments, people were advised to cut as much fat as possible from their diets, no matter the source.
The obsession with cutting fat led to a surge in demand for reduced and no fat versions of all kinds of foods, particularly dairy products. Whole milk was discarded in favor of skim or nonfat milk and not one but two varieties of low-fat milk: 1% and 2% of fat.
But even with the wholesale reduction of fat in products across the board, obesity rates and the incidents of diseases thought to be associated with fat continued to rise. That’s when a new research examined the role of dietary fat and found that it wasn’t fat itself that created health problems, but the kind of fat people ate. Some fats, they found, were actually good for health and should be a part of the diet.
That research shows that saturated fats, once demonized as the cause of many serious health problems, really don’t play a major role in cardiovascular disease – and, in fact, have health benefits such as boosting the absorption of vitamins. Low-fat products, they found, don’t really keep a person healthy – and may actually be harmful. According to Ludwig and his colleagues in a recent study published the Journal of the American Medial Association, that’s especially true of low fat milk. His recommendation was to stop drinking it immediately.