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The 10 Dumbest Diet Myths


7. Whole Milk is What They Used to Kill Rasputin!

For years, America has treated whole milk as if it were a liquid medium used to transport Ebola virus. People thought it made you fat, raised your cholesterol, and hardened up your arteries, so they chose skim milk or even non-fat milk, which is sort of the Coors beer of milk, i.e., colored water.

Surprisingly, though, a lot of evidence has surfaced that shows that those who drank whole milk (and ate high-fat dairy in general) were less likely to get fat than those who ingested lower-fat versions.

The studies seemed legit and significant, too – no three-person pool of test subjects conducted by some business with skin in the game. One tracked men who ate high-fat dairy over a 12-year period and the other was a meta analysis of 16 studies. Both showed that a high-fat diet was associated with a lower risk of obesity.

The yet-to-be validated thinking is that high-fat milk contains some bioactive substance that may alter the metabolism in a way that helps use fat and burn it for energy. Of course, this “bioactive substance” may merely be conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that’s long been known to be a fat burner.

As far as the heart-health concerns, few people realize that in addition to containing saturated fatty acids – whose role in heart disease is now thought to be minimal to non-existent – whole milk contains oleic acid, which is the heart-healthy fatty acid that makes olive oil so highly prized by nutritionists.

Of additional concern is the vitamin paradox presented by skim or non-fat milk. Milk contains fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. However, when you eliminate the fat from a milk product, you also end up taking out most of the fat-soluble vitamins, which then have to be added back in.

However, unless you’re ingesting some fat with your milk, have recently ingested some fat, or plan on soon ingesting some after you finish your glass, much of the vitamins in it flounder around your intestines, waiting in vain to be picked up and distributed to the body as opposed to suffering the ignominy of being excreted into the toilet bowl.

If you’re a calorie counter, you may want to continue with skim or non-fat milk. Others might want to give whole milk another chance.

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