Experts Explain How Low-Fat or Skim Milk Encourages Weight Gain
Processed and pasteurized milk is already a dead liquid, lacking any real nutritional value, but if you think drinking skim milk will help keep your weight down, think again. New research has discovered that drinking reduced fat milk might in fact be making us bigger, not smaller.
Government Recommendations on Milk Lead To Disease and Obesity
For years, people have swapped a full fat whole milk for a watery bottle of skim to help boost their weight loss efforts.
Government guidelines currently recommend that people consume ‘moderate amounts of milk and dairy, choosing reduced fat versions or eating smaller amounts of full fat versions or eating them less often.’
It is generally thought that by drinking skim milk you can get whole milk’s benefits (which are next to none) without the fat and calories.
Let's make it perfectly clear first and foremost that pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. So there are no real benefits of any kind with pasteurized milk, but for the sake of argument, let's assume there are.
By reducing the fat, the skim milk is certainly lower in calories, but the authors of the study - David Ludwig, of Boston's Children Hospital, and Dr. Walter Willett, of the Harvard School of Public Health - believe lower calorie beverages do not necessarily mean lower calorie intake. Their new study was published in JAMA Pediatrics.
Consumers are being milked and skimmed in more ways than one. The promise of weight loss and healthier hearts by drinking skim/low-fat products is false and actually seems to cause weight gain and more artery clogging. Then the milk conglomerates, many call them the milk monopoly, take the good fats they took away from you and sell it back to you at higher profit margins in other products.
They say there is very little data to back up the idea that skim milk promotes weight loss or management and that because reduced fat foods might not be as filling, they could lead consumers to compensate by eating and drinking more.
A previous study actually found that those who drank low fat milk had a higher chance of being overweight later on in life, according to Time Magazine.
‘Our original hypothesis was that children who drank high fat milk, either whole milk or two per cent, would be heavier because they were consuming more saturated fat calories,’ said author of the study Dr. Mark Daniel DeBoer, an associate professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Virgina School of Medicine.
Sweetened Milk So It Tastes Better To The Palate
Companies trying to sell low-fat milk often increase sugar levels to make them taste better.
In the U.S. there's a big push by the dairy industry to introduce additional artificial sweeteners such as aspartame to regular milk. The addition of aspartame will change the standard of identity of "milk" and would require something like "Chocolate Milk" to be labeled, "Reduced Calorie Chocolate Milk." International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) recently petitioned the FDA to change this clause. They say children are adverse to the "low-calorie" label and that this labeling change will negatively affect milk sales.
And to avoid any confusion, aspartame (along with any other artificial sweetener) will not be secretly added as some hidden ingredient to flavored milk. There seems to be a huge misconception out there regarding this. It will still be an added ingredient, listed on the ingredients label, just like any other additive. Even if the Dairy Industry gets its way... Fear not! You will still be able to tell if your chocolate milk has an artificial sweetener in it. Just flip over the container and look at the ingredients label: if you see "aspartame," "sucralose" or "acesulfame potassium" you will know that the beverage you're holding contains an artificial sweetener!
Fats Curb Your Appetite, Low-Fat Makes You Hungry
Studies have showed time and time again that a reduced-fat diet, similarly to a reduced-calorie diet, does not result in long-term weight loss and health, but instead leads only to “transient” weight loss -- that would be weight that comes piling right back on after it’s temporarily shed. This is because healthy fats actually curb your appetite and trigger the production of hormones which tell the brain when you’re full. If you’re not eating fat, you stay constantly hungry, and wind up binging on unhealthy food. Fat-free milk essentially signals to your body that something is missing, which leads to overeating and weight gain.
In 2003, the Cochrane Collaboration, a respected source for unbiased reviews of research, compared low-fat diets with low-calorie diets and found that “fat-restricted diets are no better than calorie-restricted diets in achieving long-term weight loss.” As Walt Willet of the Harvard School of Public Health wrote in the American Journal of Medicine, “Diets high in fat do not appear to be the primary cause of the high prevalence of excess body fat in our society, and reductions in fat will not be a solution.”
It’s becoming widely accepted that fats actually curb your appetite, by triggering the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which causes fullness. Fats also slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, reducing the amount that can be stored as fat. In other words, the more fat in your milk, the less fat around your waist. Not only will low-fat milk fail to trim your gut, it might even make you fatter than if you were to drink whole, according to one large study. In 2005, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and other institutions studied the weight and milk consumption of 12,829 kids ages 9 to 14 from across the country. “Contrary to our hypothesis,” they reported, “skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not.”
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that those who ate the most high-fat dairy products, like whole milk, butter, and cheddar cheese, had about a 60 percent lower risk of developing adult-onset diabetes over 14 years than those who opted for skim milk and fat-free yogurt.
‘We were really surprised when we looked at the data and it was very clear that within every ethnicity and every socioeconomic strata, that it was actually the opposite, that children who drank skim milk and one-percent were heavier than those who drank two-percent and whole.’
It should be noted that even full-fat milk only contains three to four per cent fat anyway.
Somehow this low-fat milk has become so entrenched in the nutritional psyche, it persists despite the absence of evidence,' said Mr Ludwig.
‘To the contrary, the evidence that now exists suggests an adverse effect of reduced-fat milk.'
6 FACTS ON SKIM MILK
1. It was designed to profit off of you, not make you healthy.
People haven’t always bought into the idea that fat is unhealthy. It all started with a flawed theory by a really bad scientist who said that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. Which is pretty weird, considering no one had heart attacks around the turn of the century when everyone was still eating pounds of butter and cream every week. Somehow, by the time World War II rolled around, we were all convinced that fat was the enemy, anyway. Butter was replaced with cheap margarine made from toxic industrial oils, and creamy, full-fat milk was dumped in favor of skim.
2. It’s got a mystery ingredient they’re not telling you about. Before processing, skim milk has a very unappetizing blueish color, a chalky taste, and watery texture that doesn’t resemble natural milk at all. So, to whiten, thicken, and make it taste a little more normal, powdered milk solids are often mixed into the milk. In the manufacturing process, liquid milk is forced through tiny holes at very high pressure, which causes the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize, and toxic nitrates to form. The proteins found in powdered milk are so denatured that they are unrecognizable by the body and contribute to inflammation. Shockingly, dairy manufacturers are not required by the FDA to label the powdered milk as a separate ingredient, because it’s still technically just “milk,” the single ingredient found on the list. So, there’s no way to be sure that it is or isn’t in your fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
3. It contains antibiotics, nasty bodily fluids, and GMOs.
The skim milk you’ll find in most grocery stores is a mass-produced product from animals in concentrated animal feeding operations, or factory farms, where the cows are kept in confinement and fed a diet that is completely inappropriate for their species. Because cows are designed to eat grass, when they are fed a diet consisting primarily of corn, as they are in factory farms, they get sick.
And because they get sick, they’re often given antibiotics to keep them alive so they can continue to produce. But because they’re still fighting off infections, things like blood and pus from open sores frequently make their way into the finished product -- the milk we see on store shelves. The FDA allows up to 750 million pus cells per liter of milk, to be sold legally.
4. It provides almost no nutritional value. If you’re not getting milk from a farm that raises cows on green pastures instead of in concentrated animal-feeding factories, your milk won’t have very much of those essential fat-soluble vitamins. Cows get their vitamin E, A, and K from the nutrients they eat in grass, and vitamin D from cruising around in the sunlight all day. Also, because confinement dairy cows are bred for unnaturally-high levels of milk production, the vitamin content of the milk is severely diluted, as the cow only transfers a set amount of vitamins to her milk supply.
As for the rest of the nutrition in skim milk from factory farms? Well, it does provide a bit of denatured (and therefore, potentially quite harmful) protein, thanks to high-heat pasteurization. But no beneficial enzymes and probiotic microflora -- those are all killed off in the pasteurization process -- which aid in digestion.
5. It won’t make or keep you skinny.
Farmers knew well before skim milk was marketed as a waistline-slimming health food what it really is good for -- fattening you up! Skim milk has traditionally been fed to pigs to help them bulk up for slaughter. They of course would save the good part, the cream, for human consumption. Today, our school children who have been guinea pigs of the misguided nutritional advice to drink fat-free milk instead of whole milk, certainly aren’t any thinner for it. Researchers at the Harvard medical school found that, contrary to their hypothesis, “skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not,” in a study in which thousands of children’s milk drinking habits were surveyed. Adults aren’t faring much better with swapping whole milk for skim.
6. It won’t help you avoid heart disease
Fat-free milk is supposed to be “heart healthy” because it lacks the saturated fat and cholesterol that whole milk contains. It really boggles my mind how prevalent the completely de-bunked theory still is that heart disease is caused by the intake of saturated fat. One guy makes up a totally bogus “scientific” study that points to countries with a high-fat diet having high rates of heart disease, while leaving out all the countries of people eating tons of fat and having almost zero heart disease. And somehow, seventy years later, we’re still singing his praises and demonizing saturated fat and cholesterol?
Do you think there are
enough reasons by now to avoid conventional milk?
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.