Don’t hold back, dairy is still good for you
Is butter back? Cheese? What about your whole-milk yoghurt? Emerging research suggests that the answers to these questions are no, yes and yes — with some caveats.
Full-fat milk, also known as whole milk, has a bad reputation because it contains saturated fat, and saturated fat raises LDL — or "bad" — cholesterol. But when looking at associations between actual dairy fat and health, the results are mixed.
A recent study lends support to the general findings of long-term studies that dairy foods either reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes or simply have no effect.
For decades, dietary recommendations have been based on nutrients in food, not on the foods themselves. That includes dairy foods, which are an important source of some nutrients that many people don't get enough of, such as calcium and vitamin D. Because we need these other nutrients, the recommendation in the US Dietary Guidelines has been to consume low-fat dairy.
Interestingly, European-based studies on dairy fat, which tends to be consumed in the form of quality cheese and yoghurt, are more likely to find positive effects on health than US studies, where people eat more full fat dairy combined with sugar and refined carbohydrates, as in ice cream, pizza and fast food.
Here are a few things to consider when consuming dairy:
- What type of dairy do you enjoy? Some people find full-fat dairy more satisfying, but if you like your non-fat Greek yoghurt in the morning, you don't have to switch to full fat.
- Yoghurts with live cultures and natural cheese (not processed cheese) appear to have more benefits, possibly because they are more highly fermented foods. On the other hand, ice cream and cheese-loaded pizza are more about pleasure than nutrition.
- Cheese is calorie-dense (a lot of calories in a small volume), so be thoughtful about portions. Choosing flavourful varieties such as sharp cheddar, Parmesan and blue cheese can provide more satisfaction with less. Enjoy your cheese on a salad or a vegetable-packed scramble in the morning.
- Love butter? Use it where you want its specific flavour in cooking.
NNew York Times o one can even agree on milk any more.
What is it? Where does it come from? Must it be lactated?
This seemingly existential debate is now pitting the dairy industry against the makers of what are known as “alternative milks” and neighbourhood baristas. It was set off most recently by the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Dr Scott Gottlieb, when he made a surprising remark in July at a panel discussion in Washington.
“An almond,” he said casually at the end of the event, “doesn’t lactate.”
With his comment, Gottlieb plunged into the tensions over alternative milks — the plant-based beverages made from macadamias, almonds, quinoa, peas, rice, coconut, oats, soy, walnuts or cashews. A growing number of people are embracing these