Skim milk was my go-to drink as a kiddo. Though, I don’t think it did me much good. I drank the stuff every day, multiple times a day to make my bones grow stronger. The calcium is legit, for sure, but I think it was more of a refresher for me – almost like water. I don’t ever remember there being much taste to it, but I would chug it like it was the last drink I’d ever have. I doused my cereal in it and would slurp up the remainder in the bowl after finishing my Cheerios every single time.
I was told that milk does a body good, skim milk, in particular, because that’s what the USDA Dietary Guidelines said we should drink. However, I don’t really know that what skim milk did to my body was good.
As it turns out, I’ve come to learn that the lack of fat and the intense processing from whole milk to skim milk removes much of the good fat content and nutrients that actually make milk good. Turning high fat milk into low- or no-fat milk, also takes away the essence of milk. I made the switch about ten years ago, but I really learned more about the research behind it in the past few years. Nina Teicholz, whose book, The Big Fat Surprise, was the source of this Washington Post article, shared her investigative prowess by revealing that research favoring a low-fat diet was always weak-to-non-existent and that diets of whole foods and higher fat were a better option. Her book, The Big Fat Surprise, is a must-read.
In short – the guidelines and research which have pushed us toward lower fat and skim milk has been unfounded. As the Post article reads:
“But the idea that spurning saturated fat will, by itself, make people healthier has never been fully proven, and in recent years repeated clinical trials and large-scale observational studies have produced evidence to the contrary. After all the decades of research, it is possible that the key lesson on fats is two-fold. Cutting saturated fats from diets, and replacing them with carbohydrates, as is often done, likely will not reduce heart disease risk.”
Further, the consumption of skim and low fat milk is likely, in part, what leads us to make other poor food decisions. The removal of the good fat also removes the satiety factor. Nina Teicholz, whose book The Big Fat Surprise is favorably reviewed here by the Economist, pointed to “bias and habit” as two of the reasons that we are still partaking in the consumption of skim vs. whole milk, along with other low-fat decisions. The research that allegedly implicates fat just isn’t there. For this reason, I’ve chose to make the switch from skim to whole, because:
I have just come to learn and face the facts of fat, and I will happily take the nourishing, nutrient-filled option over its competitors.