By Jonathan Benson, contributing writer to Natural News
There’s a reason why many of the people you see regularly guzzling down diet sodas and opting for low- or fat-free dairy when they order their morning lattes are some of the most overweight, unhealthy people in society. Dairy products that have been stripped of their natural fats and fatty acid profiles not only promote unhealthy weight gain but also increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other related ailments.
Believe it or not, the ridiculous “fat makes you fat” myth is still surprisingly prevalent in many segments of society. Many old-school doctors and dietitians, for example, still actively encourage their patients to eat plenty of whole grains and avoid saturated fats, two grossly ill-advised recommendations that will continue to make people fat and ill until this flawed ideology is completely and forever tossed into the dustbin of bad science.
But this will only happen through continued education on the latest science, which is abundantly clear on the matter. As highlighted by Dr. Chris Kresser on his blog, a series of recent studies conclusively shows that consumption of low- and non-fat dairy products encourages the formation of metabolic disease and everything that it entails, including obesity, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease.
A meta-analysis of 16 studies, in fact, co-authored by Dr. Stephen Guyenet, one of Dr. Kresser’s colleagues, found that all of these risk factors are directly associated with low- and non-fat dairy consumption. Conversely, full-fat dairy consumption was found to be associated with a decreased risk of all of these conditions.
Your Body Needs Unique Fatty Acids, Nutrients Found in Dairy Fat
By removing the fat from dairy products, food processors end up removing a host of fatty acids and other nutrients along with it. These vital constituents not only aid in the digestion and assimilation of other dairy components like whey but also supply the body with necessary protection against gut and cardiovascular degradation.
Butyrate, for instance, one of the primary fatty acids found in dairy fat, provides energy to the cells lining the colon and helps inhibit inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. In trials, Crohn’s disease patients who dosed 4 grams of butyrate daily for eight weeks were completely cured — butyrate isn’t found in non-fat dairy products.
Another study looking at trans-palmitoleic acid, another prominent fatty acid found in dairy fat, determined that this nutrient is essential in regulating blood cholesterol levels. Trans-palmitoleic acid also helps modulate healthy insulin levels and insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Similar benefits are gained from phytanic acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), two other fatty acids in dairy fat. The former was shown to reduce triglyceride levels, improve insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugar regulation, while the latter has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Full-Fat Dairy Isn’t for Everyone, but Many People Benefit From It
While some people still contend that animal dairy is for baby animals and isn’t intended for human consumption, it is important to remember that everybody’s body is different. Some people require a boost in vitamin K2, for instance, which is only really found in high amounts in full-fat dairy. Dairy fat is also an excellent source of healthy saturated fats when it comes from organic, grass-fed animals treated humanely.
“Dairy fat is also a good source of fat-soluble vitamins like retinol (active vitamin A) and vitamin K2, which are difficult to obtain elsewhere in the diet,” wrote Dr. Kresser.