Who doesn’t enjoy saying “I told you so”, even if it’s in just a whispered tone of voice? C’mon, admit it. There’s no shame in feeling vindicated when you were right about something and stood up to the doubters. And since I’m just a wee bit competitive when it comes to certain things, I have to say I will gleefully pump my fist and declare my rightness in a normal, not whispered voice. It’s not always pretty. I’m usually kind of quiet and introverted, so it may take you by surprise if you ever catch me doing this. This morning Joe almost had to cover his ears as I celebrated that my long term cynicism about the low fat dairy recommendation was proven correct.
For many years I’ve been skeptical about the food/nutrition/health advice we’ve been fed by modern science. If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, you may remember that was one of the missions of this blog in an earlier iteration – to find the right way for my family to eat in the middle of all the current food advice blaring in the media. If you have paid the slightest bit of attention, you know that the U.S. has suffered a ballooning problem with obesity – all the while that the store shelves have been loaded with low fat this or that and the pundits told us to feed ourselves and our kids low fat or non-fat dairy items. Hmmm, something isn’t making much sense, is it?
I never really bought into this hype. To me, it was misguided marketing opportunism. I would think about the whole margarine vs. butter debacle, and how scientists have realized that – ooops – butter is healthier for you than margarine. Or, what about the long-time maligned egg???? That orb of goodness and nutrition was, instead, the Frankenstein of the food world, ready to destroy the arteries of any soul brave enough to crack one open for breakfast. Oops, once again they were wrong and eggs are now the nutritional and culinary darling showing up in soups, pastas, and even on pizzas.
Okay, I’m getting all excited here, but also getting to the point of this post. A couple of years back I decided that this awful skim milk/low fat milk recommendation fell into the same category as the margarine and eggs – a big fat mistake. Therefore, I changed our 1% milk to 2 %. Shocking for the household, raising questions and eyebrows, but tastefully appreciated, nonetheless. Next, I decided to go all in and bought full fat milk for the family. I think Joe began to question the wisdom of having purchased a life insurance policy. Was it motivating me to kill him? But, he couldn’t argue with the improved taste of the milk he poured into his cereal.
I’ve never been much of a milk drinker, but I do eat plain Greek yogurt, and have been buying it with as much fat as I can find. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Very often the best I can find is 2% with the 0% fat variety most widely available. Apparently everyone has bought into the low fat hype.
And then this morning, on the Today Show, there was a segment where Dr. Oz discussed recent studies showing that people who ate full fat dairy had a lower risk of diabetes and obesity. The study he quoted comes from the Journal of Circulation, although I couldn’t find the original study to share with you. He made reference to other recent studies that also corroborated the findings of this one. He said that scientists aren’t exactly sure why they’re seeing the results that they do, but does the reason really matter? I don’t think so.
My takeaway is that food in its natural, whole state is better for us. Full fat products leave us more satisfied than the low fat items that are so widely available. We don’t need products that have been scientifically engineered to satisfy some kind of scientific hypothesis. Our bodies were designed to know just what to do with the available nutrition on our planet, without the assistance of food science.