Out of 49 clinical trials, 41 showed no effects of diary or calcium on weight, two showed an increase in body weight with a dairy regimen, and one showed a lower rate of weight gain. Only five showed weight loss.
An association between calcium or dairy intake and weight loss has been seen in some "observational" studies, possibly due to other factors such as increased exercise, cutting out high-calorie foods with little nutritional value, or other diet changes.
Misleading, or at times downright fraudulent, advertising for processed food products is so widespread, if you believed it all you’d think you could live a long healthy life sustained by little more than Twinkies and McDonalds.
If you’re not already convinced of that fallacy, watch SuperSize Me – a great documentary that shows how eating nothing but fast food for just thirty days will leave you scratching a feeble finger at death’s door.
But let’s get back to the issue of milk, of which there’s also what you could call the “junk variety,” and the Real McCoy.
I’m not at all surprised to find that science does not support claims that low-fat dairy can’t help you lose weight, for the simple fact that healthy weight comes from healthy eating habits. Unfortunately, so many people believe processed low-fat pasteurized dairy is a part of a healthy diet!
Nothing could be further from the truth. While low fat may be appropriate and help weight loss if you are a carb nutritional type, it is my strong belief that you should avoid all pasteurized dairy, and ideally only consume raw grass-fed organic dairy.
“Low-Fat” Milk Makes You Fat – Full Fat Raw Milk Doesn’t
It’s common knowledge among farmers that pigs fed skimmed milk gain weight easily, whereas pigs fed whole milk stay lean. A 2005 study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that this seeming paradox holds true for humans as well. After following almost 13,000 children (ages 9-14 years) for three years, they found that weight gain was associated with drinking reduced-fat and skim milk. However, they also concluded that it wasn’t dairy fat itself that caused the weight gain, but rather the excess calories.
Okay. So wouldn’t drinking whole raw milk have the same effect?
Not necessarily. Because the butterfat in whole raw milk, particularly butterfat in milk from cows that graze freely on green pasture, contains unique nutrients that support thyroid function and help your body develop muscle rather than fat.
Why Won’t Pasteurized Milk Build a Healthy Body Like Raw Milk Does?
Whereas raw milk from grass-fed cows is full of things that your body will thrive on: good bacteria, enzymes, raw fat, and cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), among other things, pasteurized milk is known to cause all kinds of health troubles, from digestive upset to perhaps even autism and diabetes.
These ailments, and the even more common problem of lactose intolerance, is not due to milk being an inappropriate food for humans – after all, primitive societies have thrived on milk diets for quite some time -- but rather, the processing of it has turned the milk into something your body can’t optimally use.
It is not uncommon for people who switch to RAW milk to report that many of their health issues -- from allergies, to digestive troubles, to skin issues like eczema -- clear up.
However, milk allergies are a real issue for many, so if you have a severe milk or dairy allergy you will most likely want to limit or avoid even raw milk.
Before There Was Pasteurization, Milk was Medicine!
You don’t hear about this anymore, but in the early 1900’s milk was actually used as medicine. Dr. J.R. Crewe’s “Milk Cure” was used at the Mayo clinic to successfully treat:
- weight loss
- kidney disease
- skin problems
- urinary tract and prostate problems
- chronic fatigue, and a whole host of other chronic conditions
Naturally, the only milk available at the time was raw whole milk, rich in butterfat, from pasture fed cows.
Dr. Crewe, MD -- one of the founders of the Mayo Foundation -- published an article in Certified Milk Magazine (January 1929), describing the milk treatment as a combination of “detoxifying fast and nutrient dense feeding,” and how diseases that have no similarity improved rapidly on raw milk.
Dr. Crewe used the milk cure for 15 years, and his patients were wild about it because it worked, and required no additional drugs or other medical interventions. Unfortunately his fellow medical practitioners were not as enthusiastic. Many physicians agreed on the fitness of dairy products as food, but were not interested in using it as a sole means of treatment.
Said Crewe in his article, “The chief fault of the treatment is that it is too simple… and it does not appeal to the modern medical man.”
This despite the fact that striking results were seen in tuberculosis, diseases of the nervous system, cardiovascular and renal conditions. Anemia and pernicious anemia responded well to it, as well as toxic thyroid and chronic cough.
“Hypertension responds with equal gratification. The blood pressure improves rapidly,” wrote Crew. “I have never seen such rapid and lasting results by any other method.”
What Causes Weight Gain and Disease?
Dr. Crewe, as a result of his experiences with food as medicine, became convinced that much of modern disease is due to an increasing departure from the simple preparation of plain nutrient-rich foods.
I wholeheartedly agree.
He continues, “The treatment of various diseases over a period of 18 years with a practically exclusive milk diet has convinced me personally that the most important single factor in the cause of disease, and in the resistance to disease, is food. I have seen so many instances of the rapid and marked response to this form of treatment that nothing could make me believe this is not so.”
Folks, when you look at the diets of indigenous cultures displaying robust health across the globe, regardless of whether their diet consists of mostly fruits, vegetables and dairy, or meats and fish, the common denominator is always that their diet is mainly eaten raw.
Stray too far from a raw, naturally-grown diet and you’re bound to encounter health complications. And pasteurized milk is definitely FAR from its original, nutrient-dense state.
What About Safety? Isn’t Pasteurized Milk “Cleaner”?
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria, what they completely overlook is the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial farming practices that lead to diseased animals, which may then in turn produce contaminated milk. You never want to get your raw milk from a feed-lot cow.
Drinking raw milk produced by grass-fed cows from clean, well-run farms, however, is far LESS dangerous than drinking pasteurized milk.
In fact, not only does raw milk contain good bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system, raw milk also offers protection against disease-causing bacteria!
Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures, the largest raw dairy in the United States, has inoculated pathogenic contaminants such as E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella into his raw milk, and into pasteurized milk. In the raw milk, none of the pathogens survived because the natural bacteria were able to protect the milk. In the pasteurized milk, however -- in which the bacteria and enzymes have been destroyed -- the pathogens were able to take over.
To think that pasteurized milk is safer (even if you don’t believe it’s healthier) than raw milk from a healthy, grass-fed cow is simply not true. There’s been more than one outbreak of deadly contamination of pasteurized milk, as this CDC chart summarizing Pasteurized Milk Outbreaks by State and pathogen - 1966 – 2000 will attest to.
Looking for Raw Milk?
As demand for raw milk continues to grow, it will, hopefully, become easier and easier to come by. In Massachusetts, for example, the number of dairies licensed to sell raw milk has grown from 12 to 23 just in the past two years.
If you’re still unsure of where to go, you can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Web site. You can also look here to find out the legal status of raw milk in the U.S. state or country where you live.