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Drinking Skim Milk: The Diabetes Obesity Connection

11 Jul

Image result for skim milk

When you are diagnosed with a medical condition such as diabetes. You might seek to get what you think is invaluable information from a well established diabetes organization like the American Diabetes Association.

When you visit The American Diabetes Association website for diet advice,  http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/dairy.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/, you will read about the best choices for dairy products:

“What are the Best Choices?”

“The best choices of dairy products are:

Fat-free or low-fat (1% milk)

Plain non-fat yogurt (regular or Greek yogurt)

Non-fat light yogurt (regular or Greek yogurt)”

Yet, low-fat dairy products have more carbohydrates that influence blood sugar, insulin and appetite than natural high fat dairy products.

Current research, “Circulating Biomarkers of Dairy Fat and Risk of Incident Diabetes Mellitus Among US Men and Women in Two Large Prospective Cohorts“, July 5, 2016, Volume 134, Issue 1, http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2016/03/22/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018410.abstract, suggests full fat (NOT low-fat) dairy may help lower diabetes risk and assist in weight maintenance. The twenty year study followed over 3,000 participants ages 30 to 75.  Those who consumed the higher percent fat dairy “had about a 50 percent lower risk of diabetes.”

Low and non fat dairy may not just be a culprit in elevating diabetes risk, additional research has shown an association between skim milk and weight gain especially in children, http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/20/health/skim-milk-obesity/.

Dr. Mark DeBoer, an associate professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine authored a study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. They found children who drank 2% fat milk showed lower BMI scores than those drinking the 1% fat milk. Over time, he found that children who were normal weight at the start of the study and consistently drank the 1% milk showed a 57% increased chance of becoming overweight or obese by the time they were 4 years old.”

Despite these findings from 3 years ago, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) continue to recommend that children older than 2 years drink skim or low-fat milk.

Hmmm…if the science is finding skim milk is not healthy, why not scrap the recommendations that are given by most experts, and at least give full fat dairy equal billing to help fight the diabesity battle, and in doing so, re-think the skim milk offerings within the school lunch programs.

There is no essential need to drink milk. Good sources of calcium containing foods (kale, collard greens, broccoli, edamame, bok choy, sardines, oranges, tofu, almonds),  foods that contain vitamin D (salmon, tuna, pasteurized eggs, sardines) and supplements are viable options.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and calcium acts similarly in that it requires a carrier for absorption.  So if you drink milk for the purpose of attaining these nutrients, drink milk with more fat and avoid 1% or skim milk to help vitamin absorption and to reduce the risk of weight gain and diabetes.

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