Thursday, May 20, 2010

Milk fat - not bad for your heart

 I love, in principle, raw milk. In Huntly we have not got a local supplier...... however we haven't looked hard to a supplier for a year or two....

Even pasteurized and homogenized milk fat should be ok for you. The reasons for this is (1) milk is low in fat. Yes even "high" fat milk is low in fat. Milk is manly water, with bits of proteins and fats. The fat level is only 3.2%. My rule of thumb is less than 10% fat and 10% sugar is acceptable. So clearly milk makes the grade. (2) Milk fat has "healthy" fats. That is short chain fats are not associated with heart disease. Only long chain fats are. Therefore some of the fats are healthy ones. (The exact numbers I don't remember). (3) Milk has other beneficial nutrients. Carotenoids from the grasses (assuming free range) and a range of minerals. Hence the milk will contain antioxidants which will minimize fat deposition on arteries.

So it is not surprising that a Swedish study has found that markers of milk fat found in the blood (specific milk fats found in milk) showed no correlation with heart attacks (myocardial infarction). In fact in women markers of milk fat in the blood was associated with a lower risk of heart attacks!  

Reference: Eva Warensjö et al Biomarkers of milk fat and the risk of myocardial infarction in men and women: a prospective, matched case-control study. Am J Clin Nutr (May 19, 2010). doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29054. Picture credit.

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