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Low-Fat Milk Makes You Fat

April 25, 2016

Did you hear the news this week about milk? It’s simple. A longitudinal study 0f over 10,000 American children was performed to evaluate the effect of drinking low-fat (1% milk) versus 2% or full-fat milk (3.25%). Now, recognize that 1% means 1% of the volume of the milk. Not the calories—volume. The amount of calories are actually 105 in a cup of which 21 are from fat. So 1% milk is, in fact, 21% fat. The calories in full fat milk are 146 to a cup, of which 71 are from fat, roughly 48%. Both have about eight grams of protein and 13 grams of sugars. The authors assumed that children drinking full-fat milk would weigh more. That’s not what they found. They found the opposite. In fact, they found a linear inverse relationship to obesity that matched exactly the amount of low-fat milk the kids drank.

This makes perfect sense to me and should to you, too. Let me give you two lines of logic and reasoning; your takeaway should be that there is no role whatsoever for low- fat milk.

Reasoning method number one is biological. Low-fat food is by definition going to be higher carbohydrate and protein. Considering that both carbs and protein turn on insulin when given in sufficient quantities, consuming low-fat milk is going to turn on insulin. Traditional medicine teaches you that insulin is your blood sugar controlling hormone. Erase that thought and reconsider insulin as your storage hormone. It is excreted whenever you have more carbohydrates than you can burn, and it becomes the message to turn those extra carbs into fat so that you can store them. Drinking low-fat milk therefore turns on insulin and you store some of those calories. That is called weight gain. The only way to lose weight is to turn off insulin. The proper way to gain weight is the opposite. Turn on insulin. Low-fat milk is high sugar milk. That turns on insulin. Low-fat milk is high protein milk. That also turns on insulin. Low-fat milk will make you fat.

The second line of reasoning is teleological. What messages and signals would the human species have to evolve to make it through periods of calorie deficit and calorie abundance? When you are eating low-carbohydrate food, you are signaling to your body that it is the time of year when carbohydrates are in abundance, and it is to your imperative biological need to gain weight and store calories, because carbohydrate excess means it is September or October, the time of harvest. Harvest directly precedes winter and starvation. To survive in January, you must store calories in September. When you are eating high-fat food, you are signaling to your body that it is January and time to have access to the calories you stored back in September. Fat is insulin neutral. Without insulin, fat cells open up and share their calories. That is called weight loss. Drinking higher-fat milk signals to your body that it is the time of year to open up fat cells and draw on the reserves you stored before. Don’t store these calories. Let these be burned. Children drinking higher-fat milk will signal to their bodies they are in the time of year when they need to burn fat. There is a huge base of literature showing that folks who eat fat earlier in the day, eat less food later in the day are leaner. Eating less food results in gaining less weight, or even losing it.

WWW – What will work for me? There is no role for low-fat dairy products. None. Get rid of them. The low-fat yogurt is the worst of all. It has more sugar than a Twinkie and almost as much as a sugared can of Coke. My problem is I get full-fat sugared yogurt, and eat those. Eating full-fat with sugar turns on insulin, and you then store everything in sight.

Reference: Arch of Disease of Child 2016, Published April 25, 2016, Archives at:

John E. Whitcomb, M.D. is founder and medical director of Brookfield Longevity & Healthy Living Clinic. He is a Yale University School of Medicine graduate and is board certified in holistic and integrative medicine from Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

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