Used together, they’re three of the most dangerous words in the English language.
Yikes! Even typing those words sends chills up my spine and makes me fear partially hydrogenated anything.
For years I’ve been warning about the dangers of trans fatty acids. But new research shows that I might have been wrong. Don’t worry, not a lot wrong, just a little.
Because one little-known trans fat called trans-palmitoleic acid (TPA), which accounts for only 0.2 percent of dairy fats, appears to yield some pretty impressive heart-health benefits.
In fact, when a team of Harvard researchers examined dietary records and blood samples for more than 3,700 older adults who participated in the Cardiovascular Health Study, here’s what they found in subjects who had the highest levels of TPA:
- Less body fat
- Lower C-reactive protein
- Lower triglycerides
- Higher HDL cholesterol
But here’s the most amazing result: Those with the highest TPA levels were THREE TIMES less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to subjects with the lowest TPA levels!
Be Afraid…Be Very Afraid
Now of course, this study comes with mainstream hand-wringing about the horrors of whole milk because it contains saturated fats and too many calories. But really, how much milk does a typical adult drink in a day? So review the list of benefits above and don’t worry about a few extra calories.
As for saturated fats–well of course there’s the obligatory mainstream slam.
A spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association told CNN, “We certainly know that eating a lot of saturated fat is associated with some bad consequences.”
Really? We “certainly know”?
Okay then, it’s time for another look at the famous (or some would say “infamous”) quote from William Castelli, M.D., who was the director of the Framingham Study–one of the longest and largest heart disease studies in history.
This quote appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine, July 1992: “At Framingham, we found that the people who ate the most saturated fat, the most cholesterol and the most calories weighed the least, were more physically active and had the lowest serum cholesterol levels.”
Milk. It Does a Body…
So the only real question mark we’re left with is milk.
We’ll start with skim, which is pure junk. As Dr. Spreen has pointed out, the skimming process makes the nutrients in milk (such as calcium) more difficult to absorb. You don’t want that. And secondly, TPA…well, it gets skimmed right off in the skimming process.
As for whole milk, if you can only get it from your local grocer, make sure it’s organic. That way you’ll avoid bovine growth hormones. But you’ll never find genuine, high quality milk (in other words, RAW milk) at the big chains, or even at a mom-and-pop grocery.
For raw milk, you’ll have to go off the commercial grid to find a local dairy farmer who sells unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk. And for your extra effort, you’ll be richly rewarded with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)–an essential fatty acid that’s abundant in raw milk, but not commercial milk.
CLA has been shown to help reduce abdominal fat, reduce progression of osteoporosis, and boost the immune system while lowering triglycerides and diabetes risk.
So if you’ve been settling for skim, you’ll love this news: Go whole and give yourself generous amounts of CLA plus TPA. THAT does a body good!
I’m not a milk drinker so I wanted to see about getting TPA in a supplement. When I Googled it, nothing came up…not even any ads! That’s a pretty good sign that it’s not available…yet. I’m going to keep looking and will let you know as soon as I find anything (or get someone to make it for us).
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
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