The high costs of low-fat

As I stand in front of the dairy section of my nearest multinational food store itís not just the cold that makes me shudder.

Amongst the plethora of low-fat milks, and the fat reduced creams and behind the tempting tubs of 97%fat free yoghurt, I search for a carton of full cream milk. Mandatory pasteurization was forced upon us 80 years ago Similarly I hope that fat-free wonít become the only milk in town.

Why are these so many varieties of low-fat foods?

Should we be eating these low-fat foods.

First some history of the fat free years.

For decades now we have been told to reduce our intake of fats, particularly saturated fats from animal sources. This directive stemmed from the belief in the lipid hypothesis . This being a theory that there existed a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease . The vegetable oil and food processing industries became the main beneficiaries of the adherence to the lipid hypothesis and have exploited it mercilessly bringing low fat foods galore to your food stores and your fridge door.

I recently watched my grand-daughter open the fridge and take out a low-fat yoghurt and a carton of low-fat milk. Now she is just five years of age and needs full fat foods for proper growth, not new fangled low fat concoctions.

Researchers have found that children who were put onto lowfat and low-cholesterol diets failed to grow properly. They concluded that children need high levels of fat throughout the period of growth and development. . Milk and animal fats give energy and also help children build muscle and bone. In addition, the animal fats provide vitamins A and D necessary for protein and mineral assimilation. Motherís milk itself contains 55 percent of calories as fat, much of it saturated fat.

What is low-fat anyway?

How do they make low-fat milk?

It starts at the farm. Fresh full cream milk from cows is carted to Stainless steel factories where it is completely remade. Inside these sterile factories the milk is separated into fat, protein and other solids and liquids. Once segregated these fats, proteins and liquids are reconstituted to set levels for whole, low fat and full fat milks. When fat is removed from the milk it must be replaced by something and in this case it is replaced by protein and dried skim milk powder. In the manufacture of the dried skim milk lots of nitrates are formed so that when you drink low fat milk you are actually taking in much oxidised cholesterol which is really bad for your heart.

Full fat dairy products contain Saturated fats Saturated fat is just one type of fat that we consume along with monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. With saturated fats all the available carbon bonds are occupied by a hydrogen atom. They are a highly stable fat. This means that they do not normally go rancid, even when heated for cooking purposes. Saturated fats are found in animal fats.

One thing that dieters need to understand is that when they eat low-fat foods it is still possible to get fat. One expects that "low fat" somehow also means "low calorie however to be "fattening" , a food only needs to contain calories and be eaten above your energy requirements. People on low fat diets certainly lose weight initially, though tend to regain the weight quickly. What happens is that the human body, when deprived of fats, goes into starvation mode in that the body thinks it is starving and slows the metabolic rate which in turn encourage the conversion of glucose into fat and deposit it into fat cells.

But more importantly we need to understand what happens to our bodies when we consume these low fat dairy products and donít get enough saturated fats.

It is well known that women who have been sufferers of anorexia nervosa, will report that their menstrual cycles and periods stop altogether. And just recently it was reported that women who consume low fat dairy products like skim milk may significantly increase their risk of becoming infertile. Eating two or more servings of low fat dairy foods every day appeared to give women an 85 per cent higher chance of infertility due to a lack of ovulation, known as anovulatory infertility, researchers found. During the eight years of the study, 438 healthy women became infertile due to an ovulatory disorder, and the researchers linked their problems back to low fat dairy. Women who ate at least one serving of high fat dairy every day, such as ice cream, appeared to reduce their risk of ovulatory infertility by 27 per cent, however.

Of particular concern is the knowledge that if sufficient high fat foods are not consumed numerous essential Vitamins will not be absorbed by the human body. These include the fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K. No matter how many vitamin supplements you take, or how many vitamin rich fruits and vegetables you eat, you will not be able to absorb these vitamins. If you continue to consume these low-fat foods you will eventually suffer the degenerative diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies.

One of these commonly referred to these days is Osteoporosis. Calcium requires adequate levels of Vitamin D to be absorbed in your intestines, and the presence of Vitamin K and the absorption of these vitamins depends on the presence of full fat foods and not the low-fat dairy on offer today.

Animal fats also contain trace minerals. The human body needs sixty different minerals for proper function and these must come from food sources. . Eating animal fats increases your intake of these important mineral nutrients.

So yes, it is of real concern that our young children have access to these new fangled foods that only exist due to a mistaken belief in the lipid hypothesis and the exploitation that has persisted in the form of the food processing industry and its incessant marketing campaigns.