Today we are talking about raw cow’s milk and what to look for when shopping for dairy products.
It doesn’t take a degree in nutrition or a masters in dietetics to recognize that we should have guidelines that recommend whole unprocessed foods for the general population. Yet the recommendation for Americans is to eat fat free, low fat, fortified foods.
If you do not have a dairy allergy or intolerance, here are some suggestions on how to maximize the benefits of dairy.
1. Look for the A2/A2 variety. Ideally you want to get raw milk from a reputable source. For more about the difference between A1 vs A2 milk read this post.
2. If you don’t feel comfortable getting raw milk then look for vat pasteurized milk. Vat pasteurization makes the milk sterile, in that it kills the bacteria, but this process preserves the omega-3 fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins A, D3, K2.
Alexandria A2/A2 brand is one that is available in most stores.
3. Stay away from ultra-pasteurized – this creates a more shelf stable product but alters the protein structure in the milk and you lose the fat soluble vitamins. Often you will see milk fortified with A and D, but this is not the same as the naturally occurring matrix and vitamin activators found in raw milk.
Changing the protein structure through high heat can change the digestibility of the milk and the influence these milk proteins have on the body.
When you change the structure of the whey or casein you change their function in the body and unfortunately, in this case we get more allergies, and digestive issues.
Ultra-pasteurization inactivates the binding protein for B12, the carrier protein for folate, decreases body’s ability to absorb vitamin B6, Riboflavin is destroyed, bioactive molecules like lactoferrin are destroyed which help with iron assimilation and immunity. Even the protein shuttle for calcium is inactivated.
4. Look out for homogenized dairy. The goal of homogenization is to make everything look the same, no clump or bumps in the milk. Make all the fat globules really small by using extreme pressure. Unfortunately this process, like high heat, degrades the fat particles and subsequently changes their structure.
Homogenization also frees up an enzyme called xanthine oxide and many food scientists think this actually plays a role in the epidemic of heart disease and arterial plaque formation in America. The end result being a benign food with great opportunity to have significant health value is converted to a potential toxin.
5. Consider that raw milk has an enzyme for each mineral to enable us to utilize it. When it comes to getting raw milk, you really do have to go local and the animals need to be eating grass, not in confined spaces, otherwise the potential risk for disease and bacterial infection is high.
6. Be sure to check for added sugar. Dairy has lactose, it is already sweet. If you want your yogurt sweeter, add some berries or honey, but definitely pass on all the hidden added sugar in dairy products.
I think about all of these children and adults for that matter, who could easily get a daily multivitamin in liquid form that tasted good via a glass of raw dairy milk, but instead get dead, white colored water with a couple of fortified vitamins. Not to mention the ear infections, allergies, and digestive distress in each cup.
Do you have someone you get your milk from? Or do you perhaps have your own cow or goat?