The debate about dairy’s health benefits (or lack thereof) continues…
So what’s the story? Is dairy good or bad for you?
Well, at first glance, a recent Harvard study about the health effects of dairy seems to tip the scales toward the latter…
In fact, this study actually tied dairy to an increased risk of a devastating neurological disorder…Parkinson’s disease. But there’s a catch…
Based on this study, an increased Parkinson’s risk isn’t tied to dairy consumption in general. It’s tied to consumption of low-fat dairy. You know, the kind that’s been processed and stripped of all its healthy fats.
The thing is, your brain needs healthy fats to thrive. So is it any wonder that low-fat dairy is tied to an increased risk of a serious brain condition? I think not…
Less fat means more Parkinson’s risk
Harvard researchers recently conducted the largest study on dairy and Parkinson’s to date. The study included 25 years of data on 80,736 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study and 48,610 men enrolled in the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study.
During the course of these 25 years, study participants completed health questionnaires every two years and diet questionnaires every four years.
By the end of the study period, 1,036 people ended up with Parkinson’s disease. People who ate at least three servings of low-fat dairy products per day were a whopping 34 percent more likely to be among them than people who had less than one serving per day.
And when it came specifically to low-fat and skim milk, people who had more than one serving per day had a 39 percent greater risk of developing Parkinson’s than people who had less than one serving per week. But interestingly enough, people who ate and drank full-fat dairy products, including whole milk, didn’t have an elevated risk.
So what does this mean?
Well, it seems all those “healthy” low-fat dairy products you’ve been told to buy for years weren’t feeding your brain the fuel it needs…fat.
The brain benefits of full-fat dairy
If you’re wondering why low-fat and full-fat dairy products affect your brain differently, it’s because of healthy fats and, yes, even cholesterol.
Did you know that your brain uses cholesterol to create and fuel your nerve cells? That’s probably why cholesterol-lowering drugs have also been tied to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. And it may have something to do with the connection between low-fat dairy and Parkinson’s too.
As you know, whole dairy products are full of fat which gives your brain the cholesterol it needs. Low-fat dairy products, on the other hand, are more likely to replace the missing fat with added sugars…and it’s no secret that sugary foods and beverages are bad news for your brain.
So is dairy good for you?
Clearly, it depends on what type of dairy you’re eating and drinking. My recommendation would be to steer clear of the processed low-fat stuff and stick to whole (preferably grass-fed or organic) dairy. Grass-fed dairy even contains higher doses of omega 3 fatty acids and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)… both of which are a boon for your brain.
Editor’s note: Mainstream medicine is hung up on outdated “health”myths… The low-fat myth and the cholesterol myth are two that could be robbing you of your health–and your mind! Don’t just sit back and let it happen… Click here to discover the hidden secret to using your mind’s most essential nutrient for optimal brain health, faster thinking and picture-perfect memory! Not to mention what it does for your sex life!
“Does consuming low-fat dairy increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease?” — ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
C. Hughes, et al. “Intake of dairy foods and risk of Parkinson disease.” — Neurology, 2017.
“Fats and Cholesterol.” — Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved June 13, 2017.