Why grass-fed milk may be the ultimate health drink

Do you still drink cow’s milk? A lot of people don’t anymore…

They drink almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk and other alternative milks instead. Yet there are some major health benefits to cow’s milk that most plant-based milks can’t match.

But let’s be clear, I’m not talking about any old cow’s milk…

That gallon of conventional 2% milk you grab from your local grocery store won’t do your health any favors. Even organic milk isn’t the best choice from a health perspective.

There’s only one type of milk that will help rather than harm your health — grass-fed milk.

Grass-fed milk comes from cows that are allowed to graze on the grass and legume species they’re designed to eat. Conventional milk comes from cows who are forced to eat grains, corn, soy and other foods they weren’t designed to eat, which leads to health problems. To fix these problems, farmers pump these cows full of antibiotics, which finds its way into your milk.

Grass-fed milk is becoming more and more popular, and that’s good news for you because that means it’s easier to find than it used to be. I remember the days when you had to join special co-ops or go to certain farmer’s markets to find grass-fed milk. Now you can find it in nearly any grocery store. It costs a bit more than other kinds of milk, but it’s worth it. And here’s why…

It contains the perfect combo of powerful, inflammation-fighting omega fatty acids.

Grass-fed milk is full of healthy fats

A recent collaborative study from researchers in the U.S., U.K., Denmark and Australia found that grass-fed milk contains the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

As you may already know, eating too many omega-6 fatty acids without enough omega-3 fatty acids can throw your health out-of-whack. Overconsumption of omega-6 has been tied to inflammation and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.

But the sad fact is, most Americans get a lot more omega-6 than omega-3. Research shows that for every one gram of omega-3 Americans eat, they eat 10 to 15 grams of omega-6. That’s a recipe for a health disaster. But grass-fed milk may be the answer.

In this latest study, researchers found that grass-fed milk contains a nearly 1:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6. That’s the perfect balance of omegas your body needs to stay healthy.

Conventional milk, on the other hand, contains a 5.7:1 ratio. That means, every time you drink a glass of conventional milk, you’re getting more than five times as much omega-6 as you are omega-3. Yikes! It’s no wonder so many people have ditched dairy for health’s sake. But this study shows you don’t have to, because milk can be incredibly healthy if you choose the right kind — grass-fed.

Not only does grass-fed milk contain the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but it also contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA is an inflammation-fighting fatty acid that’s been shown to have anti-cancer, anti-obesity and anti-diabetes properties. There is 0.043 grams of CLA per 100 grams of grass-fed milk. But there’s only 0.019 grams of CLA per 100 grams of conventional milk.

If you’re wondering… what about organic milk? Is that just as good as grass-fed?

The answer is not quite. Organic milk contains 36 percent more omega-6 than grass-fed milk, so the ratio’s not as good. Organic milk also contains less CLA — 0.023 grams per 100 grams of milk. Of course, that’s better than conventional milk. So if you need milk in a pinch (and grass-fed’s not available), organic’s your next best option.

Go grass-fed or go home

Whether you’ve converted to nut milk or you’re still drinking conventional milk, you may want to consider drinking a glass of grass-fed milk daily for health’s sake. Researchers believe it may be an easy way for people of different ages and lifestyles to fight disease.

“The near-perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in grass milk dairy products will help consumers looking for simple, lifestyle options to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other metabolic diseases,” said the study’s co-author Charles Benbrook.

That means there really is the potential for milk to live up to that famous advertising slogan and “do your body good’ if you go grass-fed…

Since it contains so much healthy omega fatty acids, grass-fed milk could help everyone from pregnant women to children to older adults. And it could help with everything from eye health to brain health to metabolic health. The benefits that come from getting the right amount of healthy fats are truly amazing. So enjoy a glass of this omega-3 super drink today!

Sources:

  1. Forage-based diets on dairy farms produce nutritionally enhanced milk — MedicalXpress. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  2. The “Grass-Fed” Milk Story: Understanding the Impact of Pasture Feeding on the Composition and Quality of Bovine MilkFoods, 2019

  3. M. Benbrook, et al. “Enhancing the fatty acid profile of milk through forage-based rations, with nutrition modeling of diet outcomes.” — Food Science & Nutrition, 2018.
  4. Koba and T. Yanagita. “Health benefits of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).” — Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. 2014 Nov-Dec;8(6):e525-32.

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.