Is Full-Fat Dairy Better For You?
Photo by Laurie Junker
Remember the 90’s when fat was bad and carbohydrates were the thing? I had a little Pocket Fat Counter book at my desk at the newspaper where I worked that I’d refer to when making lunch decisions and before long knew how many grams of fat there were in just about everything in the cafeteria.
I diligently ate my bagels with mustard or just the barest whisper of cream cheese, ate bowlfuls of pasta with marinara (hold the oil), and boxes of fat-free cookies. In my mind, I was a perfect example of how to eat. My huge mug of coffee was lightened only with nonfat milk. I wasn’t just skim latte, I was skim every little thing.
We all know what happened next. Atkins happened next and our notions of healthy eating were turned upside down. Carbs were out, fat was in. Well, fool me once….
I didn’t jump on the bacon burger, hold the bun bandwagon, but I did begin to fret less about olive oil, cheese and, my favorite, peanut butter. But whole milk and cream stayed out of reach–a dangerous world of rich mouthfeel and contentment that, if I let myself wade in, I might never be able turn back.
That was then. Now I'm open to stories such as this one on NPR which suggests there's increasing data linking the consumption of whole-milk dairy with reduced body fat, possibly due to it's ability to make us feel fuller longer. It goes without saying that it tastes better. I favor the totally delicious organic cream and half and half from Cedar Summit Farms in New Prague. It doesn't hurt that they sell it in adorable glass bottles.
A splash of heavy, silky cream does wonders for fresh fruit, smoothies, cereal, and even vinaigrettes—adding a richness that belies it's small proportion. Naturally, it suits coffee, particularly strong coffee, so now I add it to my cup of Caribou Mahogany and skim one less thing.