In 1980, the USDA’s first dietary guidelines suggested: “If you prefer whole milk to skim milk you can reduce your intake of fat from foods other than milk.”
Then in 1985, the USDA recommended a switch to low-fat dairy as a way of managing fat intake. And since 2012, public schools have been required to serve only non-fat and low-fat milk to students, a change brought on by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
In 2010, even Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign promoted skim milk, and groups like the International Dairy Foods Association created campaigns advocating more milk-drinking among kids.
But as The Atlantic’s Emma Green notes, powerful groups in the agriculture industry, including sugar and dairy farmers, have a deep vested interest in public campaigns to overhaul school lunches and change Americans’ eating habits in favor of drinking low-fat milk to eliminate dietary fat, which is why it has become an accepted part of public health.
Because as Green points out, researchers and writers have begun to doubt the nutritional value of the often hyped marketing campaign to drink skim milk.
This fall, researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health published an editorial note in JAMA Pediatrics questioning the science behind the recommendations.
“They argued that drinking low-fat milk leaves people feeling hungry, leading them to eat more—usually carbs. Companies also create sugar-filled, flavored alternatives to make milk more appealing to kids, which offsets the potential benefits of low-fat content.”
And Green references another study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood this spring suggesting that skim and low-fat milk don’t prevent childhood weight gain—in fact, they make kids heavier.
“Kids who drank whole or two-percent milk between ages two and four had a slightly lower body mass index than kids who drank one percent or skim milk. Another study had a similar finding in 2010.”
Skim Milk Was Once a Waste Product
As Butter Believer.com reported last year in its article “6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim,” dairy manufacturers were thrilled with this new skim milk trend because what was once an industrial waste product quickly become a highly-desirable “health food.”
When cream was skimmed from milk, the remaining fat-free milk used to be considered a nearly useless byproduct of obtaining the cream. But now it’s marketed as being a healthful choice for consumers. In other words, “it was designed to profit off of you, not make you healthy.”
Skim milk is blueish in color, and has a chalky taste and watery texture before being processed and mixed with powdered milk solids to whiten, thicken, and alter the taste.
But in powdered milk, liquid milk is forced through tiny holes at a very high pressure in the manufacturing process which causes the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize, and toxic nitrates to form.
“Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, while unoxidized cholesterol from unprocessed foods is actually an antioxidant to help fight inflammation in the body. The proteins found in powdered milk are so denatured that they are unrecognizable by the body and contribute to inflammation.”