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 Low-down on low-fat milk 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled What Doctors Don't Tell You by . View all columns in series

Considering the other negative health effects linked to low-fat milk, should we all heed this advice? Sadly, it's not that simple. While whole milk seems to be a healthier option than low-fat or skimmed milk, it, too, is subjected to processing that destroys some of its nutrients. Pasteurization typically involves heating milk for 30 seconds at 63 degrees C, which destroys beneficial bacteria as well as all the important enzymes that aid milk digestion. Essential vitamins and proteins are also damaged or destroyed.

Homogenization, a process that passes milk through a fine filter, causes other problems by reducing the size of fat globules by a factor of 10 or more. When protein molecules become attached to these smaller fat globules, this piggy-backing allows the proteins to bypass digestion in the stomach, which may lead to their incomplete digestion and allergies.

Processed milk also contains a host of undesirable components (see box, page 8), which might explain why it's not just low-fat milk that has been linked to a rash of illnesses, but other sorts of dairy in general. So, other than avoiding all dairy products altogether, a more sensible option would be to consume milk in its most natural state-raw, unprocessed and full-fat.

Joanna Evans For more information on raw milk and where you can get it, visit the website: www.realmilk.com.

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