Monthly Archives: February 2010

Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat and Give You Heart Disease

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 28, 2010


Joke: How do you dramatically increase sales of a new or unpopular food product to the American public?

Answer: Call it a health food!

This joke, while funny, is also very sad as it illustrates with humor what common sense, logic, observation, and facts cannot for the vast majority of Westerners. Time and time again, Americans are completely duped by the clever marketing of a food product, falling all over themselves to buy it just because it has been touted in the media and by their (equally duped) doctors as a food that will improve their health.

Don’t believe it? How about margarine? Americans, in the span of just a few short years after World War II, all but completely shunned butter and this behavior pattern continued for decades because saturated fat was supposedly the demon of heart disease. See my blog which explains the truth about butter. Americans are finally waking up to the fact that butter is a wonderful, truly natural healthfood and it is margarine that ironically causes heart disease!

What about soy? This is another supposed “health food” that has been proven to do nothing but cause an epidemic of hypothyroidism is the Western world (you know the symptoms: overweight, losing your hair, depressed, tired all the time). Soy in Asia, as it has been consumed for thousands of years, is always fermented for long periods of time before it can be safely consumed – and even then – in very small quantities! The modern processing of soy which involves grinding up the leftover soy protein, the waste product in the production of soy oil, and putting it in all manner of food products which line our grocery store shelves makes for a dangerous and health robbing line of consumer goods.

I also blogged recently about the latest healthfood scam: agave nectar. Here again is an example of a new food that was marketed using the “health food” label. This approach to selling to the American people is obviously working as these products are readily available in most health food stores despite the fact that this product has a more deadly concentration of fructose than the high fructose corn syrup in soda!

Now, On to Skim Milk!

Hopefully, you are now convinced that labeling an item as a “health food” is a frequently used approach for selling something to the American public. Skim milk falls into this same category.

Prior to World War II, Americans didn’t ever drink skim or lowfat milk. Drinking such a product to stay “thin and healthy” would have been laughable. Americans would only drink whole milk. In fact, the larger the creamline on their milk, the higher quality the milk, and the more likely the consumer was to buy it. Milk wasn’t homogenized in those days, so a consumer could easily see the distinct creamline on the milk to determine quality.

Cream has been considered a true health food for centuries. In Ancient Greece, Olympic athletes drank a bowlful of cream to give them strength and endurance before competition. Why? Because cream steadies blood sugar for an extended period of time. No ups and downs in insulin when your diet has lots of wonderful saturated fat in it. It is only when you eat lowfat that blood sugar issues such as diabetes and hypoglycemia tend to arise.

So, how did skim milk come to be recognized as a healthfood in America? It all ties back to the demonization of saturated fats that began shortly after World War II. Americans started to abandon butter and cream in droves about this time because studies had apparently shown that saturated fat was linked to the growing number of heart disease cases in America. Never mind that atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) was virtually unknown prior to the mid 1920′s when Americans drowned everything in cream and butter. Logic and observation clearly indicated that saturated fat could not possibly be the cause of heart disease – it was obviously something new that had been introduced into the American diet. Of course, this “something” is partially hydrogenated fats which were introduced around 1921 (Enter Crisco. Bingo! First heart attack in 1927). These factory fats are primarily responsible for the epidemic of heart disease yet saturated fats took the fall anyway.

With Americans abandoning whole milk due to its high saturated fat content, skim milk was touted as the new heart healthy food. Americans bought the scam hook, line, and sinker. Skim milk was the new king of the dairy aisle. This behavior pattern has continued for decades despite the average American getting fatter and fatter and the cases of heart disease showing no signs of abating.

In the 1990′s with the beginnings of the childhood obesity epidemic, doctors even started to encourage parents to switch their children to skim or lowfat milk around age 2. This foolish recommendation has done nothing but make kids fatter (source).

How does drinking skim milk make kids (and adults) fatter? This apparent paradox occurs when you reduce the saturated fat in a person’s diet and he/she turns to carbs (grains and sugars primarily) to fill in the gap. It is the grains and sugars that truly make you fat, not saturated fat. I’ve said before on this blog that the more butter and cream I eat, the easier it is to maintain my weight. MUCH easier. The same goes for all of us. If you drink skim milk, you will be missing out on the satiating, blood sugar and insulin steadying affects of saturated fat, so your body will automatically give you sugar and carb (grains) cravings to make up for it. The body is able to MAKE saturated fat out of sugars, hence the sugar cravings that are impossible to control when you eat a lowfat diet that includes skim milk.

Try it! Increase your consumption of butter, whole milk yogurt and whole milk cheese for a few days and watch your sugar cravings rapidly diminish!

Another big secret is that Big Dairy adds skim milk powder to skim milk. Here’s an excerpt from “Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry” from the Weston A. Price Website:

A note on the production of skim milk powder: liquid milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes a lot of nitrates to form and the cholesterol in the milk is oxidized. Those of you who are familiar with my work know that cholesterol is your best friend; you don’t have to worry about natural cholesterol in your food; however, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis. So when you drink reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which initiates the process of heart disease.

One parting fact: pig farmers love feeding skim milk to their pigs. Why? It makes them REALLY fat! Still want to drink your skim milk? I hope not.

Still confused about fat? Please see my Resources page for where to buy healthy fats and oils.

Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

235 Comments

No Grain Banana Muffins

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 25, 2010


I love to try out new things in the kitchen. It helps prevent getting stuck in the same old routine and same old meals week in and week out.

I frequently get in over my head, with something taking a lot more time and effort (and mess!) than I ever imagined! My family laughs at me when I get into some sort of cooking debacle, so it serves as a form of homegrown comedy as well.

You have to be able to laugh at yourself in the kitchen, else you will find cooking to be a chore rather than a joy. Any essentially creative process is going to involve lots of failure to balance out the success.

Read more…

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Yes! You Should Eat Like an Icelander!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 24, 2010


I got a free issue of Food and Wine magazine in the mail the other day. As I was flipping through it, I noticed an interesting article titled “Should You Eat Like an Icelander?” (hence the title of my blog which answers this question!). Here’s the link to the full text of the article in case you are interested:

The opening blurb on the article proclaims that “Icelanders are among the planet’s healthiest, happiest people. Their incredibly pure diet could be the secret”. The article then goes on to describe the amazing seafood, lamb, and grassbased dairy that is available to the citizens of this country.
Mmmm. Something wasn’t quite right about this analysis. Then it struck me, it isn’t the pureness of the Icelandic diet that is the reason for such a healthy, happy people! Pureness of the food couldn’t possibly be the secret as some of the most unhealthy, depressed, nervous, anxious people I know are vegetarians (vegans are the worst – ever shake hands with a vegan? You need to go put on a sweater afterward as their hands are so cold and clammy). No, pureness of the food is definitely not the contributing factor to Icelandic wellness as folks who take the time and effort to be vegetarian typically go to great lengths to eat organic – even biodynamic foods.
By this point, the answer was staring me in the face! Why hadn’t the author seen the obvious? In her defense, perhaps stating the obvious was not an option, else the editor would have axed the article for its political incorrectness!
The REAL reason why the diet of the Icelanders contributes to such a high level of physical and mental well being is because it is heavy in animal foods! Of course, this is exactly what Dr. Weston A. Price discovered on his journey around the world back in the 1920′s. Every single traditional culture that enjoyed a high level of physical and mental wellness consumed animal foods. And, the more northern the culture, the MORE animal foods that were consumed (apparently, very high levels of fat soluble vitamins are required to tolerate the cold winters, so consuming more animal foods affords a survival advantage).
The truth about the necessity of animal foods in the diet to achieve optimal health is slowing making it out to the public – you just have to read between the lines sometimes to see it!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
5 Comments

Mass Produced Chickens

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 21, 2010


My family traveled across the state this weekend for a soccer tournament. A few miles from the sports complex out in the middle of nowhere, I noticed a large, confinement chicken operation. You’ve probably seen this type of factory farm before, but perhaps didn’t know what they were .. long, thin, windowless white buildings standing in line, one after another in very ominous fashion.

I pointed the buildings out to my kids and explained what was inside – thousands upon thousands of hapless chickens who never get to go outside, never feel or see sunlight, and are packed like sardines into cages so that they step all over each other just to move around. Many of them also have their beaks cut off (with no painkiller used, no doubt) to prevent them from injuring each other in such close quarters. They are subjected to antibiotic laced feed, day after day, to prevent outbreaks of illness in such filthy living conditions. If the chickens are kept for eggs, the long rows of flourescent lights (or light bulbs) are never turned off so that the chickens have no concept of day and night. As a result, the hens are unnaturally tricked into producing more eggs.
After describing the operation, I asked the kids if they ever wanted to eat eggs or meat produced in such a place. The answer was, of course, a resounding “No!”. They also added that they were glad our local chicken farmer lets his chickens run around outside, pecking for bugs as they were naturally intended to do. No antibiotic laced feed for locally produced, small scale chicken farms. These chickens are happy, and happy chickens have happy meat, literally.
You may think this ridiculous, but the fact is that chickens produced in factory farms are obviously miserable, and animals abused in this fashion have high levels of stress and inflammation producing hormones circulating in their bodies at all times. When you eat factory farmed chicken, you are truly consuming unhappiness in the form of these negative hormones that still reside in the meat. If you haven’t already done so, resolve not to support this type of farm. Find a local farmer and buy eggs and meat from happy chickens.
To get the list of local, small scale producers in your area, contact your local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter Leader:
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
2 Comments

Pumpkin Bread in the Winter? Absolutely!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 18, 2010

pumpkin breadToday I baked a loaf of pumpkin bread with the last cup of pureed pumpkin that I had made back at Thanksgiving. When I bother to make pureed pumpkin, I always use in season pumpkins and make a lot, frozen in small containers, so that I have enough for not only pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but also for pumpkin bread for several months afterward. My family loves pumpkin bread – it really shouldn’t be just Autumnal Fare, should it?

Now that I’ve used up the last of my pureed pumpkin from the freezer, I will just have to wait until the (tropical) pumpkins come back into season with the warmer weather in a few months. Then, I will make enough again to last through just before Thanksgiving 2010! That’s the essence of a Traditional Kitchen – plan ahead, make a lot, and fully maximize not only the nutrition in your food with Traditional Cooking Methods, but your enjoyment as well! Hope you like the recipe.

Pumpkin Bread

1/2 cups freshly ground flour (sources)
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1/2 cup expeller pressed coconut oil (sources)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sucanat (sources)
5 drops liquid stevia (sources)
1 tsp baking soda (sources)
3 Tbl water (only if needed to add moisture to the batter)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (sources)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (sources)
1/2 tsp allspice (sources)
1 tsp cinnamon (sources)
1/2 tsp cloves (sources)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (sources)
1/2 tsp of sea salt (sources)

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and then fold in the dry ingredients until smooth. Bake at 350F/177 C for about 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

6 Comments

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