What's New with Dairy Health?

The Lempert Report
June 13, 2023

There's some new data that's come out about dairy products. What we've seen over the past couple years is a lot of bad press about dairy. Full disclosure, my grandfather and father were dairy farmers, so I've got, you know, an ingrained prejudice against those kinds of stories when I see them. But what we see now is there's a bunch of long term observational studies that suggest people who consume more dairy have a lower risk of diabetes and they break down what the dairy products are. Dairy currently makes up about 10% of calories in the typical American adults diet for 40 years. This cardiologist and Tufts Medical Center points out. One approach to dairy has reigned supreme get calcium and avoid fat. He was named one of the world's most influential scientific minds by Thompson Reuters, nominated by President Biden to serve on the President's Council on Sports, fitness and Nutrition, and believes that dairy is one of the most interesting and understudied categories of food. He is Dariush Mozaffarian and basically he breaks down in this report who what dairy products are the best for our health.

Number one in his book is yogurt. It's consistently linked to lower risk of diabetes, lower risk of obesity and weight gain in long term observational studies. It's high in probiotics, lower weight and improves glucose and insulin levels. Cheese, which has come under a lot of attack recently, he says it's cheese is the top fermented food consumed in the US. Other cultures around the world consume kimchi or sauerkraut, but here in the US it's cheese, and the fermentation creates new compounds and also many cheeses have active bacterial cultures or probiotics with them.

But I've gotta tell you something, the one that makes me smile is ice cream. What he said is that the long-term observational studies of ice cream found that people who consume ice cream have a lower risk of diabetes long-term. There's two reasons. One is that it actually lowers the risk through some unknown mechanism. Second is the people who have other risk factors that make them more at risk of diabetes, avoid ice cream. His number one dessert is dark chocolate that's 70% cacao and number two is healthy, minimally processed, real ice cream, not the processed stuff that's full of junk and colors and little you know, munchy things in there and stuff like that. What do you think?

Sally: Yes, this was a very formative article to read about all these different benefits or not benefits of dairy that we've been thinking all of these years, and obviously, yogurt and cheese having those probiotics in them. That is great to be reminded of that and how that can help people lower their risk of diabetes. These two products also are really great for people who are switching to more of a plant-based diet and moving away from meat. Cheese and yogurt are great options to put into your diet to give you that protein.

I thought that his take on milk was very interesting, that he really was kind of neutral on milk. You know that you can drink it if you want to. It's not really bad for you, but it's not necessarily as good for us. What I did learn from this about milk that was interesting to me was him talking about how sometimes on dairy farms, while they are using a cow to produce milk, they also impregnated that cow for a dual purpose to produce meat, and they're producing dairy at the same time. This is not good for the cow, because the cow was then producing these hormones that are getting into the milk that we don't want in our milk, and so that was one thing I really learned from that. So that's something for consumers to know where they're getting their milk if they are interested in avoiding those hormones that you know to buy from dairies that are not doing that. But yes, you know, i love that. He says ice cream is healthier than a piece of bread.

Phil: Yay, yeah, exactly exactly. And also some other late breaking news this morning. I got an email early this morning that the Museum of Ice Cream, which currently is in New York City, Austin, Texas, Chicago and Singapore, is going to be opening up a new location, a permanent location, in Miami, Florida as well. So if you're in New York, Singapore, Austin, Chicago and soon Miami, make sure you check out the Museum of Ice Cream. If you've never been there. It's a hoot, it's absolutely fabulous.