In a Heart Beat
A good friend of mine was recently told that her cholesterol levels were too high. She was handed the usual dietary order: Cut out dairy foods—like cheese and butter—that have saturated fat. This has been the standard prescription from doctors for more than 20 years, despite the fact that epidemiological studies and new research don’t support this blanket rejection of dairy. Remember the French Paradox? (Even with all the yummy cheese and butter that’s consumed in France, the natives have much less heart disease than Americans.) And there’s this post from a scientist regarding a 15-year study in Australia that found: “people who mostly avoided dairy or consumed low-fat dairy had more than three times the risk of dying of coronary heart disease or stroke than people who ate the most full-fat diary.”
And then there’s this more recent research finding: “CLA is a newly discovered good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid" that may be a potent cancer fighter. In animal studies, very small amounts of CLA have blocked all three stages of cancer: 1) initiation, 2) promotion, and 3) metastasis. Most anti-cancer agents block only one of these stages. What's more, CLA has slowed the growth of an unusually wide variety of tumors, including cancers of the skin, breast, prostate, and colon. . . The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grassfed animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3-5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot."
I’m not saying my friend should eat dairy with abandon, (moderation is smart with any food) but the subject of cardio health is so much more complex than eliminating a single food group. There are many other determining factors--genetics, hormones, age, fitness, activity, and stress, in addition to diet. I am astonished that western medicine still takes the most simplistic tack—isolate one cause for one symptom—when even though the most basic biochemistry course reveals how everything in our bodies works synergistically. But then again, that myopic approach sells pharmaceuticals, doesn’t it? Uh-oh. Don’t’ get me started on that topic… Just gimme back my cheese.