Written by Danielle Minnebo
…the diet of the animals we eat has a bearing on the nutritional quality, and healthfulness, of the food itself, whether it is meat or milk or eggs.’
Choosing dairy products that are organic and sourced from pasture fed cows provides us with more nutrients, fat soluble vitamins and an all round better product. Cows are ruminants that have evolved to eat grass, when they are fed grains they become very sick and are often given antibiotics to prevent this. Feed cows grass and you’ll have a happier and healthier animal that won’t require antibiotic treatment and provides you with healthier milk and meat.
The health benefits of consuming organic pasture raised dairy:
- Beta-carotene: grass-fed cows milk contains up to 4 times more beta-carotene than conventionally fed cows milk. Beta-carotene is an important anti-oxidant to protect against cardiovascular disease. It is also necessary for eye health and healthy immune function.
- Vitamin E: grass-fed cows milk contains 50% more Vitamin E than conventionally fed cows milk.
- Omega Ratio: Grass-few cows milk has a healthier balance of omega 6 to omega 3 ratio, a ratio of about 2:1, compared to a ratio of 8:1 from conventionally few cows milk. This is a much more balanced ratio of omega 6 to omega 3, allowing the omega 3 to be metabolized more efficiently.
- Anti-biotic and pesticide free: All organic dairy cows in Australia are not allowed to be treated with anti-biotics and nor are their pastures sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Chemicals from pesticides and herbicides are fat-soluble and will accumulate in fat, including milk fat. If we are consuming full fat dairy products it is important that we make sure it is organically sourced.
- CLA: The CLA content of milk from grass-fed cows is 2 to 5 times greater than the CLA content of conventionally few cows’ milk.
The health benefits of consuming CLA:
CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid and offers us a range of amazing health benefits. CLA reduces the risk of heart disease, it prevents and treats Type II diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. It reduces inflammation and improves overall body composition by increasing lean body mass and reducing body fat mass. Since CLA is a fat it means you need to consume the fat in dairy to receive all of its benefits. This means consuming full fat milk, cheese, yoghurt and butter, exactly the way nature intended for it to be eaten.
Buying full fat un-homogenized dairy products:
When you are buying dairy products look for brands that are organic and grass-fed, and most importantly un-homogenized. This means the fat hasn’t been removed from the milk ensuring you get all the benefits of consuming this fat. Drinking and eating full fat dairy products also provides you with a much more balanced amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates. You’ll find that you will eat smaller servings and stay fuller for much longer, this is mainly due to the satiating effect of the fat and protein. Skim milk products remove most of the fat and as a result increase the carbohydrate (lactose) content of the product, making it much easier to eat more of it and also removing the satiating effect of the fat and protein.
Organic grass-fed dairy products – brands:
- Barambah Organics
- Paris Creek Dairy
- Elgaar Farm
- Organic Dairy Farmers
- Jalna Yoghurt (they do a biodynamic and organic yoghurt range)
- Pauls Pure Organic Milk (purchase from Woolworths and Coles)