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Milk :: Cholesterol :: Mercury in Seafood :: Constipation

By Sally Fallon

Question: I have two kids and they both love milk. For a while they drank only raw milk and went through litres upon litres every week. I was buying 8 litres, as I also use it in my cooking for porridge. How much milk should kids drink and is 8 litres too much per week? Mum

Answer: 8 liters a week for 2 children is about a gallon a week–this is perfectly fine.

Question: I understand that commercial dehydration methods oxidize cholesterol in powdered milk. However I am wondering what happens with cholesterol in milk when milk is just pasteurized and not powdered. Does cholesterol still get oxidized? Jasmina

Answer: I do not know for sure, but it is quite possible that some of the cholesterol is oxidized during pasteurization, as this is done by rushing a thin layer of milk across a super heated plate. So there is lots of exposure to oxygen.

Question: Also I would like to know whether milk used for making raw cheese is usually homogenized or not. Jasmina

Answer: Regarding cheese, the answer is no for most natural and hard cheese varieties like Cheddar. However for some soft cheeses the milk is homogenised. Homogenisation does two important things for the manufacturer.
1. Increased yield of high fat and high moisture varieties. For example tarditional feta cheese has a moisture level of 50-54%, that is half water. Homogenised fat cheese can easily be 65% moisture so nearly 2/3rds water. A nice way to increase profits.
2. Homogenised fat is whiter and so homogenisation is often used where the consumer prefers white to yellow cheese.

Question: I will be 60 yrs old on 15 July 08. My Doctor tells me I need to reduce my cholesterol.
On 11 Jan 08, my total chol. was -7.4, Trig -0.9, HDL -2.3, Chol/HDL -3.2, VLDL -0.4, LDL -4.7
On 21 Apr 08, my total chol. was -5.8, Trig -1.1, HDL -1.6, Chol/HDL -3.6, VLDL -0.5, LDL -3.7
I have been using good coconut oil for a couple of years but it doesn’t look like it has helped reduction of my cholesterol. I stopped using it sometime before January. After that, my cholesterol went down. I started weight training sometime in March and have been taking 2 capsules every day of good krill oil, maybe that helped? Anyway, I really would like to bring it closer to 5 and increase my HDL. Can you tell me some foods to include and foods to avoid to reduce my Cholesterol? Regina

Answer: I would not worry about your cholesterol. For women, the higher your cholesterol, the longer you live. Sally

Question: My kids love seafood, but how much seafood can they eat without getting affected with mercury levels? Mum

Answer: If you have good gut flora, you are protected from mercury in fish. I would not stop eating fish but be sure to get some lacto-fermented foods in their diet.

Question: I have been convinced of the benefits of raw milk for a long while now, but now that I am pregnant I am worried about toxoplasmosis and passing this to my unborn baby. What do you advise during pregnancy? Nisha

Answer: We recommend one quart per day of raw whole milk from pasteured cows for pregnant women. The key is that the cows are on pasture, then there is no risk of pathogens. Sally

Question: If I can’t drink or source raw milk, is it better to drink pasteurised organic rather than nothing at all? Nisha

Answer: It is better to eat cheese, yoghurt and bone broths. But if you do drink pasteurized milk, it should be WHOLE milk. Best, Sally

Question: Is raw milk which has soured due to age (in the refrigerator) still just as good as fresher raw milk which has been allowed to sour on the counter for a day or two?

Answer: My guess is that they are just as good, but I don’t know of any research on this. Sally

Question: I have been making Beet Kvass, and my family loves it. But a found that when I start using it
daily (1/4cup) that after about 1 day, I become very constipated, and nothing herbal or food wise seems to undo the constipation, the only thing that works is to stop taking the beet kvass. I’d like to understand why this might be happening so that I can supply my body with what it needs and be able to successfully drink the beet kvass, because I really love the taste of it and also love the health benefits as a fermented drink that it can give me. My family does not have this reaction. Could Sally shed some light on what could possibly be the nutritional need that I need to address to be able to avoid this problem.. I don’t have any health issues, and normally I have no problem with constipation. Jane Schmitt

Answer: This is really a mystery. The overwhelming reaction to beet kvass is that it helps constipation. Of course, you should stop for the time being. Perhaps do a course of probiotics and then try the beet kvass again? Let me know what happens. Sally

Sally Fallon is founding president of the Weston A Price Foundation, a non-profit nutrition education foundation with over 400 local chapters and 9000 members. She is also the founder of A Campaign for Real Milk, which has as its goal universal access to clean raw milk from pasture-fed animals. Author of the best-selling cookbook Nourishing Traditions and also of Eat Fat Lose Fat (Penguin), both with Mary G. Enig, Phd, Sally has a encyclopedic knowledge of modern nutritional science as well as ancient food ways. Her grasp on the work of Weston Price is breath taking and her passion for health freedom, inspiring. In each edition of Nourished Magazine Sally answers your questions about nutrition, health, food and medical politics. Send us an email with your question and we'll put it to her.

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COMMENTS - 14 Responses

  1. 1. Cate Williams
    Jul 1st, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I just wanted to comment about the raw milk going sour question. I have read 2 books by Aajonus Von Der Planitz (!!!) who heads an organisation that he founded in the states called ‘The Right to Eat Healthy Food’, and is constantly fighting the US govt to prove that raw milk is healthful, and he says that raw milk gone sour is just another stage of raw milk and it is totally not harmful. You can get his books, The Primal Diet and Recipes for Living Without Disease, at the library or from his website
    Cheers Cate

  2. Hi and thanks for answering my questions. I am wondering about your stocks. I know store bought stcok cubes are bad, but I wwas wondering, if it was possible instead of making the stock of beef, chicken, fish, as stocks, could I just make a meal that requires stock, put in all the stock ingredients as part of the meal, cook it all together, then just removes and discard the ingredients that make stock, and just serve the meal.

    For instancer, say beef casserole requires stock.

    So instead of making the stock separately, I just put in all the stock ingredients in the casserole dish or pot together with all the casserole ingrredients, the chuck steak, etc, etc,m, cook it all up together, then remove and discard the stock ingredients, like the bones, etc, etc and just serve the casserole or do I have to make and add the stock separately.

    And is Pea and ham soup, not healthy? I use the ham bones, but i was told than the ham bones are full of nitrates due tp the way it would have been prepared.

  3. Also when you mentioned lacto feremented foods to protect my children fropm mercury, are you also referring to yoghourt? I am very ashamned to say that my oldest child now will not take plain organic yoghourt without the addtion of honey. My youngest one loves plain whole yoghourt and my oldest used to love plain whole yoghourt, until now. How do I get her ot eat palin whole yoghourt without honey? I use only raw honey, by the way. Also is peanut butter alright to eat often, do oyu have a recipe for just palin peanut butter, or can I make it the same way you suggested making nut butters in your book?

  4. Mum, I think I can answer your questions for you but if you still have questions after this, we’ll forward them on to Sally for you. Of course you can put the stock ingredients in your casseroles/stews, however, you will not get the same benefit as adding a slow-cooked stock. The longer bones are boiled, the more nutrients (minerals, etc) we get out of the bones. So the idea is to slow cook your stock for at least 12 to 24 hours or longer. The best way to get lots of minerals out of the bones is to soak them in the cold stock water with a TBSPN of vinegar first. What we do is, after a dinner of roast chicken, we throw the chicken carcass into a slow cooker with a whole carrot snapped in half, an onion, a celery stick and whatever else is quick and easy. Then leave it to slow cook a for a couple of days. Every time we eat beef or lamb, we throw the bones into a container in the fridge until we get enough bones to make a stock.
    Not sure about the ham bones but I would imagine that what you have been told is correct. We recommend eating nitrate free ham. My friend talked her butcher into making nitrate free bacon for her. She agreed to buy it in bulk and even took a bag of sea salt along to ensure he didn’t use crappy salt. Let’s gently educate our butchers and train them into providing the foods we really want to buy and eat!
    I don’t see a problem about your child eating yoghurt with honey as long as it is raw honey which is actually really good for you. However, if you want to reduce the amount of sweet honey she is eating, then how about adding other types of sweetening foods. Eg. I sometimes stir the Apricot Butter (recipe in NT) through my yoghurt. Or how about fruit puree? Perhaps you could do this and gradually reduce the amount of honey. Remember kids naturally have more of a sweet tooth than we do.
    Regarding peanut butter: it’s probably best to make it with crispy peanuts (ie. that have been soaked/dehydrated). From Growing Wise Kids: “Peanuts. This “nut” is actually not a nut at all, but rather a legume from the pea and bean family that happens to be uniquely endowed with fat.24 Peanuts are also rich in B vitamins such as pantothenic acid and biotin, calcium, vitamin E, and potassium. Due to the highly allergic nature of this food, it is often suggested that those with a high potential for an allergic response wait until age three to try them.25 Even then, be sure to purchase only organic varieties, since peanuts tend to be a heavily sprayed crop. Finally, aflatoxin, a carcinogenic mold occasionally found in peanuts is virtually eliminated by cooking or soaking, thus they should not be eaten raw.26 Children who are allergic to peanuts are not necessarily allergic to tree nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, since they come from separate plant families.”

  5. I am awre that microwavs release negatives waves, which then compromise the nutritional value of food and even leaves food devoid of any nurients. I am also wondering if slow cookers can slo affect foos in this way too or are slow cokers safe to se. I am just concerned that it does rely on electricity do not on the usual methods of cooking.

  6. Hello I have 2 questions: First, since chia seeds have a high phytate content, do they need to be soaked or sprouted before they are eaten? Also when soaked chia are mucilogenous and it is recommended that one drinks this as it is high in fibre. However due to the high phytate content wouldn’t the ’soaking water’ be toxic?
    Second, can one substitute kombucha for water as a hydrator? Linda

  7. Interested in an answer to Mum jul 14th 2008 re chai seeds

  8. I mean chia seeds

  9. 9. Jason Horstman
    Jun 24th, 2009 at 10:27 am


    Toxoplasmosis. My wife follows the primal diet and doctors say it is dangerous to consume Raw meat while pregnant because of toxoplasmosis, what can you tell me??

    Thanks, Love your book Nourishing Traditions

  10. Linda M. & Julie,
    Chia seed gel makes a great egg replacer (for when you’ve run out, or haven’t got enough) for baking. Doesn’t the soaking render the seeds phytates neutralised?
    Kombucha is more an ‘energiser’ than a hydrator, but it is a diuretic, which means it takes out water via the kidneys. You need to drink more water.

  11. 11. Cathy Mifsud
    Jun 27th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    All I’m going to say is that those doctors terrified me too about eating any animail food that wasn’t completely cooked through. I suffered big time because the only foods i wanted were soft eggs and rare (really rare) steak! By four months I thought Stuff it, I’m following my insticts and I started feeling great! Up until 4 month i had serious bleeding, this stopped after I introduced rare animal foods.
    ALways buy organic, free range and in NT they say to soak meat in lemon juice, live vinegar or whey to be sure there’s no risk of parasites or freeze meat 14 days, read the raw meat introduction in NT.
    Your wife’s better to avoid those doc’s and find a good midwife. Sorry, just remembered how much grief they caused me!
    All the best.

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