Organic Milk Is Healthier

Mj 618_348_organic milk is healthier
Eli Asenova / Getty Images

Whole organic milk contains some 62 percent more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk, according to new research. Getting more of these fats – which are more prevalent in the grass fed to cows producing organic milk than in the corn that makes up the diet of conventionally fed cows – may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and fight diabetes. Organic milk also contained 25 percent less of the omega-6 fatty acids, a fat that is overly available in the western diet and may have deleterious effects when too much of this and too little of the omega-3s are consumed.

The researchers say that organic whole milk’s healthier ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is enough to offer real health benefits when consumed consistently. “A high intake of full-fat organic dairy products – 4.5 servings instead of [the USDA-recommended] 3 servings – would reduce a person’s omega-6 to omega-3 ratio significantly,” says lead study author Charles Benbrook, of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. “Combine this with limiting foods very high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as deep-fried foods and condiments made with soybean or corn oil, and you can favorably alter your long-term health trajectory.”

Benbrook says whole, rather than two percent or one percent organic milk, may also have a better omega profile. “The shift in the balance of fatty acids is greatest in whole milk,” he says. “It’s about 40 percent less in 2 percent milk and two-thirds less in 1 percent.” There’s no difference in fatty acids between organic skim milk and conventional skim milk, he adds, because skim contains zero milk fat.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!