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Looking for another reason to feel good about choosing organic dairy? You’re in luck. A recent study published by Chuck Benbrook of Washington State University now suggests that choosing around four servings of full-fat organic dairy a day may help to improve your balance of essential fatty acids. The New York Times is calling it “the most clear-cut instance of an organic food’s offering a nutritional advantage over its conventional counterpart.”
Omega-3s and essential fatty acids aren’t anything new to our conversation about healthy eating. Our bodies don't produce essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, so it's important to be sure we're getting both – but especially omega-3s – in our diets to help support brain and heart health. Just as important, we need to be getting our omega-3s and -6s in the right balance.
Because of the corn, soy and fatty foods that are pervasive in the American diet, most of us don’t have a healthy balance between omega-3 and omega-6 (too much 6, not enough 3). Nutritionists believe this dietary imbalance may explain the rise of a number of health problems.
But, Chuck Benbrook and his team of researchers believe they’ve found a way to help restore balance and increase our intake of omega-3s – organic whole milk. In their study, the researchers compared omega-3 and omega-6 levels in organic and non-organic milk. Even better, the organic milk they studied came from the farmers of the Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, who provide all of the milk used by Stonyfield.
The results were dramatic. Not only did the organic whole milk have 62% more omega-3s (something we’d begun exploring during our Stonyfield Greener Cow Project), but researchers found that the balance between omega-3s and omega-6s in the organic whole milk is ideal for your health. (And all of this goodness is because organic farmers let cows do what they do best - graze on pasture that's naturally rich in healthy fatty acids.)
As a result, the team concluded that for some people, simply switching from 3 servings of conventional dairy to about 4 servings of full fat organic dairy would be enough to get their essential fatty acid balance on the right track.
As for those four servings a day? I think I’ll choose…Stonyfield Whole Milk for my cereal and a glass with my after dinner dessert, and a great big bowl of French Vanilla Yogurt for a snack, please.