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*This* discovery might give grass-fed milk the upper hand over organic milk, study says


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Photo: Stocksy/Natasa Mandic

Nowadays—since it seems increasingly fewer people consume real dairy, including milk—the dairy industry doesn’t get as much attention as the alt-milk industry. To be fair, there’s less room for innovation when it comes to cows (unless we’re talking about cultivating a super breed to improve public health). But according to a new study, grass-fed milk in particular deserves a second look, at least more so than organic or conventional milk does.

The results showed that the milk from grass-fed cows had 147 percent more omega-3s (beneficial for battling inflammation and heart disease and for promoting brain health) than conventional milk does and 52 percent more than organic milk does.

A study published in Food Science & Nutrition compared the omega-3 fatty acids in different types of milk: grass-fed, conventional, and organic. The study’s researchers collected more than 1,000 samples of milk from grass-fed cows throughout three years and compared it to data from a similar nationwide study of conventional and organic milk. The results showed that the milk from grass-fed cows had 147 percent more omega-3s (which are beneficial for battling inflammation and heart disease and for promoting brain health) than conventional milk does and 52 percent more than organic milk does.

So does that mean all dairy consumers should immediately switch to grass-fed milk? Well, hold your horses (or cows, I suppose). Grass-fed milk may have a heavy helping of omega-3s, but so do plenty of other foods, like fish, notes Brad Bolling, PhD and a professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who discussed the study on Wisconsin Public Radio.

And while Dr. Bolling added that he believes the study results to be reliable, it’s important to note that it was partially organized and funded by Organic Valley, which has a line of grass-fed milk and therefore has a financial incentive to prove the product’s health benefits.

If fish and dairy, grass-fed or not, aren’t a regular part of your diet, well, thank goodness omega-3 supplements and hemp milk (which is also rich in the fatty acid) exist, to keep your levels where they should be.

Confused about how to navigate the dairy aisle? Here’s an informative cheat sheet and a breakdown on alt-milks that cause bloating.

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