“Consuming full-fat dairy products seems to REDUCE your risk of becoming obese.”
So starts an article in the New Scientist of February 2014. This statement, by leading nutritionist Professor Walter Willett, is the result of several recent studies, and an analysis of lots more.
Why is it taking so long for this message to come through to us consumers?
1) It’s not easy for ‘experts’ to admit that the advise they have been pumping out for decades was wrong.
2) More importantly: what does the industry do with the dream which was in all the low-fat products they so successfully got us to consume? There is money to be made, selling the butterfat for ice cream !
“Thanks to a deluge of new research suggesting that saturated dairy fat isn’t the death sentence doctors once claimed it to be (quite the opposite, in fact), science is, once again, proclaiming whole milk, yogurt, and cheese to be healthy diet must-haves.” 
“Contrary to current popular wisdom, full-fat dairy products may actually be better than low-fat varieties for keeping off weight, says Harvard School of Public Health nutrition expert professor Walter Willett.“ 
“The dairy fat is not only more satiating (preventing overeating later in the day), but is nutrient dense and reduces inflammation, the primary cause of most chronic health conditions.” 
Eating full-fat dairy not only keeps your weight from going up: it also keeps your heart and bowels happier and brings down your sugar intake . After all, how do they get all that skim stuff to taste nice? Indeed by adding sugar, or, worse, sweeteners .
Last but not least, having your dairy with its natural fat, reduces your diabetes risk. A study, conducted over 15 years by Tufts University, found that people who eat the most dietary fat have a 46% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes .
By the way, the idea that you shouldn’t drink milk when you have a cold is a total myth. It does not produce phlegm! See https://www.askdoctork.com/do-vitamin-c-or-milk-have-an-effect-on-colds-201212113882.
veg: celeriac, turnip, beet, broccoli, cabbage, calabrese, carrots, cauliflower, chard, fennel, kohlrabi, runner beans, salsify/scorzonera, spinach, tomatoes, Jerusalem/globe artichokes, brussels’, chicory, endive, swede, celery, corn salad, leek, peas/mange tout, courgettes, marrow, pumpkin/squash, (white) radish, rocket, spring onions, watercress, sweetcorn.
meat: rabbit, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, partridge, pheasant, wood pigeon, duck, venison, squirrel.
fish: crab, clam, cuttlefish, lobster, mackerel, mussels, scallop, sprats, cockles, black bream, gurnard, winkle, pollack, grey mullet, American signal crayfish.
broad beans, land cress, round seeded peas, chinese leaves, corn salad, winter purslane, winter lettuce.
Plant rhubarb sets; spring cabbage; garlic; autumn onion sets if the weather is good. The garlic should be suited for autumn planting. Don’t use your old cloves! Plant out spring cabbage and, in South England, cabbages and winter/spring lettuce.
What else can you still do in the garden? See www.thompson-morgan.com/what-to-do-in-the-garden-in-october.
WHIPPED CAULIFLOWER with CREME FRAîCHE, serves 4-6.
1 head cauli chopped into florets, 60ml stock, 2 large garlic cloves, 60ml grated mature cheese, 1salt, black pepper, 2 tblsp crème fraîche*, chives.
Cook cauli and garlic till very soft; 15 mins. Mash or blend. Add the cheese, fold in crème fraîche and season. Serve hot, with chives on top.
*Try find wholefat creme fraiche if at all possible: the fat is good for you – see above – and helps absorb the other nutrients.
SAUTEED SPINACH with GARLIC and WHITE WINE, serves 2.
250g spinach, 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 tblsp olive oil, 130ml (cheap) white wine.
Heat oil: when hot but not smoking, toss in garlic and move it around constantly. When it becomes fragrant (very quickly), drop all the spinach into the pan and stir. Once it begins to wilt slightly, pour wine over it. Don’t cook it for too long – you want the leaves to still be bright green when you take it off.
SPAGHETTI with ANCHOVIES, CHILLI and GARLIC, serves 2.
200g spaghetti (or linguine or tagliatelle), extra-virgin olive oil, 6-8 anchovy fillets in oil (or 10-12 if you love them), 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped or chilli powder, 2 sliced cloves garlic, salt, lots of parsley.
Cook spaghetti al dente. Meanwhile, heat oil very gently in a heavy-bottomed small deep pan (you can use oil from the anchovy tin). Add anchovies and chilli and cook for 2 mins, crushing the anchovies. Add garlic, cook for 30-60 secs: don’t let it colour. Mix in the drained pasta. Transfer to warmed dishes. Give the pasta some extra oil and freshly ground pepper, and serve with the chopped parsley on top.
FISH – any fish – for one.
A fish, 1 tblsp grated coconut, roughly 1 tblsp tomato puree, lemon juice, oil/butter.
Heat the oil/butter slightly in a frying pan, add the (boned) fish and some salt. Sauté it slightly, add the tomato puree, coconut and a bit of water. Put a lid on, cook till done. By then there should not be much liquid left, just enough for a sauce. Squeeze over some lemon juice. Done.
Rabbit in pieces, olive oil/butter, 3 large onions, 1 tsp paprika powder, 150g tomato puree, 1.5 tblsp flour, vinegar, thyme, oregano, parsley.
Fry the rabbit, season. Put in large pot, strew over flour. Sauté onions slightly in the rabbit pan, then add to the meat. Just cover with water, let stew for 40 mins. Add some vinegar, herbs, and stew slowly for 20 more mins.
GARLIC CHILLI BEEF HEART serves 2 (main) or 4 (appetizer).
1lb beef heart (trimmed of fat and silver skin), 2 large cloves garlic, 1 tsp chilli paste or some powder, 2 tblsp olive oil, butter.
Combine mashed garlic, chilli paste and olive oil, mix. Pour over trimmed beef heart and mix till all the meat is covered. Let sit overnight (or two nights). Heat a good amount of butter. Place strips of beef heart in heated pan in an even layer. Don’t crowd the pan or you won’t get the desired sear. Cook until it’s starting to brown, about 2 mins, then flip and cook until just cooked through, another 2 mins. Serve very hot in a sandwich, or on a salad. Good with beer.
WARM APPLE-CABBAGE SLAW
360ml shredded cabbage, 1 sliced apple, 1/4 cup broth or water, cider (or other nice) vinegar, seasalt. Herbs/spices as liked (such as coriander, cumin, caraway, fennel, bay, juniper, thyme, paprika powder, savory, thyme, marjoram).
Cook cabbage and apple in the liquid until soft. Stir in vinegar and salt.
FRIED MARROW, CARROT and ONION with SOUR CREAM
1/2 – 1 marrow, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 2-3 tblsp sour cream, parsley, salt, pepper.
Peel and cube marrow, add salt and fry for 15 mins. Cut carrot very fine, onion too, add salt, fry these separate from the marrow for 10 mins. Mix all together, add pepper, fry 5 mins. Switch off fire, add sour cream. Serve with parsley on top.
Next month: love your heart!
 See Thought for Food August 2017 (click on the right hand side of the page).