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Milk that cuts fat, keeps flavor

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Healthy? Yes, but don't expect big cholesterol drop

August 8, 1996
Web posted at: 4:50 p.m. EDT

From Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen

VERO BEACH, Florida (CNN) -- Milk drinkers who find "skim" too watery may soon have a better-tasting alternative. Florida-based Golden Jersey Products Thursday introduced a new product that keeps the creamy taste of whole milk but with no cholesterol and almost no fat.

Milk

The trick is the addition of "Replace," a fat substitute derived from oat bran that makes skim milk thicker without changing its nutritional content. Golden Jersey hopes to introduce the new milk in Southern California next month and in other markets later this year. It will cost about 20 percent more than skim milk.

"It's going to bring a lot of people back to enjoying a glass of milk which provides other things like protein and calcium," says company official Joe DiBruno.

Health benefit?

Sound icon The oat bran ingredient, known generically as beta-glucan, has been shown to lower cholesterol. While the American Heart Association (AHA) doesn't dispute DiBruno's claim that the new milk can help fight heart disease, (422K AIFF or WAV sound) health experts point out that three daily glasses would only lower an individual's cholesterol a relatively insignificant 2 to 5 percent. (CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports - 408K AIFF or WAV sound). Three bowls of oatmeal would do about the same.

Label

"(The new milk) can be seen as part of an overall dietary program to lower cholesterol but ... it's a rather small part of that program," notes the AHA's Dr. Ronald Krauss, who says cutting back on meat and whole dairy products will lower cholesterol much more dramatically than beta-glucan would.

In fact, say health experts, the good-tasting, non-fat milk won't make any difference at all unless the entire diet is healthy.

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