We are all familiar with the infamous ad campaign featuring adorable kids and celebrities wearing milk mustaches and touting the benefits of milk, but is drinking milk actually healthy for you?
While RAW and Organic milks may offer some benefits, conventional store bought factory farmed milk leaves a lot to be desired and may actually be damaging your body.
Low fat milk in particular has been promoted as a low calorie drink full of calcium. The USDA actually recommends drinking 3 glasses a day. The problem with that theory is that the calcium in cows milk is barely absorb-able by humans and actually depletes calcium supplies in the bones having the opposite of the desired effect and adding to the likelihood of osteoporosis induced fractures in the later years of life.
Amy Lanou Ph.D., nutrition director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C., states that:
“The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent.”
A far better way to keep your bones strong and build bone health is by consuming foods not only rich in calcium but also rich in collagen, as collagen is what holds the bones together and gives flexibility.
As far as the low fat part of the equation goes yes it is lower in fat. It is not however lower in sugar (lactose) ringing in at around 14g per glass. At the recommended 3 glasses a day you are consuming 42g of sugar just from the milk you are drinking. Your body needs the fat in milk in order to assimilate the Vitamin D. Without it, you are not processing that properly either.
Today’s milk is pasteurized and homogenized. This removes bacteria and viruses but also removes much of the nutrition. This heat processing of the milk can lead to a long list of digestive issues. Added to this milking cows are now often given antibiotics and may also be injected with rBGH (a growth hormone) to increase milk production. It has been linked to cancer in milk drinkers as well as accelerated growth in children.
Additional effects drinking conventional cows milk may cause:
- Lactose intolerance
- Elevated risk for cancers
- Elevated risk for MS
- Increased inflammation
- Possible increased cholesterol levels
*Interestingly – Fermented milk products like cheese, sour cream and yogurt do not have the same dangers.
Milk has become a staple food item for many Americans. It is not easy for many to think of giving it up but there are some wonderful replacements on the market today that are far healthier for you. – Rice Milk, Hemp Milk, and Almond Milk – are all good substitutes. (*Steer clear of Soy. Most of the soy crops are GMO and soy boosts estrogen levels abnormally).
Don’t be fooled my slick ad campaigns. Do your own research and next time someone asks “Got milk?” you can smile and say “No”.