The truth about milk and dairy
To develop immunity and muscles, grow in size and increase their cognitive functions, all new born mammals require their mother's breast milk. As babies get older, their need for breast milk decreases, and they begin to eat other foods. Eventually, their interest in breast milk dissipates altogether.
And yet, as many medical professionals, nutrition specialists and animal advocates point out, humans are the one species that continues to drink milk into adulthood. So, the question is, do humans benefit from milk of other animals, or do we work against our evolutionary needs?
Conflicting scientific data, commercial advertisements and governmental guidelines on nutrition, affected by interests of agricultural industries, make our dietary choices difficult. Many of us remain convinced that milk is an essential part of our diet, while others see food as a matter of caloric intake.
Nevertheless, there is also a growing interest among the general public in health-promoting lifestyles and healthy eating. Thanks to the most recent research, supported by numerous large-scale population studies, it is becoming increasingly clear that no individual, regardless of age, physical condition or personal situation, should consume milk of animal origin.
''Humans are the one species that continues to drink milk into adulthood''
'Incredible story about milk. Is it good for you?'
by Walter Veith
So what exactly does milk of animal origin contain?
Not much that adult body can use
While human breast milk contains everything that a baby needs for healthy development, its protein-content is very low in comparison to the milk of other mammals. Cows' milk, on the other hand, contains everything a calf needs, including loads of growth-promoting compounds. For people, there is nothing in animal milk that serves our bodies because its nutritional value is extremely low.
Global demands for dairy are so great that farmed animals are required to produce a lot more milk than they naturally can. Therefore, cows are typically injected with synthetic hormones that increase their milk production more than ten times, and these hormones are then transmitted into the milk.
Animals that produce huge quantities of milk become inevitably weak and sick. So, to counter this, farmers feed their cattle with antibiotics, which later end up in your yoghurt, cheese, and ice-cream.
Bacteria, parasites and viruses
Milk is the ideal carrier of several microorganisms. All dairy products contain dead and living bacteria and their faeces, and this is also true for pasteurized milk. Our organism can thus become infected with food-borne pathogens.
Milk and its effects on human health
While we know that animal milk provides minimal nutrition for the human body, it does affect our organism in many harmful ways. Population studies in different parts of the world show that when different groups or cultures introduce milk and dairy products into their diets, there is also a sharp increase in a variety of diseases, chronic illnesses and childhood mortality.
When we feed our bodies with microorganisms found in milk and animal milk protein, our system reacts by producing loads of antibodies. Therefore, our own immunity is compromised, and we may become ill, or develop autoimmune diseases, allergies, sinusitis, asthma or bronchitis.
This overproduction of antibodies due to milk consumption is also linked to chronic inflammation of the pancreas, which can damage cells that produce insulin, and thus lead to the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Children's health and cessation of breast milk
Milk consumption by breastfeeding mothers may cause lactation suppression and a subsequent introduction of formula into babies' diets. This product contains cow's milk protein, and has been linked to prediabetes and diabetes, asthma obesity, coeliac disease, cognitive disorders and autism in children and young adults.
Milk and dairy products are also associated with poor liver and kidney functions, digestive tract disorders and accumulation of toxins in the body. Many people who consume milk on a regular basis thus experience bloating, diarrhoea or constipation.
Acne and skin problems
Perhaps the most common problem linked to milk and dairy is acne, among other skin disorders. When our bodies cannot remove toxins through the liver's enzymes, our skin becomes a vital elimination system on its own.
The assumption that milk is our primary source of calcium, important for our bones and teeth, is a myth. Most calcium from animal products is not absorbed by our bodies. In fact, the higher our consumption of milk, the more our bones deteriorate over time, and this may lead to osteoporosis.
''When different groups or cultures introduce milk and dairy products into their diets, there is also a sharp increase in a variety of diseases, chronic illnesses and childhood mortality ''
What alternatives are there?
You don't have to feel a sense of loss when you give up milk and dairy products. You can discover many amazing alternatives that will enrich your meals and offer new culinary possibilities. Most importantly though, you start gaining health.
You can replace animal milk with plant-based substitutes, such as coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, rice milk, cashew milk and many others. Most supermarkets have a wide variety of plant-based yogurts, creams and spreads, and some health shops offer impressive cheese alternatives. There are some fermented products on the market that taste just like the real deal. And, of course there is nothing better and cheaper than making your own milk and dairy-free products, using few simple ingredients.
For those who are still worried about their calcium intake, try to incorporate calcium-rich foods into your diet, such as almonds, kale and broccoli. It is also a good idea to consume foods high in magnesium (such as vegetables and legumes) to help your body with calcium absorption.
Important note: If you have kidney problems, take antibiotics, muscle relaxants, diuretics, or any medication for high blood pressure or osteoporosis, consult your doctor. Magnesium lowers blood pressure and relaxes muscles.