We all know how ‘good milk is for you’ right? I mean, it’s rich in calcium, it’s good for your teeth, it’s good for your bones, it contains all the right proteins and fats to help you grow and become bigger, taller, healthier and stronger… Many of us can probably remember being told to “drink up your milk”, whether that was from a carton at school or in a mug and warmed up with honey before bed. I know I can and I loved it. When I was poorly I’d have warm milk & honey on tap! My mum would be making me a mug of the stuff several times a day and, honestly, it made me wish I was ill more often.
As I grew older I would have milk in my tea, with my cereal, in my chai tea lattes, incorporated into my cooking to make sauces and scrummy pasta dishes. As for other dairy products, well… cheese and butter were also a must have in the Beal Household.
With all that being said, Milk and Dairy have always been associated with ‘healthy’ or ‘yummy’. But, what actually is milk? Yeah, it’s good for growth, for nourishment, for bone strengthening and all the rest of it. But, for us humans? I’m not sure. I’m starting to think not.
What IS milk?
It’s universally understood that a mother’s milk is a central part of our development and, essentially, is what Mother Nature had planned in order for us to feed our babies. It allows many species across the globe to provide their young with the nourishment they need. On top of that, it also allows a baby to share with its mother her immune system, getting the right balance of fats, hormones, vitamins, proteins, and enzymes to allow it to develop from a baby (e.g. puppy) into an adult (dog) as quickly as possible.
Yet, we humans do something that no other animal on Earth does. After feeding our babies with our nourishing, beloved milk…. we decide to let something pretty weird happen. And that is, to let Mrs Cow take over. No species on the planet consumes milk in their adult lives, let alone that of another species… but, for some reason, we do.
Although cow’s milk contains similar components as human breast milk, they will be in extremely diverse amounts. Cow’s milk, for example, contains significantly lower amounts of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) that humans will have more of due to our difference in intelligence and brain development, yet they will have far higher levels of saturated fats which helps with their rapid body growth.
Why is Cow’s milk bad for?
Expert Opinion: “Due to the extreme processes that milk goes through and the high amounts of antibiotics, hormones, and genetically-modified substances that cows are continually exposed to, I believe there are real and eminent concerns associated with drinking milk from cows. All cows release toxins through their milk, as milk is a natural exit-portal for substances that the body cannot use” – Dr. Edward Group, on the dangers of drinking cow’s milk.
Seemingly, cows milk and other dairy produce are not as good for us as we once thought. Plus, there are so many plant-based alternatives such as rice, soya, hemp, hazelnut, almond and coconut milk that are all rich in calcium and nutrients that there really isn’t a reason to drink cow’s milk. I haven’t completely cut out dairy (yet) as I’ve seen a massive difference by merely cutting down. Since I stopped consuming so much diary a few months ago I’ve noticed that my skin has improved, I feel like my energy levels have increased, I’m a lot less bloated and I’ve also lost a bit of weight too.
Some of the health issues linked with dairy milk:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Cancer (such as ovarian, breast and prostate)
- Diabetes (insulin dependent)
- Lactose Intolerance (No, you’re just not a cow)
- Vitamin D Toxicity
There’s so much to read online about how cow’s milk really isn’t good for you and there are so many alternatives out there to try- super yummy ones too. Dairy free coconut yogurts with blueberries make a lovely snack, and in the mornings I like to use coconut milk in my smoothies and as for porridge, hazelnut milk is the one!
It can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing if you decide to cut down on dairy milk like I did. You’d be suprised at how much variety it can actually add to your diet too.
For more info on the dangers of consuming dairy and milk, check out this aricle: