Would you believe me if I told you dairy isn’t healthy? I understand your skepticism if you don’t believe me. Most people know dairy is a great source of calcium, potassium, vitamin d, and protein. Dairy improves bone health, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and even lowers blood pressure in adults. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) recommends it and it’s a beloved common ingredient. Why wouldn’t dairy be healthy?
Well, for starters:
- Neither milk nor a high calcium diet prevents or reduces the risk of osteoporotic fractures.
- Calcium supplements without vitamin d increases the risk of heart attacks and may cause fractures.
- Vitamin D reduces the risk of osteoporotic hip fractures.
- Higher consumption of lactose (about 3 cups a milk a day) increases the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Early exposure of milk is link to Type 1 diabetes.
- Dairy may cause multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers found a correlation between cow’s milk and MS occurrence.
- Low fat and fat free dairy products are laden with sugar, flours, thickeners, and salt to make up for the reduce fat.
Isn’t raw milk a healthy alternative to pasteurized milk? Only if you believe the pros outweigh the cons. Raw milk has a higher nutritional value than pasteurized milk and a study suggest it has a protective effect on asthma. But, are the benefits really worth the risk?
- According to CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention), “raw milk is one of the riskiest ways to get [foodborne illnesses]” especially for babies, children, seniors, pregnant women, and individuals with a weakened immune system.
- Individuals can become sick from drinking raw milk even if they buy milk from the same source or brand for years.
- Raw milk also has the same “health benefits” mentioned throughout this post as pasteurized milk.
If you still believe raw milk is healthy, keep in mind some people bought raw milk because they believed they made a healthy choice but in the end reap the wonderful benefits of bloody diarrhea, renal failure, hemolytic uremic syndrome, Guillain Barré syndrome, and many other undesirable conditions.
The Dairy Industry
Nevertheless, do you really want to support an inhumane industry?
- According to PETA, “female cows are artificially inseminated shortly after their first birthdays”.
- Artificial insemination is a nice way to refer to rape. As stated by Humane Myth,
All forms of dairy farming involve forcibly impregnating cows. This involves a person inserting his arm far into the cow’s rectum in order to position the uterus, and then forcing an instrument into her vagina. The restraining apparatus used is commonly called a “rape rack”.
- Female cows are impregnated after lactating for ten months and continues this cycle for the rest of their lives.
- Some dairy cows slept, ate, and are milked in areas where their feces are as high as their knees.
- Frequent milking can cause a cow’s udder to become infected. Sadly, the cows raised on an organic farm are denied medicine because the milk would not be able to be sold as organic.
Nonetheless, cow’s milk only meets the nutritional needs of a calf. Dairy help calves satiated their “four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months, sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they are 2 years old” according to PETA.
If a cow only produces milk when it’s pregnant and recently given birth to a calf, why would the milk be best for humans instead of a calf? Humans don’t feed calves with their milk. So why drink milk made for a calf? Like other mammals, milk is produce for a mother’s young.
Women only breastfeed their babies and are not forcibly impregnated for the rest of their lives to produce milk to feed adults or any animals because there is no need for adults to drink milk or consume milk products. If humans truly need milk to survive as adults, the best source of milk is from their own species.
Take a look inside the dairy industry. Both videos are very short (one’s 30 seconds and the other is 1 minute and 54 seconds) and are not graphic.
Is Breastfeeding Or Cow’s Milk Best For Babies?
According to the American Academy Of Pediatrics, “Human milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding and is species-specific; all substitute feeding options differ markedly from it”. In other words, human milk is best for infants—not cow’s milk, dog’s milk, camel’s milk or any other animals’ milk.
Breastfeeding babies offer a variety of benefits in overall health and development. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of various minor and chronic diseases such as, “diarrhea, lower respiratory infection, otitis media, bacteremia, bacterial meningitis, botulism, urinary tract infection, and necrotizing Enterocolitis”.
Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding. Mothers return to their pre-pregnant weight faster, reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and premenopausal breast cancer, decrease postpartum bleeding, and, “improved bone remineralization postpartum with reduction in hip fractures in the postmenopausal period.”
More Milk Facts:
- The number one cause of food allergies among babies and children is cow’s milk.
- Milk causes acne.
- Hormone free milk doesn’t exist. The average glass of milk contains more than 60 hormones designed to grow a calf into an adult cow whether it’s organic, raw or bovine growth hormone free milk.
- Dairy is high in saturated fat (5 grams in one cup).
- Substituting full fat milk for skim milk may cause weight gain. In a study, adolescents who consume 1 % or skim milk gained more weight than the children that drank 2 percent or full fat milk.
- There is a direct relationship between milk consumption and the risk of PCOS.
Dairy Free Alternatives
Thinking about removing dairy products from your diet? Don’t worry; there are plenty of healthy alternatives to obtain calcium, potassium, vitamin d, protein, and probiotic. There are also delicious dairy free alternatives for desserts and butter.
Check out the list below*:
- Protein: beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and lean meats.
- Calcium: dark leafy greens, beans, and broccoli.
- Vitamin D: fatty fish and sunlight.
- Potassium: bananas, dark leafy greens, and beans.
- Probiotics: fermented veggies such as sauerkraut and pickles.
- Butter: Earth Balance, oil, and nut butters.
- Ice cream: So Delicious, Rice Dream, and Coconut Bliss.
- Cookies: Enjoy Life and The Complete Cookie
- Yogurt: So Delicious, Silk, and Almond Dream.
- Milk: cashews, hemp, coconut, almond, soy, and rice milk.
*This list isn’t exhaustive.
Regardless of the wealth of information supporting or rejecting dairy, it is up to you to decide whether consuming dairy is best for you, the environment, and cows. What will you decide?
Thanks for reading!
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