Is milk good for you?

Is milk good for you?

  • Cow’s milk has been consumed for thousands of years, and has been touted as a healthy drink for strong bones and teeth, amongst many other benefits.
  • Ever since we were kids, most of our parents made us drink milk at least once a day.
  • As scientists and researchers dig deeper into the relationship between milk and our health, they find that there is no inherent need in our bodies to consume milk. “It is nature’s perfect food but only if you are a calf. The evidence of its benefits is overstated, and the evidence of its harm to human populations is increasing,”states Dr. Mark Hyman.
  • The Dairy Council pays celebrities for their famous “Got Milk” commercials, while scientists are more concerned with the proof than a catchy slogan. There are some studies that show a few benefits, but studies that are supported by the food industry tend to have significantly higher positive results than studies funded by independent researchers.
  • Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Walter Willett from Harvard are two of America’s leading nutrition scientists.
  • They recently published an editorial, raising questions on our beliefs about milk. They suggest that maybe it doesn’t actually help your bones get stronger, and it may even increase cancer risk and promote weight gain.
  • The dairy industry sent a petition to the FDA to allow them to add artificial sweeteners into chocolate milk. They also promote milkshake flavored milk drinks to schools as “healthier options,” when in fact they contain 30 grams of sugar in every cup. This is a common method used by the food industry; they reduce fat and use artificial sweeteners and market them as healthier options.
  • New research, has shown that these diet drinks can actually make you fat and increase the risk of diabetes.
  • A recent study by Dr. Ludwig showed that participants who had a low fat, high glycemic diet actually burnt 300 fewer calories than those who had a higher fat, lower glycemic diet with the same calorie intake. Another concerning study showed that kids and adults who had low fat dairy products gained more weight than those who ate full fat milk products. The participants with the low fat products tended to eat more because they weren’t completely satisfied. Those who drank the most milk gained the most weight. After all, a cow’s milk is loaded with hormones to help their offspring grow.
  • Many people turn to low-fat diets to help reduce their intake of saturated fats and cholesterol. While it is true that reducing saturated fat intake lowers LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol), eating saturated fats may actually help with another type of good cholesterol. “The protective cholesterol, HDL, actually goes up by eating saturated fat improving the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol, which is the most important marker of your risk of heart disease,”  explains Dr. Mark Hyman.
  • The belief that saturated fat must be avoided is now up for debate. In fact, a Denmark study showed that when saturated fat intake was replaced by carbohydrate intake, the risk of heart attack actually increased.
  • So what about the belief that milk promotes strong, healthy bones? In an analysis by researchers at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, milk did not lower the risk of fractures.
  • Other studies have shown it can increase fracture rates, Dr. Hyman adds, “and the countries with the lowest milk consumption have the lowest risk of osteoporosis and fractures.” One major argument for the bone health benefits of milk is the high calcium content.
  • However, the link between calcium and strong bones is not as strong as one may think.
  • In fact, a Harvard study showed that there was no reduced risk of bone fracture with calcium intake, and there may even be a possibility of an increased fracture risk.
  • Milk is loaded with hormones that may be very detrimental to our health.
  • For example, it contains IGF-1, a hormone linked to the growth of cancer cells. Whole milk was recently linked to prostate cancer in a UCLA study.
  • When cows are milked while pregnant, the milk is filled with reproductive hormones that may cause cancer as well.
  • Here is a list of some of the conditions milk is linked to:
  1. Type 1 diabetes
  2. Acne
  3. Digestive distress
  4. Intestinal bleeding
  5. Iron deficiency
  6. Allergies
  7. Asthma
  8. Eczema
  • The bottom line: “Milk is not nature’s perfect food unless you are a calf and should not be consumed in large quantities by most people, because it can promote weight gain, cancer, and even cause osteoporosis. Write to your congressmen to encourage them to support changes to our food and farm bill policies that shape our nutritional guidelines and make them evidence based,” shares Dr. Hyman.
  • For how diet drinks make you fat.
  • For the serious health risks of aspartame.


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