The Truth about Dairy

Most of us have grown up in a community, family and/or time that said “Milk does a body good”. We have all seen the mustache commercials. We have gone through gallons of it as we grew up. We also were not very well educated with regards to the truth about it.

Let me get this straight first too…This is not an attack on anybody who likes milk. We have all been there. This is designed to educate so that you can make your own decision. That is all. Don’t shoot the messenger!

Humans consuming cow’s milk has been going on for quite some time. We are also the only other species to consume milk from another species. It seems somewhat odd when you think about it. You don’t see any other animal chasing a cow around trying to get milk from it do you? Science actually shows that humans actually lose the ability to breakdown milk proteins effectively by the age of two. This is because our bodies were originally designed to only need milk (breast milk) early in life and that is it. Breast milk is the “golden food” for a developing baby. God designed it to be that way. That is also why He does not design our bodies to need it after the first two years of life yet we have found a new way to consume it.

So what about all the things we have been told with regards to milk being a necessity? Well, here are some stats that might open your eyes…

1. Countries with the lowest dairy consumption have the lowest levels of osteoporosis…which is completely opposite from what the commercial says
2. Numerous studies show that calcium consumption does not correlate directly with incident of fractures. Vit D does and so does physical activity.
3. It has been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer in males by 30-50%
4. Calcium has benefits that dairy doesn’t. Dairy consumption actually negates many of the positive calcium benefits
5. 75% of the world’s population cannot digest dairy at all
6. Dairy has been shown to aggravate the GI tract in the healthy population
7. There are no long-term safety studies done on the hormones and antibiotics found in dairy products. This may be one of the biggest concerns out there now.
8. The FTC looked into USDA claims and found the following – it does NOT improve athletic performance, dairy is linked to prostate cancer, the saturated fat in dairy increases the risk of heart disease, it increases sinus problems, post-nasal drip, headaches and irritable GI issues.

So what are healthy alternatives for people who crave milk? There are a ton of them now! When you really look at the grocery store you will see how much the dairy alternatives have grown. You have choices from the likes of almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk and even just a dairy protein-free milk. Most alternatives are healthier. There is some data showing that soy milk can affect hormones in the human body but in a much less significant way than the hormones in the cow’s milk on the shelf.

Not only are these alternatives good for you but also your children. If you feel like your kids get sick a lot or are always “sinusey” this is a great place to start with a change. Get rid of the dairy for 3 weeks (21 days) and see what happens. Most families that do this never go back because of the benefits they see. You have nothing to lose!

From this I hope that you start to at the very least question the consumption of dairy products in your own home. It is a difficult change to make but I guarantee it will make a difference in how you feel and your family’s overall health. Give it a try!

Brett McDonough