Is milk bad for you?
For such a long time, dairy has been a great recommendation for good health. But now with more information becoming available to us, we have to wonder, is milk bad for you?
It’s believed to be a great source of essential minerals, especially calcium, beneficial to teeth and bone development in young children.
But apart from that, what else does dairy do to your body? Is it really good for you?
While we can’t dispute the calcium content in milk, we can’t ignore the fact that dairy is harmful to your health and wellbeing. Besides, there are great plant-based sources that can fill your calcium requirements.
This article takes you through the side effects of dairy on the body and why you and your family should actually avoid it.
1. Dairy is high in saturated fat
High levels of saturated fats in dairy and its products can elevate your total cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol leading to arterial blockages causing high blood pressure and increased risk for various conditions, including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
That’s not to say you don’t need cholesterol, because it’s essential. It’s necessary for different metabolic processes, including vitamin D production, brain function, hormone production, bile production in the liver, nerve transmission,
But, the body produces its own cholesterol, so you don’t need to supplement it in your diet.
Read more about the benefits of swapping vegetable fats with dairy ones in this study.
2. Dairy consumption may lead to lactose intolerance
Did you know that more than 75 percent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant? Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar in milk and dairy products. This may lead to gastrointestinal symptoms, including bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps, nausea, belching, and vomiting.
The best way to avoid lactose intolerance is to avoid dairy and its products. Read more about lactose malabsorption statistics here.
3. It robs bones of calcium
We’ve always been told how milk is good for building strong bones, but thanks to research, because it turns out that dairy does the exact opposite. It robs your bones off of calcium, causing them to become weak and brittle.
This is because when the protein in milk is digested, it produces acid. But since the body has to operate at a certain PH, and with calcium being a neutralizer, it will neutralize the acid to ensure a balanced metabolic environment for proper body functions.
So the calcium in the dairy and that from your own stores that should be utilized in building strong bones goes into getting rid of the acid. This also involves leaching calcium from the bones, leading to weak bones predisposed to easy fractures.
Here is a study discussing this issue.
4. It’s highly associated with acne
Whatever you eat can influence your body to cause either disease or health. Likewise, dairy contains hormones that may disrupt your hormonal balance, causing breakouts and acne.
But this may vary with individuals, but either way, just because the side effects of dairy do not manifest as acne in some individuals doesn’t mean they are immune to other dangers of dairy.
Likewise, if you are a great fan of dairy and its products but you struggle with acne, maybe it’s time to let go.
5. Increases the risk of breast cancer
The high-fat content and hormones in milk have been linked to breast cancer in women.
In one study, a high intake of dairy and dairy products was associated with new cancer cases after 7.9 years of follow-up in patients initially cancer-free.
In one epidemiological study, a high intake of dairy and its products increased the risk of developing breast cancer. The same study found that women who consumed high-fat dairy products had a higher mortality rate after a breast cancer diagnosis than those who consumed less.
A low-fat diet after breast cancer diagnosis reduced recurrence rates and increased survival in another meta analysis.
6. Dairy consumption may lead to prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. High consumption of dairy may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
According to research, high consumption of dairy products, including low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium from dairy products, increased prostate cancer risk.
In another study published in the Journal of Nutrition, increased intake of whole milk was significantly associated with fatal prostate cancer and high mortality. In contrast, skimmed milk was associated with an increased risk for early-stage prostate cancer.
7. Increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease
According to research, high consumption of dairy products is highly associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Best plant-based milk substitutes for dairy
Consuming dairy is usually a habit that we develop from childhood. And while it can be easy for some people to go dairy-free and not think about it ultimately, it can be quite challenging for some.
But the fact remains that you can’t consume dairy and avoid the side effects simultaneously. That’s where dairy alternatives come into play.
Thank goodness there is a variety of plant milk that you can choose from or at least try them out until you settle on your favorite.
The best milk alternatives to try include:
- Soy milk (go for organic)
- Coconut milk
- Almond milk
- Hemp milk
- Rice milk
- Pea milk
- Cashew milk
- Oat milk
- Hazelnut milk
- Tiger nut milk
Also, you can find different dairy products like ice cream and other milk products but with plant-based alternatives. Remember to always go for organic when possible.
And if possible, make your own, since most store-bought plant-based milk contains additives to thicken them and prolong their shelf life.
Another advantage of making your own milk over buying in-store is that you know exactly what’s in your milk.
In conclusion: is milk bad for you?
Dairy has been promoted as a healthy drink, especially because of its calcium content. However, dairy and its products can be very damaging to your health and wellbeing.
Regular dairy consumption may increase your cholesterol level, increase your chances of developing high blood pressure and heart disease, cause lactulose intolerance, acne, weak bones and fractures and increased risk of developing different cancers, including prostate and breast cancer.
The best thing is that you have a variety of plant-based milk alternatives to enjoy and choose from.
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