Wednesday Wellness: What Is Dairy Really Doing To Your Body?

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GOT MILK? NO AND NO THANK YOU.

Why? Isn’t milk a ‘nature food’? Especially if it’s straight from a cow? Sure. For a calf!

Dairy consumption can be traced back since the Medieval times and it’s understandable to be skeptical as historical proof may speak for itself! Fast forward thousands of years to 2015 and milk and cheeses are still a common household staple.

We have been brought up by the belief that milk is an essential protein and calcium-rich drink for our bone health AND overall health. Seeing health promotion boards promoting the consumption of milk for children definitely helped with the myth. But are they really what they are set out to be?

It may be debatable as milk is such a household item and it almost feels like such a taboo subject.  It’s as if somebody is criticizing your mom’s famous brownie recipe that everyone loves. In fact, clinical researchers, Dr. David Ludwig and Dr Walter Willet aren’t afraid to speak the truth and they’ve back them up with proof.

I’m not saying that it’s black and white, that dairy is all bad and we have to bid them all adieu. Sure they’ve SOME good in them and they do provide the calcium you need for your bones but the bad definitely far outweighs the good.

FULL OF NASTY HORMONES AND ANTIBIOTICS

These days, milking cows are injected with genetically engineered hormones to increase their milk production. Doesn’t that in itself already sound freaky enough? Sad thing is, when these cows are forced to increase their milk production, it will lead to infection such as mastitis, which is then treated with antibiotics. And do NOT get me started on the issue of antibiotics cause that is a whole other issue I’ve already voiced my views on.

Anyway, isn’t it a reality slap to think that the milk you’re consuming these days contain far more harmful substances than just pure healthy milk? Little do we know, those man-made and synthetic hormones can increase our blood levels and cancer-linked insulin when we consume dairy. Boom.

CHEMICALLY PROCESSED

Unless you’re raising your own healthy happy cows and drinking their milk hygienically raw, the boxed up dairy and cheeses you’ve been taking on are pretty much processed. If you think you’re better off with ‘low-fat milk’, ‘skim milk’ or ‘non-fat milk’, you can also start to think about a chemical party in a box as they’re designed to make profit off of you, not to make you healthy. Most of the time they also use powdered non-fat milk which is believed to link to a spike in cholesterol. To be honest, anything you see from the store that’s labeled ‘low-fat’, it’s a ticket to chemical inferno.

ALLERGIES

This may be a far stretch but why do you think lactose intolerance is one of the most common allergies one can suffer from? From the serious nausea and diarrhea to even dermatitis and acne, you may not even realize some of the issues you may be experiencing is due to dairy. Yes, it has to do with an individual’s body and it’s resistance to certain ingredients but it comes down to two main ingredients which are casein and whey. You’ve heard of them, especially all you fitness buffs out there. Casein has a very similar structure to gluten and most of the people who are gluten intolerant are also casein intolerant. The important thing is, you may not know you’re experiencing this intolerance on the outside, but inside your body, that’s a whole different jumbled-up story.

SO WHAT NOW? RAW MILK OR NONE AT ALL?

I’m not saying dairy should be banned and we should never ever consume it. Whenever you can, and hopefully as much as you can, there are many healthier alternatives out there to give you the benefits you’re looking for. If you prefer raw milk, go for it but in this day and age, that’s a toughie as you would want to make sure the milk is free from faces and bacteria and it comes from cows that have not been injected with nasty medications.

Other than that, some who cannot tolerate cow’s milk and cheeses, they opt for goats’ or sheep’s. But then again, you might encounter the same chemical storm. There are so many other milk-free alternatives to get you the calcium and protein boost that are plant-based as well. I for one, use a dairy-free soy-free plant-based protein powder that are based from pea-protein. If you’re purely craving for milk, by all means but it’s good to keep a look out on the labels and ingredients list. Make sure they’re antibiotic-free (or hormone-free) and the ingredients list is short and simple. There are many other milk alternatives such as almond milk and oat milk too that are yummy. On a side note, chocolate oat milk taste amazingly similar to your carton chocolate milk! (Recipe here)  But that’s beside the point.

The truth is, it isn’t about avoiding dairy at all costs as they are fine to be taken in moderation once in awhile given you know they’re good. But it’s also knowing that you do not need to consume milk in order to BE healthy, especially when it comes to bone health.

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