Before I start listing out reasons why milk is bad for you, here’s some food for thought. Have you ever considered why humans are the only species of mammals that drink milk long after infancy. And the only species that drinks milk from another species? Pretty odd, no?
You can blame the obsession with milk on aggressive marketing or old wives tale. We’ve grown up to believe that milk is good for our bodies and an excellent source calcium, vitamin a and D and protein. As a rule, it’s best to avoid anything that is aggressively marketed. (Yes, I’m looking at you colas, burgers, chips and chocolates). Let’s try and understand why is milk bad for you?
A glass of milk also has acidic animal protein that leeches calcium from the bones, pus cells, bovine growth hormone, feces, antibiotics, and a lot of unnecessary fat, cholesterol and calories — all of which create a terrible imbalance in the body. And this I think is a good reason to stop drinking milk.
Like most people, I loved drinking milk. However with time, I experienced bloating and general discomfort post consumption. On researching, I learnt intolerance to milk is pretty common. Studies have proven that the human body is unable to handle milk consumption and hence a host of digestive problems are related to it.
Here are a couple of reasons why you should stop drinking milk:
1) Exploitative global milk industry
According to alv.org.au,
We’ve been forced to believe that cows produce milk for our consumption. In reality, cows produce milk to feed their own babies. These babies are usually separated from their mothers within a day of birth so that we can drink the milk that is actually meant for them. We think that cows produce milk for human consumption. In reality, cows lactate to feed their own babies. These babies are usually torn from their mothers within a day of birth so that humans can drink the milk meant for them. Cows carry their calves for 9 months and form strong bonds with them. The forced separation causes them intense distress. The babies are either slaughtered – around half a million each year in Australia – or forced into the same cruel cycle of constant pregnancies and loss of their babies.
The daily industry isn’t well regulated which has led to exploitation and abuse of cows. From cows being restrained to being forcibly impregnated, cows the world over are terribly mistreated to sustain milk production. In fact as per this article A person who photographs, video records or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree.
2) Growth hormones
Cows are injected with a man-made bovine growth hormone (bGH or Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone(rBGH) to mature faster and produce more milk. Use of bGH has been banned in Europe due its potential helath concerns. Research suggests that a number of health concerns, including breast cancer, are associated with the consumption of dairy products from cows treated with rBGH.
3) Humans aren’t designed to drink milk other than their own
Humans weren’t designed with a special genetic flaw requiring us to drink the milk of other animals to grow, because every species has traits that only apply to their specific type.
The composition of cow’s milk resemble that of human breast milk, however, these components are not in the same proportions. For example, human breast milk has high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) which is responsible for rapid brain development. Cow’s milk, however, contains lower amounts of PUFAs, but higher levels of saturated fats, which contribute to rapid body building. It should come as no surprise that cow’s milk has 50% more protein than human milk because cows double their size in 45 days, while humans take 180 days for the same growth.
In addition, there are milk has 2 proteins; Casein and Whey. Cow’s milk has twenty times more casein. This puts a huge pressure on human digestion as it thickens and curdles. Unlike humans, Cows with their four tiered stomach digestive system are built to digest their milk. Human milk, however, is made up of 60% – 80% more whey than casein which is easily digestible by our stomachs.
These are some very logical, factual and scientific reasons why a cow’s brain weight 3x as small as ours and a body weight 7x as heavy. The bottom line is, cow’s milk is meant for calves to grow and not humans. We are really not meant to be drinking cow’s milk, at least not in the quantities that we do and especially not into adulthood.
4) Milk is not a great source of calcium
Calcium is the single most quoted reason for consumption of dairy. However black-eyed peas white beans, salmon, sardines, kale, dried figs and bokchoy are far superior sources of calcium.
Recent research has even shown that high levels of calcium (especially from dairy) can actually aid osteoporosis. Dairy makes the body acidic, actually reducing the amount of calcium available to the body. To neutralize the acidic environment, the body can actually leech calcium from the bones, causing loss of calcium in our bones.
5) Milk is a processed food
To give it a longer shelf life, most of the milk that we drink is pasteurized and homogenized. Pasteurization is the process of heat processing a liquid to kill bacteria and make it safe to eat. Homogenization is a process to uniformly distribute fat in milk. However, both processes kill the beneficial enzymes in milk and destructure the proteins. This reduces the vitamin content dramatically and kills those “live and active” cultures that are supposed to be healthy for you.
7) Milk spikes insulin
Carbohydrates spike blood sugar which eventually cause diabetes and PCOS. This rise in insulin is caused by the lactose and proteins (casein) in milk.
“According to Mark’s Daily Apple, With dairy, it’s the protein plus the carbs that are responsible for the large insulin release. Take milk, the most egregious “offender.” Both skim and whole milk (PDF) elicit significant insulin responses that you wouldn’t predict from looking at their protein and carb contents, and the fat in whole milk doesn’t blunt it (maybe non-homogenized whole milk would be a different story… I don’t know). Cream and butter are not particularly insulinogenic, while milk of all kinds, yogurt, cottage cheese, and anything with casein or whey, including powders and cottage cheese, elicits a significant insulin response. In one study (PDF), milk was even more insulinogenic than white bread, but less so than whey protein with added lactose and cheese with added lactose. Another study (PDF) found that full-fat fermented milk products and regular full-fat milk were about as insulinogenic as white bread.”
8) Milk is not a great source of Vitamin D
The body absolutely needs Vitamin D from the sun or via supplementation to work optimally. Contrary to popular option, the vitamin D is often artificially added to milk. It is also in such small amounts, that it will not substantially raise vitamin D levels in the body.
What are the best milk substitutes?
My favorite milk substitute is unsweetened almond milk. Alternative options include rice or coconut milk.
I’ve tried to scientifically and logically prove in this post why you should stop drinking milk. So, the next time you decide to buy milk try to consider if your body actually needs it. And if its consumption is doing you more harm than good.