Ah, childhood. Remember when a school day was 9:00 am to 3:00 pm? Or how you actually wanted to play outside every chance you got? Or how you were told that milk would give you “strong bones?” Some things about childhood benefited you in adulthood. Drinking milk may not have been one of them.
For decades we’ve been told by the dairy industry that drinking milk is good for our bones, primarily because it’s a good source of calcium and Vitamin D. Research, however, does not support that it’s good for our bones and in fact, has discovered the exact opposite could be true.
Studies show that drinking large quantities of cow’s milk contributes to an increased risk of bone fractures as we age. It also doesn’t prevent osteoporosis and could actually increase a woman’s risk of getting the disease. Why? Cow’s milk is an “acidifying animal protein.” The body reacts to acids by neutralizing them to protect organs like the kidneys. As the body is neutralizing the milk, the bones are not absorbing nutrients and actually lose calcium.
Another reason to forego cow’s milk is lactose intolerance. Even without an official diagnosis, close to 75% of us lack the enzyme to digest cow’s milk because we were never really meant to drink another mammal’s milk. Think about it. Mammals are designed to drink their mother’s milk. Cow’s milk is created for a calf, not a human.
When thinking about the list of packaged and processed foods that are bad for us, we should add milk to it. Milk is not what it was in the 19th century–raw and untouched. It is now a processed food (often with added hormones and antibiotics) and we have pasteurization and homogenization to thank for that.
Can’t bear to give up milk? Consider substituting it with unsweetened almond milk. Almonds are alkalizing (rather than acidifying–more information about that here and the taste of almond milk is very similar to cow’s milk. Rice and organic soy milks are also good choices if almond milk isn’t an option.
Talk to a variety of healthcare professionals and research the internet on cow’s milk (and alternative sources of calcium and Vitamin D) before making the decision to limit or stop drinking it. You may learn it doesn’t “do a body good” as originally thought.
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