Milk and dairy
Milk and dairy products are everywhere around us today. You would have quite likely had at least one dairy product today or one item with dairy in it. It is everywhere!
I have been thinking about milk and dairy for a while now. I have heard mixed reviews, and for someone who has been a life-long lover of milk I decided to do a little bit of research.
Why is milk important?
Well we started off into this world drinking milk. From breast milk or formulas to cow’s milk to condensed and evaporated milk. We were told that to get strong we had to drink milk.
Fair enough. Milk is important for growth and provides us with plenty of important nutrients. It is loaded with protein, fats, vitamin C and calcium.
But the dairy industry is also an economic powerhouse and when a large sum of money is involved that usually gets me thinking about the validity of the mainstream information.
I jut completed a research paper for my masters. One of the most important lessons I learnt is that a lot of published research is a load crap. Just because it is written by a scientist and peer reviewed does not mean the research is correct.
The most important lesson I picked up is that research will never ‘prove’ anything. There are way too many variables involved. You may only ‘suggest’ that a correlation exists. This is something I would really like to discuss separately but just keep in mind that just because a theory is widely adopted does not mean it is true or valid to you.
Ever heard the saying “if enough people believe a lie it becomes truth”?
Even the information you see on this site. Do your own additional research. We are constantly learning and by challenging the status quo we are able to expand this knowledge.
So is there anything wrong with milk?
Milk and dairy products in general have come into the spotlight recently. There have been an increasing number of reports and research emerging linking the consumption of dairy products to a number of problems and illnesses.
Even the vegans stay away citing how harmful it is. The vegetarian and vegan foundation have released an interesting report into their findings on milk. The report has to be purchased but there are some good highlights on the website:
According to studies like this, there is an apparent correlation between dairy and cancers, autism and Parkinson’s disease.
Milk is for babies
I should reiterate that this is in relation to cow’s milk. I have not been able to find any problems with breast feeding for babies.
Come to think of it, cow’s milk is for calves so that raises questions straight away whether it has the adequate nutrients for human consumption.
A lot of bodybuilders and health professionals I speak to will tell you they stay away from milk, and that it is not meant for adult consumption.
If you think about it, most animals only consume their mother’s milk at a young age, when they are unable to eat and digest other foods. On the other hand humans continue to consume milk well into adulthood.
Yet a lot of people are allergic to milk. One allergy is that their bodies can’t process the lactose (sugars from the milk) which is what lactose intolerance is.
People with lactose intolerance do not have a sufficient amount of the enzyme lactase which is required to digest lactose. This is usually counteracted by supplementing with a lactase supplement or having lactose free products.
The other type of allergy is where the person’s body cannot handle a specific protein in the milk. As far as I am aware, in this case dairy as a whole should be avoided.
A large part of the problem comes from the additives that are added to milk before they hit our shelves. This is supposedly done to nullify the bacteria present in the raw milk. But in some areas milk producing cows are also injected with who knows what hormone and fed who knows what.
There are many proponents of raw milk who will say it is perfectly fine to drink. They can be hard to get hold off in metropolitan areas though as they are not usually legal to sell depending on the health regulations in your area.
I haven’t tried raw milk since I was a kid and am more than willing to give it a go when I can get my hands on some.
But like what we discussed before, the problem could be in the milk itself.
What about the calcium?
Not all of the calcium in milk is readily absorbed by the body. Your body only absorbs a fraction and you can get a similar amount from some green vegetables.
It’s the same for all your minerals, only a fraction can get absorbed at a time as some fight for absorption with each other and some need other minerals to be present in order to be absorbed.
Low fat vs. full cream
Low fat milk actually has more sugar than full cream so it would actually be better going the full cream version. Fat is slowly digested and regulates your hormones whilst sugar is digested and released quickly.
My view on milk
I’ll be honest with you; I am on the path to cutting out dairy completely. Don’t get me wrong, I love milk. It has been something I drank by the litres since I was young. But I have also suffered from a mild case of eczema, nasal congestion, build up of phlegm, and bronchitis since I was young.
It has come to my attention that a lot of these symptoms are actually the body’s way of communicating that something is not right. Especially eczema as skin health can be a reflection of overall bodily health. Eczema is usually an allergic reaction to food.
Just think about it, there are all these supplements you can take to help your body digest milk which have lactase of micro bacteria. Or you can even buy lactose free dairy products.
But maybe we just weren’t meant to need milk after our early years and we are trying to solve problems that don’t need solving.
So after years and years of enjoying milk I am slowly cutting it out. I now make my oats with water, and don’t drink whole milk anymore. I am also in the process of eliminating milk from my coffee, tea, and food. I will also eventually cut out on dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt.
I know this sounds extreme but I did a trial run of no whole milk for about 2 months and it seemed to have made an improvement to my eczema and phlegm. By eliminating dairy entirely from my diet I will be able to ascertain with more confidence whether dairy was at the root of my problems.
I will keep you informed!
What do you think of dairy? Do you have any allergic reactions to milk nd have you cut it out of your diet?