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Is milk healthy?
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This is quite a controversial issue. There are those old-fashioned, die-hard milk fanatics, whose parents preached about the benefits of milk. It’s not hard to swallow, when milk commercials and milk companies were shoving it down our throat (okay, enough with the puns). 😉
Then there are those who are into whole foods, chemical-free and plant-based foods who believe that milk is not healthy. Which one are you?
I fall somewhere in between, although I lean much more toward a diet without milk and dairy. I grew up believing milk was good for me, but I agree with those who say it is not. Hence, I eat very little dairy. Typically, I eat goat cheese and, occasionally, Greek yogourt. This is for two reasons:
- Goat cheese does not contain the A1 casein that most people (myself included) cannot tolerate. It contains the A2 casein, thus it is much easier to digest (source).
- Yogourt contains probiotics, which are very good for your gut (although you can get probiotics in other foods or in a supplement). Furthermore, I find that Greek yogourt is a great substitution for sour cream in some recipes such as Beef Stroganoff, for example. Nothing I have found can replace sour cream as well as Greek yogourt.
The problem with milk (and other dairy)
Well, there are a few problems with milk actually. Here they are:
Many people cannot tolerate the A1 casein or lactose in dairy
First of all, there is an increased rate of people that are allergic to, or that cannot tolerate, the A1 casein and lactose that is present in most dairy. Most, or many, people can tolerate the A2 casein. So, whether or not it is good for you is besides the point for many people.
Milk is acidic
Many people think that milk is alkaline, and they are right, it is. However, milk is similar to citrus (except oranges); citrus is acidic, but when you ingest it, it turns alkaline in the body. Milk is the opposite of citrus – it is alkaline by itself, but it is acidic when ingested.
This is the reason people rave about lemon water; an alkaline environment (body) helps to prevent disease, whereas an acidic environment (body) is a breeding ground for disease. Read more about this HERE.
But doesn’t milk contain a lot of calcium?
Yes, milk does contain a lot of calcium. The problem, and many people do not know this, is that because milk is acidic once ingested, it steals calcium from your bones to neutralize the acid. I know, crazy right? I almost fell over when I heard this.
There was a study done across a large number of people that found there was a higher incidence of osteoporosis in countries that consumed the most dairy (source). No joke.
Now, I don’t want to be bias here; there are also studies that combat those findings (source). You’ll have to make up your own mind about this.
In the end, there are other ways to get calcium, and there are many delicious milk alternatives as well.
Dairy and milk alternatives
Nowadays, there are many great alternatives to milk. I recommend almond milk, coconut milk or other nut milks. For those who can have grains, oat milk is great and rice milk is okay too.
For cereal: I love Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
For tea: I prefer Earth’s Own So Fresh unsweetened original oat milk.
For cooking and baking: So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk (you cannot taste the coconut when using this milk)
For coffee: Native Forest canned coconut milk (see this post for more on that)
*I buy my milk at local grocery stores – Sobeys or the Superstore. You can only get Native Forest at the Superstore. But the links (above) offer great prices if you want to buy online.
What about raw milk?
Raw milk and kefir (cultured dairy) is said to be much healthier for you. Raw milk comes from grass-fed cows. It is unpasteurized and unhomogenized.
Pasteurized milk (heating it to high temperatures) has many important nutrients and enzymes removed. These enzymes help to break down lactose.
Other sources of calcium
Calcium-rich foods include beans, nuts, seeds, veggies and fish. You can read more about each HERE.
Well, like I said, it is up to you whether you should be consuming dairy or not. Hopefully, I have given you something to think about so you can make a more informed choice.
Please share if you know someone who might find this helpful. Thanks! 🙂
What do you think? Is milk healthy? Share your comments below.
Be happy, stay healthy! 🙂