Is Milk Unhealthy?
Why Dr. Ginsburg recommends
avoiding cow milk.
Milk unhealthy? Yes. The literature of medical research is not singing its praises. Rather, it is full of warnings and risks about the effects of milk This includes cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, cream, non-fat milk. Anything made from cow milk,
Only the National Dairy Council (a dairy marketing association) seems to be excited about it, using evidence that appears to us very one-sided. Even the conservative USDA (Department of Agriculture) changed its food pyramid in 2010 to reduce emphasis on dairy.
We call it "milk", or "regular milk", but it's actually cow breast milk, to help baby cows grow into big, slow, adult cows.
The following is a list of major issues thta have plenty of evidence backing them up. (Human breast milk has none of the following problems).
- Cow milk contains casein,
which causes cancer cells to multiply and
- It contains a hormone called IGF-1, naturally occuring in cow milk,
which stimulates the body to make fat and gain weight, helping cows to
grow very very large.
In humans it also causes the body to grow large and fat, as well as producing inflammation and other unhealthy effects in the body such as upper respiratory congestion and cancer.
Human milk (breast milk) actually reduces inflamation and congestion in humans, and helps babies heal.
- Eating cow milk produces mucus and phlem, which can cause other problems. For example, the first step in treating a
child with an ear infection is to eliminate all dairy.
More than any other food, it provokes allergies, and has several different components to which you or your child may be allergic.
cow milk does indeed have a lot of calcium, but in a form that is not well absorbed by humans. Vegetarian sources are better. (Also here.) Dairy products actually do not build stronger bones.
- About 75 percent of the world's population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and
other dairy products.
- It contains a lot of sugar. Increasingly it is recommended that diabetics avoid it, and we have noticed children that drink much of it seem to some ability to taste the sweetness in vegetables and other unsweetened foods, and lose interest in them.
Organic vs. Raw vs. Conventional Milk.Milk that is not organic will have additional problems from the excessive amounts of the following items:
Because the animals are kept in sickly conditions.
Milk's not even tested for contamination by most pesticides.
- Other chemicals
Up to twenty foreign chemicals introduced by factory farming can be found in cow milk and other dairy products. These include painkillers, growth hormones, anti-inflammatory drugs, niflumic acid, mefenamic acid, and ketoprofen, in additioon to the pesticides and antibiotics mentioned above.
Bad Breath and Digestive Problems:
If you notice you have cronic bad breath, try eliminating milk, milk products, and foods with milk in them. This often makes a huge improvement. The bad breath is a sign that you are not able to digest the milk, and it is turning foul in your stomach.
Even if you could digest milk as a child, you can lose the ability to digest milk at any point. For many it occurs around the age of weaning from the mother's breast, and most don't realize they have lost that ability. They do not connect the symptoms (which can include bloating, gas, diarrea, loose stools, abdominal cramping) with continued consumption of milk.
Lactose intolerance (leading to the inability to digest milk) is only one of the possible causes of milk sensitivity or milk allergy. And all the effects listed above occur regardless whether you are lactose intolerant or not.
There are many vegetarian alternatives to cow milk, made from things humans have been eating for a long time. Almond milk, hazelnut milk, hemp mil, rice milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are all are tasty, but choose carefully, buying organic when possible. Some brands use a lot of sugar and not much good oil or protein. Read the labels.
You can also make your own nut milk easily. The taste, quality and nutrition of such milk is superior to anything you can find on a store shelf,
Ghee is clarified butter, the milk solids removed so that only the oil is left. (A very small amount of the solid can be left behind.) Ghee can be a very healthy food, especially organic, especially from grass fed cows. It is delicious, and has long been a stable in Indian cooking.
We eliminate soy milk to avoid GMO soy, a dangerous food. Now the GMO genes have pollenated into all soy, even organic. We may have no soy anymore that is not tainted by GMO.
Goat milk and sheep milk are selected by some, and while both are more digestable than cow milk, they are still made for other animals, and we do not need animal breast milk for our health.
Living in the Real WorldWhile all the above is true, we still believe in occasional indulgences in tasty, fun foods. This can mean going out for ice cream on occasion with your family, eating quality bree or other cheeses while traveling, or while at a party.
So for people who do not have complicating issues (like immune and allergy problems), one way to find the balance is to avoid buying cow milk products for your home, and only eat them at other places, perhaps once every few weeks.