The foods we eat are based on the common notion that is implied on those foods. We tend to choose what is known to be healthy and good for us.
It’s considered a fact that milk and other dairy products are good for the body and there is no doubt about it. Unfortunately, according to latest studies, these foods that we consume tell the opposite to this fact and without us knowing about it, we continue to patronize these products without second thought.
And that’s exactly the reason why I’ve written this article. You could be on your way to living a healthier lifestyle and be free from the unwanted effects of these common household products, only if you didn’t believe these 4 common myths:
Myth#1: Milk is Undeniably Healthy for Our Body
Fact: The nutrients in cow’s milk, cheese and other dairy products contain saturated animal fat, cholesterol, animal protein called casein, as well as growth and hormone factors. These nutrients are associated with the many fatal diseases. Here are the most common ones:
Nutrition plays a big part in cancer. Dairy products such as cow’s milk contain 35 various hormones such as estrogen, and 11 growth factors. These elements are responsible for the cells to grow out of control and several evidences show how it is linked to many kinds of cancer.
Colic is an acute abdominal pain that mostly affects infants. According to early studies, the foods that a mother consumes when she is breastfeeding have a great affect on her baby. Nutrients like the whey protein and lactose that is mixed in cow’s milk formula for babies might be the common cause of colic.
Coronary Heart Disease
Since dairy products contain high levels of saturated fat, it contributes a lot in the onset of coronary heart disease. This disease is caused by a build up of fatty deposits in the arteries which can lead to an obstruction of blood supply to the heart. The saturated fats in milk increases cholesterol levels which then leads to build up of the fatty deposits. The result of this is a heart attack.
Diabetes affects more than one million people in the UK and US and continues to increase over time. It’s a chronic disease that causes glucose (sugar) to build up in the blood due to the lack of hormone insulin. Diabetes brings several health conditions where the entire nervous system is greatly affected. Evidence shows that eliminating any kinds of dairy in the diet of someone who suffers from diabetes can have an improved chance of being treated.
These are just some of the common health diseases that dairy might cause. Others include several heart disorders besides coronary heart disease, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, asthma, constipation, eczema, and Crohn’s disease. Ironically, it can also be the cause of those that are known to be prevented by taking dairy products like arthritis and osteoporosis.
Myth #2: Milk is the only source of calcium
Fact: According to the Food Standards Agency’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, milk is not the only source of calcium. In fact, it has less than half calcium in the average diet of Americans and Brits. And in addition to that, many people in the world obtain it from plant-based sources and don’t rely much on dairy products alone as a source of calcium.
Here is a list from http://milkmyths.org.uk that represents a number of foods that are rich in calcium:
Food (and serving size) Calcium (milligrams)
Cauldron Foods Organic Plain Tofu
(one pack – 250g) 500
Sesame seeds (25g – a small handful) 168
Sunflower seeds (25g – a small handful) 28
Broccoli (80g portion boiled in unsalted water) 32
Curly kale (80g portion boiled in unsalted water) 120
Watercress (80g portion raw) 136
Almonds (30g – a small handful) 72
Brazil nuts (30g – a small handful) 87
Alpro Soya Milk (200ml glass) 240
Dried Figs (100g – four to six pieces of fruit) 250
Tahini (10g – two teaspoonfuls generously spread
on one piece of toast or stirred into a bowl of soup) 68
Myth #3: Milk is a Good Source for Preventing Osteoporosis
Fact: While it’s a common concept that dairy products are best for osteoporosis, recent evidences show the other way around. According to studies, those who consume dairy products regularly are more prone to osteoporosis that those who don’t. Dairy products actually increase the risk of bone fracture as well as the animal protein which increases the risk of bone loss.
To prevent osteoporosis, it is best to cut out on dairy products on one’s diet as well as exercise and maintain a proper diet with lots of fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Myth # 4: There is No Such Thing as Milk Allergy
Fact: Milk is associated with many food allergies and affects around 2% of all infants around the world. The most common is lactose intolerance. It’s the inability to digest the sugar in milk, or also known as lactose. The enzyme lactase is responsible for digesting lactose and this enzyme is only present among infants until the age of two or after the weaning. After that time, the body is no longer able to digest lactose which makes it unsuitable for us. Yet, milk is still consumed by many as part of their diet. Some symptoms of lactose intolerance include diarrhea, nausea and cramps. The only treatment for this is to avoid dairy products altogether.
Based on statistics, many people around the world suffer from this milk allergy. According to NHS Direct on 2005, it is evident among 95% of Asians, 75% of Afro-Caribbean people, 50% of Mediterranean people and 10% of Northern people.
Now that you’ve learned the many adverse effects of dairy products, you should then decide to drop those in your diet and opt for a healthier alternative. The best choice is to consume more fruits and vegetables, wholegrain products such as oats and bread, as well as nuts and seeds.
Cutting out on saturated animal fat and proteins from dairy products doesn’t mean you can say goodbye to milk, cheese and butter. There are many dairy-free alternatives that are widely-available on health food shops and specialist companies. In addition, here’s a list of healthy foods that can be used as a replacement for your regular dairy products.
- Probiotic Drinks – These drinks are healthy because of its live cultures and calcium that promotes easy digestion and normal bone development
- Oat meals – oat fibers are good for reducing cholesterol levels and promote a healthier heart. It’s also rich in Vitamin E and folic acid which is good for the skin and boosts the immune system.
- Vegan Cheese – Although cheese is regarded as a dairy product, there’s a wide assortment of dairy-free cheese products to choose from. Many are good for those who are suffering in lactose intolerance and it has no fats, cholesterol or genetically-modified ingredients.
- Almond milk – Almond milk is a much better alternative than milk and it even taste more delicious.
- Mayonnaise – There are also healthier mayonnaises that contain organic ingredients instead of the usual eggs and high levels of animal fats.
To summarize, milk is not that good as we all know and there is an increasing amount of case studies that prove that. Researchers concluded that milk does more harm than good to our health and recommends a more suitable diet that’s free from dairy products on the whole.
This can conveniently be done as there are many dairy-free alternatives that are available on the market. It’s proven to be healthier and capable of altering the harmful effects of milk and other dairy products.