By Isabel De Los Rios
Author of The Diet Solution Program
Is milk really necessary for an effective weight loss plan? Do we have to drink our milk each day to get a sufficient amount of calcium?
The answer to both of these questions is NO. We do not need to drink milk as part of a healthy weight loss plan or to obtain a healthy amount of calcium each day.
Consider the following facts:
1. Americans drink the most milk of any other country, yet we still have the highest rate of osteoporosis.
2. Pasteurization kills off all the necessary digestive enzymes in the milk (This is why so many people are now suffering from lactose intolerance).
3. Pasteurization also makes the major part of the calcium contained in milk insoluble, in other words making 50% of milk’s calcium unusable by the body (This contributing to the high rate of osteoporosis).
4. Milk sugar (lactose) converts into sugar your body uses very quickly, leading to blood sugar highs and lows and an up and down energy rollercoaster ride for you.
How could this all be true? Isn’t milk supposed to do a body good? Well, yes it does, but milk was really only intended to be consumed in its natural state (unpasteurized). Sound scary? Many in the US and most organic farmers will ONLY drink milk if it’s unpasteurized and they are extremely healthy.
The other fact we need to consider is that most cows are being given an excess of growth hormone just to keep them producing massive amounts of milk. This, in turn, makes them sick, at which time they are given antibiotics. The growth hormone and antibiotics get into their blood stream and then into the milk they produce. Who drinks this chemical laden milk? We do! (Actually, I don’t and maybe you’re starting to consider whether you do).
The next big concern is “How will I get enough Calcium?”
As mentioned above, most of the Calcium in milk is not absorbed by the body. More calcium is absorbed from foods such as green leafy vegetables, broccoli, sardines (with bones preferably) and salmon. This makes sense that more calcium comes from greens since cows prefer to eat grass and they have a lot of calcium inside their bodies (Please don’t eat grass. This really only works for cows).
If reducing your risk for Osteoporosis is your goal, do the #1 activity that prevents this debilitating disease: Exercise! Weight bearing exercise has been shown to be the #1 way to prevent osteoporosis. Putting small stresses on your bones via strength training helps to re-build them stronger. No one, and I mean no one, should be neglecting to include some exercise in their life.
Here are my tips on drinking the right kind of milk, calcium and preventing osteoporosis:
1. If you consume dairy on a regular basis, try to find raw (unpasteurized) milk. www.realmilk.com is a great resource for this.
2. If the thought of raw milk scares you, purchase the next best thing: certified organic milk products. They will be free of antibiotics and hormones.
3. Since most of milk’s calcium is not absorbed by the body, make sure to get your calcium from these other sources: leafy green veggies, broccoli, sardines (with bones) and salmon.
4. Commit to a strength training routine on a consistent basis. Not just for your muscles and for the way you look in the mirror (although this does help) but for your bone’s sake.
Milk and dairy do not have to be a staple in your diet in order to absorb adequate amounts of calcium and achieve an ideal level of health. You can establish an extremely healthy way of eating, reach your weight loss goals, and feel great each day without drinking milk.
To get started on your own Healthy Meal Plans right away, read this eye opening Fat Loss Report.
Written By: Updated: March 31,2011
14 thoughts on “Is Milk Really Healthy?”
Thanks for sounding the warning bell about dairy, but you didn’t go nearly far enough! Bovine milk is intended for calves, not humans and is toxic for many reasons including carcinogenic IGF-1 growth hormone (in all milk, organic or not), carcinogenic casein (the main milk protein), hormones, especially estrogen that upset our systems, and dairy products concentrate toxins. Giving up ALL dairy is the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones, and the cows are raped and killed, their babies stolen, and all milk is the result of hideous cruelty to animals, plus it’s environmentally devastating!
You raise some good points about pasteurized milk. Raw milk is not only better for you, but studies have shown it to be safer. Of course I am also partial to Goat Milk which is better for people and when produced properly tastes great (most can not tell the difference).
As to the last comment – Our family had a goat dairy for 10 + years selling raw goat milk. The goats not only were allowed to raise their babies but were also some of the most well cared for, content and happy goats in the country. Raising livestock can also actually benefit the environment when done properly. You forget that nature itself is cruel and many free wild animals are hurt, killed, or starved with no human intervention at all.
Excellent point Emily. I was also a dairy farmer and am appalled to read some comments that people make about the treatment of animals on farm operations. The animals are NOT “raped & killed”, nor are they given injections OF ANY KIND, just for the sake of shooting them up with hormones. Those animals were ALL our pets, and were extremely happy & content. People don’t realize how uncomfortable an animal can be when full of milk – then of course most men have never nursed a baby! When cows are milked they are relieved! And yes, more often than not, they have way too much milk for their own calf.
I guess my point is, if you choose not to drink milk for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean that you have to make up ridiculous generalizations about the industry as a whole. Unfortunately, there are undesirable individuals in every area of our lives, but please don’t group everyone in to one category. That is like saying that all those who have this view are storks – with their heads in the sand, and unwilling to research fact rather than opinion.
Isn’t cheese; the real stuff not the processed garbage, unpasteurized ? Therefore allowing for more nutrients ? Like whole milk cheeses. Tell me what you know…
What is the situation with fermented milk, i.e. home made kefir and yogurt? Is it just as bad as fresh milk? Since most people can’t obtain raw milk, is pasteurized organic milk OK for producing kefir and yogurt?
Good information but not the best solutions. I recommend Almond, Rice or Coconut milk to my patients. And about eating grass, barley grass or wheat are some of the best nutrient rich grasses available for human consumption. So contrary to what Isabel De Los Rios says YES eat your grass. It comes in a convenient powedered form sweetened with stevia and added herbs like spearmint which gives it a great flavor!
Suggested reading: The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid and Sally Fallon
I strongly feel that organic, grass-fed, raw milk can be good component of a healthy (veggie based, whole food) diet, especially if fermented milk products are consumed on a regular basis (increases overall digestive health). Most negative effects of milk are a result of pasteurization (enzymes and nutrients destroyed), hormone/antibiotic injections (toxins/hormones in the milk), and non-grass fed (low nutrient value, toxins from feed) canimals. Milk can also have negative effects if consumed with a diet based on red meats and carbohydrates; components of these foods have a high likelihood to stress the digestive system and can cause decreased health if they are consumed as a significant portion of the diet. A whole food, vegetable based diet with moderate amounts of raw dairy can lead to great health for most.
I `ve been drinking RAW GOAT MILK KEFIR for years, I`m in perfect health, Bernerd Jensen was a great advocate of Raw Goat Milk, he helped a lot of people with it, I do say Goat Milk, NOT COWS MILK, as the fat molecules in Goat Milk are a lot smaller and easier to digest, some of the longest lived peoples included Goat Milk cultured products in there diet.
Makes sense, I grew up drinking raw milk, from organically farmed cows, even before there was anything like organically farmed foods (I’m 48), and I’m the healthiest person I know. I hardly ever get colds, and have never had ‘Flu. I heal extremely quickly, even at my age, when healing processes are supposed to be slowing down. I ride MTB a lot, and fall on occasion, and grazes heal in a week.
I grow my own cattle, which are hand milked and like Cathy’s goats, are allowed to rear their calves, so I know what they are eating.
And why is it that my wifes parents and mine are in there 90’s w/ on no pills xcept vitamins. are on dairy family farms. Drink milk all their lives and store bought today. Had lard sandwiches to school during the depression. Every thing in moderation, even wine or beer occasionally. The real problem here is to have people get off their a_ _. Goat milk,cow milk, soy milk, whatever. They are good foods. Take a look at a grocery store. The best foods are always on the perimeter. And never have coupons. Its the processed crap w/ coupns thats killing people. Read the label. #1 always high sodium than fat or vise versa. Bottom line. Drink your milk. Writer lost credibility when they said antibiotics in milk. You wouldn’t believe how sensitive the tests are to detect this. LIke blood. 1 drop seems like a cup full when trying to clean up.
@Veronica — you seem to confuse a small family dairy farm with CAFO, “Confined Animal Feed Operation”, which are known to do unspeakable atrocities to their livestock.
It has leaked out, it was secretly filmed and is available somewhere on the web. The CAFO were furious when this was done, as they were guarding their “secrets”, not allowing outsiders to witness the horrors of the worst animal abuse imaginable. And corrupt authorities are warning them ahead, when government inspectors are coming. (they don’t come very often anyway)
Our family grew up on old Pet’s 5 gal a day milk and she was fed alfalpha while milking
and shorts or mill run and was led to a good pasture of grass each day and we made butter
and butter milk and cottage cheese from her milk and our family was always healthy;
There was my Grand Father and Grand Mother = my dad and mother and 4 boys and one
girl all lived on raw milk from old Pet a Holstein cow; so from living on old Pet milk we did all
right health wise. My dad would jump me for skimming the cream off the milk we drank
from a cage attached to window and a towel rapped around the milk jar and wet down to
keep it cool.also our water was from a well with a bucket to pull up water to drank.
Thanks for the info. My teenage daughter’s acne cleared up when she dropped milk. It has also reduced her ADD. Allergies to dairy and wheat have been tied to ADD. I dropped dairy recently and have felt better. My daughter and I use almond or sunflower milk. Almond milk has more calcium than dairy milk. I can eat cereal now with one of these milks and not have an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach after.
Thanks for the info on sources of calcium. We LOVE all of those foods you mentioned.
Obviously any extremist viewpoint will be suspect. So milk has good and bad features.
Some african tribes live on milk and blood. Herders in Asia and elsewhere live well on milk products.
Our problem is,as usual, our inability to let well alone. But how much can we trust agribusinesses to deliver a safe product?
Perhaps another way of rendering milk safe to drink, even though it mostly is where farm hygiene is good,
[instead of pasteurisation], needs to be found. E-coli is the problem now, not so much TB.