When you think of milk you may think of calcium and strong bones. You may also remember the old slogan “milk: does a body good”, or images of attractive celebrities showing off their milk mustaches. The dairy industry has done a fantastic job of selling the American public on the health benefits of their product for generations. They do not even have to tell us how great it is anymore because they have convinced our elders to pass down the message to their children, clients, patients, and loved ones.
If you are familiar with The China Study or have seen the film, Forks Over Knifes you are aware that even though Asian countries have consumed very little dairy and animal protein for centuries they have extremely low rates of osteoporosis, cancer, and other common western diseases. Yet, in the past several decades as their diets have become more like the way we eat in America their rates of disease have increased. I believe that it is more than coincidence. The reality is, nations with the highest levels of dairy consumption are the same nations with the highest rates of osteoporosis.
An article on the reputable site WedMD explains that the Harvard School of Public Health believes milk recommendations are a “step in the wrong direction.”
Walter Willett, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology and head of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health says, “One of the main arguments for USDA recommendations is that drinking milk or equivalent dairy products will reduce the risk of fractures. But in fact there’s very little evidence that milk consumption is associated with reduced fractures,” Willett tells WebMD.
A study posted on PubMed states, “Both, restriction of milk consumption or generation of less insulinotropic milk will have an enormous impact on the prevention of epidemic western diseases like obesity, diabetes mellitus, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and acne.”
Side by side these nutrition labels show that unsweetened vanilla almond milk is clearly the more nutritious of the two. With 11 grams more sugar, 80 more calories, more carbs, cholesterol and saturated fat, added hormones and antibiotics there is no comparison!
The only benefit of milk is protein, but studies have linked to milk protein to cancer, allergies, respiratory problems, and other illnesses. The average American diet gets well above a healthy amount of animal protein so adding more through milk consumption will not help your health or your waistline.
People often tend to think of milk as “natural”. I do not believe that humans nursing cattle is the way nature intended. Having a machine nurse a cow that has been held captive, continuously artificially inseminated only to have her babies taken away, regularly injected with antibiotics to keep her alive, and hormones to make her produce more milk than her body ever intended, to then be sold for human consumption seems even less natural!
Almonds contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and have a long list of health benefits. Consider giving almond milk a try in your morning coffee, your recipes, and whatever else you use milk for. It’s delicious!
If you are not convinced, I encourage you to not just take my word for it. Do your own research, and make up your mind based on what you learn.
Evidence for acne-promoting effects of milk and other insulinotropic dairy products. Pubmed
The Pros and Cons of Milk and Dairy. WebMD
Casein Protein Dangers. Livestrong
Why Milk Won’t Prevent Osteoporosis. MSU