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Do we really need milk in our diet?

 

With the exception of water, milk is the next thing we are advised from a young age to drink so as to be strong. Have your parents ever told you that you are not allowed to get up from the table if you do not drink all your milk? In fact, parents most times insisted on it, as they believed milk to be beneficial for health.

Most people are convinced that they need to drink milk because it is the “perfect food” in order to be healthy. So humanity has turned cows into a huge factory, a perpetual milk machine.

But most of what has been said about milk for so many years has now been scientifically proven to be untrue and we are now ready to banish it from our table.

 

Milk “makes strong bones”.

The biggest and most common [intentional] misconception about milk is that it prevents osteoporosis. As the calcium content in our body decreases with age, we are told to drink plenty of milk to prevent osteoporosis. But this is a big mistake, a fraudulent myth. In fact, consuming too much milk causes osteoporosis.

It is a common belief that calcium in milk is better absorbed than calcium in other foods such as small fish, but this is not entirely true. When we drink milk, the concentration of calcium in the blood rises sharply. Although at first glance, it may seem that a lot of calcium has been absorbed, this increase in the blood has its disadvantage. When the concentration of calcium in the blood suddenly increases, the body tries to return this abnormal level back to normal by excreting calcium from the kidneys through urine.

In other words, if we try to drink milk to get calcium, it actually produces the ironic effect of lowering the overall level of calcium in your body. In all four major dairy countries, the United States, Sweden, Denmark and Finland – where large amounts of milk are consumed on a daily basis, there are many cases of hip fractures and osteoporosis.

In contrast, small fish and seaweed, which the Japanese have been feeding on for thousands of years and which were originally thought to be low in calcium, contain calcium that is not absorbed quickly and thus increases the level of calcium concentration in the blood. In addition, there were almost no cases of osteoporosis in Japan where people do not drink milk.

 

“Milk is pure.”

Assuming that milk comes from the cow and that the cow is an animal, it means that milk is natural. Today, however, people drink unnatural milk, that comes from industrial – mass-raised cows, genetically modified by artificial insemination. Each sip of milk can contain strong growth hormones such as IGF I and IGF II, fats and cholesterol, almost 59 active hormones, allergens, herbicides, microbicides, dioxins, blood, dead white blood cells, more than 52 powerful antibiotics, bacteria and viruses.

Recent research has suggested that Japanese women who follow a Western diet based on meat and dairy products are 8 times more likely to develop breast cancer, in comparison to the Japanese who follow a traditional diet that does not include dairy products at all.

 

“We have to drink milk for life.”

Humans are the only mammals that drink the milk of another animal and are also the only species that continues to drink milk after adulthood.

Studies have suggested that various types of cow’s milk preparations for infants and children have been found to promote the development of type I diabetes and other diseases of the immune system or neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

So what can we do if we like milk or need it so as to make sweets and other meals? We can consume milk from almonds, hazelnuts, rice, nuts or coconut. For example, almond milk is a pure drink with many nutrients and an important source of calcium. Nut milk is completely mild for the stomach and easily digested.

There are many plant sources of calcium, which are better than animal milk. Broccoli and all green leafy vegetables contain plenty of calcium, as do tofu, figs, raisins, and even beans and lemons. Vegetable milk from almonds and walnuts also contains sufficient amounts of calcium, as do sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed. These foods are very beneficial as they do not contain cholesterol, animal protein and of course animal fat milk.

Magnesium which is contained in almond milk helps break down the foods we consume into energy. It also helps the function of the parathyroid glands, which are responsible for the production of hormones that are vital for good bone health. The potassium in almond milk helps maintain normal blood pressure.

Almond milk is also a good source of flavonoids. Almond skin is rich in flavonoids that benefit cardiovascular health and therefore protect against various heart diseases.

In conclusion, milk and dairy products are not necessary for our diet and can, in fact, be harmful to our health. It is better to follow a healthy diet containing cereal, fruits, vegetables and legumes. These high-density nutritious foods can help you meet your calcium, potassium, riboflavin (B2) and vitamin D requirements with ease, without the risk of dairy-related health issues.

 

 

Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.

Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).

 

References:
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  10. Deng Y, Misselwitz B, Dai N, Fox M (2015). “Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary Management”. Nutrients (Review). 7 (9): 8020–35. doi:10.3390/nu7095380. PMC 4586575. PMID 26393648.
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