Is drinking milk and eating dairy products a mistake? The answer can be confusing. You’ll be better able to decide for yourself when you have accurate information, so let’s see if we can get clear on some Milk Matters!
What You Need to Know When Deciding Whether or Not to Drink Milk
Here are some points to consider:
1. When looking around the globe for countries that drink high quantities of milk, look no further than the United States. Americans drink the most milk. They also top another list by having the highest rate of osteoporosis.
One thing that contributes to the high rate of osteoporosis is that pasteurization makes much of the calcium found in milk unusable by your body.
Remember that pasteurization (heating it to high temperatures) is supposed to kill off all sorts of harmful things like bacteria and molds, but it also changes the natural health benefits of milk products as well.
2. Do you suffer from lactose intolerance?
If not, you likely know someone who does. Milk comes with its own digestive enzymes that will allow you to properly digest it. However, when it is pasteurized those enzymes are destroyed, making it difficult to digest. This is what leads to lactose intolerance.
The benefits from milk come from consuming it in its most natural state (unpasteurized).
Some states in the United States do allow milk to be sold as raw. California is one such state.
Milk is BEST left in its natural state.
If you’ve never tasted raw milk, it really is a different product altogether from what we think of as “milk.”
It’s also important to remember that in order for cows to produce the quantities of milk the farmers need, the cows are given excess amounts of growth hormones.
While the topic of dairy farming is too big a topic to cover in this article, it’s not
hard to imagine that all these excess hormones, as well as any antibiotics given to the cows when they get sick, end up in their bloodstream.
And guess what? The hormones and antibiotics also end up in the milk that comes from these cows. Not a pleasant thought, is it?
Is Drinking Milk the Best Source of Calcium?
Many people are still caught up in the idea that to get enough calcium they NEED to drink milk. If you are one of them then here’s what you need to know.
First, remember that much of the calcium is not absorbed by your body when it comes from milk that’s been treated by pasteurization.
It’s better to get your calcium from foods such as green leafy vegetables, broccoli, sardines and salmon. Cows eat grass and that’s where their calcium comes from, so eating your leafy greens will give you your calcium too!
Every nutrient in milk can be found in whole plant foods!
Afraid of getting osteoporosis?
Exercise will do you MUCH more good. Make it weight bearing exercise because putting stress on your skeletal system helps it stay strong and healthy.
So here are some actionable steps to take:
1. Strength train regularly.
2. If and when you consume dairy use raw milk products. If you can’t find raw ones then purchase ones that are certified organic so that they are free of hormones and antibiotics.
3. Get your calcium from food sources like leafy greens and fish.
If you plan to consume milk and dairy products, use these guidelines and make the wisest choices.
If you feel stuck and need additional support to adopt a new healthy habit or routine, consider working with me. We can partner up in setting goals, drawing on your skills and strengths, and implementing strategies to help you find your way to lasting healthy success.
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For over 15 years, Shelli has been a freelance writer and wellness habit coach on Joyinmovement. She writes about brain fitness, creating a healthy lifestyle, traveling the world, and making positive habits stick. Stop procrastinating! Take action, join her free newsletter.