Is It Important To Drink Milk?
NOT AT ALL!
If you don’t have access to organic and whole, possibly unpasteurized, non-homogenized milk, it might be best to consider alternatives. Some great options are almond milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk, which are among my favorites. However, I advise against using soy milk due to concerns about GMOs, and rice milk may not be ideal as it can be too sweet and potentially contain traces of arsenic.
Multiple studies (majority done in Scandinavian countries) showed that drinking too much milk (more than 1 to 2 cups per day or 10 – 15 oz/day) may lead to osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and vitamin D deficiency, not the other way around!!!
One of the reasons explaining this milk phenomenon is that pH of the body becomes low (acidotic) when consuming milk, therefore this environment does not allow the calcium from the milk to be adequately absorbed into the bones. Mind you, one cup of green veggies (like broccoli, kales or spinach) has more calcium than 1 cup of milk, and it is more bioavailable to bones than the calcium from milk (pH is high/ alkaline and this promotes calcium absorption).
Eat your veggies, do not gulp that milk!
You may not have heard this advice from your pediatrician because nutrition is not extensively covered in medical school. Unless your doctor has a specific interest in food ingredients, cooking, nutrition, or vitamin absorption from different sources, they may not have detailed knowledge in this area. Moreover, doctors can also fall into the trap of consuming fast, processed, and nutritionally poor food due to their busy lifestyles.
How About Vitamin D?
You will NOT get your daily vitamin D amount from any food or drink. Period.
Unfortunately, many dairy cows in the US never see the sunlight, which means they do not produce sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Additionally, vitamin D is stored in milk fat, so drinking low-fat or fat-free milk will
NOT rise your vitamin D levels (even the milk from sunbathed cows who grazed on the pastures). On the top of everything, the majority of US milk is fortified with vitamin D2, which unfortunately may inhibit vitamin D receptors in our body and prevent vitamin D absorption. (link for more on vitamin D here)
Take your D3 vitamin supplement diluted in oil based liquid!
What Is Wrong With Store Bought Milk?
Industrial milk is usually pasteurized (heated to kill the milk bacteria, good and bad) and homogenized (fat is emulsified into small droplets – so there is no cream on the top – which increases fat spoilage and can deteriorate our health).
Their cows live under very poor conditions, confined without much movement, and in unsanitary environments with a lack of sunlight. They may also be fed GMO corn and exposed to chemicals. These conditions can lead to sickness, prompting the use of antibiotics in many cases. Consequently, their milk may contain harmful bacteria, and pasteurization is employed to neutralize this and conceal the true condition of the milk.
Heating milk during pasteurization kills the good bacteria and enzymes that Mother Nature designed to protect against the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. So now we have milk with no bacteria (good or bad) and no beneficial enzymes, containing antibiotics, chemicals, etc.
Is Raw Milk OK?
Raw milk from a trusted source can be beneficial for health. In order to prevent exposure to bad bacterial strains, raw milk is usually tested for microbes on a batch by batch bases.
Article published in 2001 (see the link) showed less allergies, hay fever, and asthma in kids who consumed raw milk.
Another study showed a 30% decrease in ear infections, fever, and respiratory infections (see the link)
And yes, that’s me milking the cows on the top of the mountains in Ecuador, and my kid is happily drinking the fresh milk. By the way, there is about 8.5% milk fat found in “udder milk,” compared to whole milk, which has 3.5% (the rest of the fats are used to make butter and other goodies). So even your “whole” milk is not as whole as you might have thought.
Low Fat Or Whole Milk?
Always choose whole milk. In simple words, more fat in milk will result in less fat around your waist! Also, consumption of whole milk WILL NOT increase your cholesterol!!!
Milk fat will make you less hungry and slow down the sugar release in your blood, thereby reducing the amount that is stored as fat.
Usually, powdered milk is added to skim / low fat milk to make up for the lack of taste due to fat removal. To make powdered milk you have to process it under high pressure and heat, and this results in plaque formation in arteries, heart disease, cancer and genetic mutations, Read more about the study (link here)
Be A Smart Milk Buyer
When shopping for milk, you should look for:
- 100% grass fed or “pastured” or “pasture raised” milk (do not confuse it with the term pasteurized which means heated to kill bacteria)
- Choose the milk with cream on the top (unhomogenized) if available
- Get the “whole milk” of full fat milk. Consumed in moderate amount it will give your body more nutrients
- (immune factors, fat soluble vitamins, and healthy fats like conjugated linoleic acid which reduces risk for obesity, cancer, diabetes and inflammation)
- Always buy certified organic milk since it does not have harmful pesticides. These cows are not treated with hormones and antibiotics, they are fed non GMO feed however they still may or may not be raised outdoors on pasture.
Here is a great link to check the organic milk quality. By Cornucopia Institute.
“Dirt cure” book by Maya Shetreat – Klein, MD