They have always told us that drinking milk is essential to grow and maintain healthy bones and teeth. I think the dairy industry has sold us that message for years.
But the truth is that consumption of milk and dairy products is associated with serious health such as cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, allergies and digestive problems, among other consequences.
However it is difficult to accept this concept and change eating habits that we have had or have instilled in us since childhood. But if we look at the animals, it will be easier to understand why we should remove these products from our daily lives. They drink milk only at early ages, and of their own species.
Stories associated with calcium and milk consumption is mostly a myth created by the milk industry, who in his advertising campaigns says that cow’s milk contains large amounts of calcium. Strategically also say we need calcium. These two statements are true, however, that consuming milk provides us with calcium, and this is actually not the case.
Calcium in milk is combined with other minerals that are found in excessive amounts in the animal milk, forming a molecule most often too large to be absorbed by the human intestine. In areas of the world where milk is consumed, diseases associated with lack of calcium are almost nonexistent.
Osteoporosis and atherosclerosis are very rare in cultures where milk consumption is limited. In fact, recent studies suggest that milk and cheese may actually be the cause of osteoporosis because high amounts of protein in dairy cause calcium to be separated from the bones.
It seems that most experts still recommend a diet that contains many dairy products, often in large quantities, to ensure good calcium absorption.
Many people believe that they have to consume lots of dairy for calcium and are the best defense against osteoporosis, a condition which results on loss of calcium or other alkaline minerals found in skeleton resulting in fragile bones. Most believe that this occurs only when there is little calcium in the diet, but it is not true.
Osteoporosis is not initiated by lack of calcium in the diet. It starts by excess acid in the diet that causes the body to use calcium from the skeleton. Animal protein, soda, drugs, salt, sugar, coffee are highly acidic and all contribute to osteoporosis. Vegans suffer less from osteoporosis than omnivores.
The AJCN published the most comprehensive study on osteoporosis in 1983. The researchers found that up to age 65, vegetarians had an 18% loss of bone and omnivores had 35%. The equivalent figures for males were 3% and 7% respectively.
When is milk bad?
This popular food can sometimes become a problem for many due to alterations in the metabolism of lactose. Lactase is an enzyme present at birth that helps the digestion of milk and decreases spontaneously over the years. Lactose intolerance occurs due to a lack of lactase and today is a fairly common problem, especially in adults.
There are many other alternatives to animal milk. Soy milk, rice and nut are excellent. In some countries you may find almond milk, coconut and banana. In most supermarkets you can find tofu and vegetables, soy yogurt and even rice ice cream.