What's in a glass of cow's milk? You may be expecting to hear something to the tune of calcium, vitamins A and D, protein, and some other nutrients that we think are beneficial to the body. Well, a glass of milk also contains acidic animal protein that leeches calcium from the bones, pus cells, bovine growth hormone, feces, antibiotics, and a whole lot of unnecessary fat, cholesterol and calories — all of which create a terrible imbalance in the body.
We seem to be the only species of mammals that drink milk after infancy, and definitely the only species that drinks another species' milk. Cow's milk is not designed for human consumption. Calves are about 100 pounds at birth and almost 8 to 10 times heavier by the time they are weaned. So why is it that humans feel the need to continue drinking milk after they are weaned from breast milk? Human milk is very different in composition from cow's milk or goat's milk or any other mammal's milk.
Cow’s milk contains on average about three times the amount of protein than human milk does, which creates metabolic disturbances in humans that have detrimental bone health consequences, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. How is this possible when a glass of milk is touted to have 300 mg of calcium? That's supposed to be beneficial for our bones and growth, right? Shockingly, the answer is a resounding no, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Over time, a flawed belief that humans are required to consume three glasses of milk daily to sustain bone health and strength created the milk myth. And now, the supposed "truths" about milk we were all taught to believe are being debunked by studies ranging from those published in reputable scientific journals, such as the Journal of Nutrition and The American Journal of Epidemiology.
Milk has become a cultural phenomenon. Celebrities with the white milk mustache in the Got Milk? ads sensationalize this beverage. Many recent scientific studies are now showing a variety of detrimental effects that are directly linked to milk consumption. Undoubtedly, the biggest irony is that milk is thought to increase calcium loss from our bones. How? When humans consume any type of animal-derived, protein-rich foods, including milk, the pH in our bodies become acidified, and this sets off a biological reaction. Calcium actually neutralizes acid in our body, and most of the calcium is stored in our bones. When acidified animal protein is ingested, the calcium from our bones is drawn out to neutralize the effects of the toxic animal protein. After the calcium does its job cleaning up the mess, it is then excreted through the kidneys via urine, thus leading to a calcium deficit.
Pasteurization and homogenization of milk denatures the proteins which can make it harder for people's bodies to digest. In addition, the pasteurization process destroys a majority of enzymes and vitamins and minerals. These crucial enzymes aid in the digestion process. About 75% of the world's population is actually lactose intolerant. Though that is an astounding percentage, it only further proves the point that humans are not intended to consume cow's milk.
Cows are given antibiotics and injected with rBGH, a genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone, which is a synthetic hormone that was created to artificially increase milk production. A frightening side effect of rBGH is an increase in IGF-1 (insulin growth factor), which has been linked to many cancers. Cows are routinely given steroids and other hormones to plump them up. These potent synthetic hormones disturb the delicate human hormonal balance, leading to a lot of medical problems. Toxic pesticides from food that cows ingest also make their way into the milk, which humans unknowingly consume. Many cows live in confined and inhumane conditions, not being allowed to freely roam and graze the natural green grass they are intended to eat. Though organic milk may be free of antibiotics and rBGH, all the other negative attributes of milk are still present.
Milk and dairy products are pro-inflammatory and mucus producing. Milk increases the risks of respiratory conditions and allergies. It has been linked to the development of arthritis due to joints becoming inflamed. Remember, our bodies are not designed to naturally tolerate animal derived protein, and seeing it as foreign invaders jolts the immune system to overreact in order to protect.
Does that mean all dairy is bad? I want to clarify that unsweetened cultured or fermented dairy such as kefir or yogurt are actually acid neutral. Sugar or artificial sweeteners are not acceptable and can be detrimental to the body. Ghee, which is clarified butter that originated in India, is known to be very beneficial to the body.
Consider milk substitutes such as almond, soy, rice, coconut and hemp milks. When using soy milk, make sure it is non-GMO. Also avoid artificially sweetened milk substitutes as they are not healthy for the body and can lead to a number of medical issues down the road, including obesity and diabetes and heart disease.
I cannot conclude this article without referring to the fabulous documentary Forks Over Knives. It unravels and discovers the truth that many degenerative diseases, cancers, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are linked to diets high in animal protein, such as meats and dairy. It is a must-see and will change the way you look at your diet, asking you to reexamine what goes into your body.