Drinking cow's milk is controversial but what about milk alternatives?
There is much controversy about whether or not you should drink milk. Is drinking milk dangerous?
Milk is a common grocery household item but for many people drinking cow’s milk can be dangerous. Are milk alternatives also dangerous for your health?
Benefits of cow milk
There’s no question that cow milk is a good source of protein and calcium. Most studies have shown that we need dairy for healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is also important for the heart and it is fortified with vitamin D.
Milk also contains potassium that helps keep our blood pressure and check and can help prevent stroke and heart disease.
There’s also an antioxidant in milk called glutathione that is important for a healthy brain as we age.
There’s also evidence that milk will help us build muscles which is important again especially as we get older.
Studies also support the notion that drinking milk can help with weight loss because it is a good source of protein and it can help us feel fuller; longer.
What’s dangerous about cow milk?
Some people are allergic to dairy. That means for some people, drinking milk could mean a trip to the hospital as a worst case scenario.
A mild allergy or intolerance could hurt immune function and for some, milk could cause unknown vague symptoms.
Wheezing diarrhea or vomiting and even severe allergies that can make it difficult to breathe known as anaphylaxis are signs of more intense allergy to cow's milk that is different than being lactose intolerant.
There is also some preliminary evidence that drinking milk can be dangerous for a man’s risk for getting prostate cancer.
One study showed women who drank four or more servings of dairy products a day were twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer, but studies are just suggestive and inconclusive.
Full fat milk can also raise your cholesterol leading to heart disease which is another potential danger from drinking cow's milk. Current healthy recommendations is to drink fat-free milk and other dairy products.
There are cow (or other animal milk alternatives) available, but are these types of milk also dangerous?
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Hemp milk
- Rice milk
With so many milk choices, how do you decide which one is right for you?
Look for products that are labeled GMO free. You'll get your daily requirement of calcium, plenty of protein, won't have to worry about lactose intolerance.
On the flip side of supporting soy milk, there are claims that soy is not a food and that you might suffer ill health from malabsorption of minerals from drinking the product because of chemicals called phytins.
Of course phytins are present in many foods, making such a claim weak at best.
The Weston Price Foundation has nothing good to say about soy products. Price is a dentist who focuses on nutrition and writes that soy milk is dangerous because of the way it is processed to form carcinogens.
He also shares soy products have high levels of aluminum, increases the body's need for vitamin D and subscribes to the unproven theory the phytoestrogens in soy can increase a woman's risk of breast cancer.
Honestly, almond milk is pricey, it doesn't taste that good and you're not getting much in the way of almonds by the time the ground nuts are diluted with filtered water.
You will miss out on the protein contained in cow milk.