This article was republished with permission from Peta.
Animal milk has long been claimed as the go-to source of calcium by the dairy industry, but as it turns out, milk is bad for you. Calcium from animal milk is not absorbed as well as that from plant-based sources, and it can be accompanied by a number of dangerous health problems.
Why Milk is Bad For You
In a Swedish medical study, women who consumed large quantities of dairy milk daily were more likely to sustain fractures than those who drank little to no milk.
Some evidence suggests that the consumption of milk and other dairy products leads to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Conversely, dairy-free diets have been followed to slow the progress of prostate cancer.
Cow’s milk contains a sugar called lactose that can be difficult for people to digest, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It can also develop later in life and result in months of worsening symptoms.
In multiple studies, the consumption of all types of cow’s milk was linked to an increased prevalence and severity of acne in both boys and girls.
A single serving of milk can contain as much as 24 mg of cholesterol, whereas vegan food has no cholesterol. Watch this video for more information:
A Swedish study showed that women who consumed four or more servings of dairy products each day were twice as likely to develop serious ovarian cancer as those who consumed two or fewer servings of dairy products each day.
Unlike lactose intolerance, milk allergies, usually in young children, are characterized by potentially strong and dangerous reactions, such as vomiting or anaphylaxis.
Many cows are pumped full of antibiotics. This practice is leading to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics used on humans.
A single serving of whole milk can contain more than 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of saturated fat, but even 1 percent milk has 8 percent of the RDA. If you consume three servings of whole milk, you’re already at 60 percent for the day, even before eating any food.
Despite industry claims, a study of more than 12,000 children showed that the more milk they drank, the more weight they gained and skim and 1 percent milk appeared, counter-intuitively, to lead to more weight gain than drinking 2 percent or whole milk. The study also found that replacing soda with milk did not lead to weight loss.
11. Bone Loss
Instead of promoting bone health, animal protein in dairy products can have a calcium-leaching effect.These health factors, combined with the environmentally damaging nature of large-scale milk production, make it clear that milk is bad for you. If you think it’s time to ditch dairy products, try going vegan for 30 days, and check out these healthier, more absorbable vegan sources of calcium!
Editor’s Note from The Hearty Soul: The following segments have been added to this article to provide our readers with the most up-to-date information.
So What Nutrients Do You Need for Bone Health?
With most North Americans convinced that they need dairy to support bone health, most people assume they’re getting more than enough calcium. However, without another important mineral, your body can’t properly absorb calcium (whether it’s coming from plant or animal sources), leading to those detrimental health issues. The bad news is almost everyone is deficient in that nutrient: magnesium.
Magnesium Benefits Bone Health
Researchers have pinpointed magnesium deficiency as a major contributor of osteoporosis (1) and what’s more, 60% of magnesium is stored in the bones. Lack of dietary magnesium has been linked to stiff, brittle bones in both animal and human studies. Plus, magnesium is closely connected with calcium’s role in your body. Without enough magnesium, not only is your body unable to transport calcium properly, but more low-grade inflammation is triggered. (1)
Scientists insist that dietary changes are among the most effective ways to prevent osteoporosis. According to the National Institutes of Health, you should follow these guidelines: (2)
|Birth to 6 months||30 mg*||30 mg*|
|7–12 months||75 mg*||75 mg*|
|1–3 years||80 mg||80 mg|
|4–8 years||130 mg||130 mg|
|9–13 years||240 mg||240 mg|
|14–18 years||410 mg||360 mg||400 mg||360 mg|
|19–30 years||400 mg||310 mg||350 mg||310 mg|
|31–50 years||420 mg||320 mg||360 mg||320 mg|
|51+ years||420 mg||320 mg|
Make sure you’re eating enough magnesium-rich foods, along with plant-based calcium-rich foods such as leafy greens, broccoli, black beans, and almonds. Magnesium-rich foods include:
lean ground beef