Are Milk Products Healthy?
A common question I am asked often is, “are milk products healthy?” This blog sheds light on this and proposes ways to enjoy them in healthy ways.
Milk products have been proposed to support bone strength, have high calcium, and are rumoured to promote weight loss. But, some dairy products on the market today are not what they used to be. So, consuming them every day may not be necessary for well-being. In a recent Netflix documentary, The Milk System, it’s stated that “milk is such a perfect food, and has so much to offer, but it has been corrupted.”
A study in the Archive of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, by Kenrin Sonneville from Harvard University, found that children, who were physically active and consumed a lot of dairy products had more fractures than those who consumed less. Later studies have drawn similar conclusions.
The Netflix documentary mentioned above exposes some of the more negative effects of the dairy production industry on the environment, world, animals, and human health. I won’t go into details now, but the question is, if milk and dairy products were supposed to be good and have been corrupted, then how can we enjoy them in healthy ways?
A fresh approach to embracing a life of wellness
My passion, at Embrace Life, is to create awareness and empower people to make positive choices for themselves and the environment around them. Armed with trusted resources and information, you can live a life of wellness, without deprivation, and enjoy the benefits of health. Choosing positive options for yourself benefits the environment, and others around you too.
Why and how to include milk products
It’s not all doom and gloom, and it is possible for most people to enjoy milk products, if you like it, with some minor adjustments to how you consume it. Although, as humans it becomes less possible for our bodies to digest milk products after the age of around 2 years old unless we have a genetic mutation. Therefore, the best is to aim for higher fermented milk products.
Variety is your friend when it comes to how and what you eat. Milk products can add variety to your diet, which benefits your immune system.
There has been a change in the genetics of mass production dairy cows, and there have been studies that indicate immune system disruption due to inflammation which relates to A2 and A1 beta casein. If you go for sheep or cow’s milk try to get A2 beta casein milk. If you want to read more on this read my book here.
Here are some tips to include milk products into your diet:
- Use sheep or goat milk products if available.
- Source milk products that are locally pastured.
- Look for organic products.
- Be intentional about how much of them you consume daily. If you buy good quality products like raw milk or artisan-style cheese, you might not eat too much of it anyway due to the cost.
If you know you’re prone to sinusitis or ongoing gut issues then leave out milk products entirely for a short while. Then if you re-introduce them, look for products that are as fermented as possible such as kefir and whole, organic yoghurt. Watch out when trying the less fermented things. It’s always good to know your body and eat according to what works for you.
What about milk and dairy substitutes?
If you like nut milk such as almond milk, enjoy them as a treat because consuming too many nuts (even if in liquid form) might not be the best alternative.
Make sure you read the labels of substitutes you’d like to try carefully. Sometimes there are additives and extra preservatives or flavourings added, which can contribute to health issues.
Shouldn’t we consume dairy for calcium?
Getting enough nutrients in every day is important. Calcium is one of these essential nutrients, and many wonderful plant-based foods are rich in calcium.
Examples of foods that contain high calcium are sardines, raw cabbage, fennel, broccoli, leaks and so much more.
Eat real food: from the farm to your table
A book I recommend reading if you’re interested in learning more is In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan. Pollan puts it this way, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” Even as a child, I still remember the glass bottles of milk at my doorstep, which were unpasteurised and unhomogenised, they had a thick layer of cream on top, fresh from the farm.
My top tip for many of the patients I interact with is to keep an eye on the labels you’re grabbing off the shelves. Become conscious and intentional about what you put into your body. Your body detoxes naturally for the sake of vitality. If you’d like to explore this more and reset your system for wellness, sign up for my 3-Week Detox Program.