The Facts About Milk
The Milk Myth
A substantial body of scientific evidence showsthe link between bone health and dairy productconsumption is weak. In fact to build strong bonesand healthy bodies, children need exercise, sun-shine, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Thereis no nutritional requirement for dairy products, infact there are serious problems that can result fromthe proteins, sugar and fat in milk products. Milkcontains significant amounts of saturated fat, aswell as cholesterol, which can lead to obesity andcontribute to heart disease and certain forms ofcancer. Although we do need a certain amount of fatin our diets, saturated fat is the wrong kind, andcow’s milk is low in the good essential fatty acidsthat we do need.
Calcium And Osteoporosis
Most of our body’s calcium is in our bones. Thesmall amount in our bloodstream plays an importantrole in functions such as muscle contraction andmaintenance of the heartbeat. Bloodstream calciumis constantly being lost through urine, sweat andfaeces. Replacement comes from the bones, whichdepend on fresh supplies from the food we eat.Diets rich in animal protein, such as that found incow’s milk, make the blood more acidic. The bodytries to neutralise this by drawing calcium from thebones into the bloodstream, which is filtered throughthe kidneys and lost through urine. The more dairyproducts consumed, the more calcium the bodyneeds to balance the losses. Contrary to what mostpeople think – because it is what they are told by thedairy industry – eating excessive amounts of dairyproducts can therefore contribute to weak bonesand osteoporosis. Countries whose populations eatlow-protein diets (i.e a low level of dairy products)have lower rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures.
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk. About 75%of the world’s population is lactose intolerant – unable to digest lactose – causing gastrointestinalsymptoms of flatulence, bloating, cramps anddiarrhoea in some individuals. This is due to ashortage of enzymes that break down the lactoseinto its simpler forms – glucose and galactose.Studies have shown that lactose intolerance iscommon among those whose ancestry is African,Asian, Native American, Arab, Jewish, Hispanic,Italian, or Greek. As we age, many of us lose theactive enzymes. But people suffering from digestiveproblems often overlook dairy products as the causeof their ills, because milk has for so long been toutedas a healthy, wholesome, natural product.
Consuming dairy products has also been linked to anumber of allergies such as asthma, eczema andwheezing, especially in childhood. Naturally, the bestbeverage for infants and small toddlers is mother’sbreast milk. Even after the first year, food allergies tomilk and milk products are common. Many childrenand teens with irritable bowel syndrome, autism,asthma, and allergies improve when they stopdrinking cow’s milk.
One out of every five babies suffers from colic.Pediatricians have learnt that cow’s milkconsumption is often the reason. Even breastfeedingmothers can have colicky babies if the mothers areconsuming cow’s milk, as the cow’s antibodies arepassed through the mother’s bloodstream into herbreastmilk.
Many people are reluctant to give up milk as it has always beenpromoted as a wholesome, healthy drink, rich in calcium for strongbones. This is the milk myth and what those profiting from the salesof dairy products would like you to believe. Dairy products areabsolutely not essential for optimum fitness.
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