Dairy milk is an incredibly popular and widely-consumed staple of the Western diet, and most drinkers don’t think twice about including it in their daily life. It has many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that greatly benefit the body.
But not everyone thinks milk consumption is a good idea - experts at Harvard University call our consumption of dairy milk “a step in the wrong direction.”
One of the most prominent Harvard researchers in this area is Walter Willett, MD, PhD, whose research shows contrary evidence to the common idea that people need milk to be healthy.
Here are his thoughts on the USDA’s recent milk and meat advice document:
“...the recommendation for three servings of milk per day is not justified and is likely to cause harm to some people...many studies have shown a relation between high milk intake and risk of fatal or metastatic prostate cancer.”
So do we really need dairy milk in our diet? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of dairy milk.
The pros and cons of consuming dairy
Complete source of protein
Significant source of nutrients: Vitamin D, Vitamin A, can be fortified with DHA
Saturated fats (also helps with feeling full)
Good source of calcium (and Vitamin D helps absorb it)
High in calories
Can increase cholesterol
Has the potential to weaken bones - see the WebMD report
Could contain growth hormones and steroids
Linked to prostate and ovarian cancer
Parts of milk protein are linked to Type 1 Diabetes
Leads to intestinal stress, causing bloating
The team’s studies show no reduction in bone fractures associated with drinking milk, and also links dairy to a higher risk of prostate cancer (and some instances of ovarian cancer). As shown in many countries with low (or no) milk consumption, there are very low rates of fractures. “It’s important for people to know that they don’t have to drink milk to be healthy,” Willett says.
The best alternatives to dairy
Delicious and (very) nutritious, hemp is a complete protein and sugar free! Try our organic hemp milk for only ฿360.
Almond milk is becoming more and more popular, and it’s no secret as to why. A multi-use substitution for dairy milk, milk from almonds tastes great in cereal, smoothies, baking, or just by itself. Don’t miss out - try this organic almond milk from our website. Payment is easy and checkout is fast!
This seed-based milk is much more nutritious than dairy milk and might taste better too! Order yours here.
Chia & Rice
A uniquely tasty, high protein, and 100% veggie alternative to milk. Use this one in everything from cakes to smoothies. Try ours while supplies last.
Known as the ‘mother grain’ in ancient civilizations, quinoa milk is rich, nutty, and very nutritious! Give ours a try, we ship everywhere in Thailand!
*Be cautious of added sugar in non-dairy milks - choose “plain” or “unsweetened” when possible.
What do you think - is dairy simply a ‘step in the wrong direction’...or do we need dairy in our diets at all?
For more from Health Food Thailand, check out our blog.