Cow’s Milk: Friend or Foe?
It’s high time we debunk the myth about dairy milk being healthy. Dairy milk does more harm than good to your body. Plants are Power is here to make you rethink your consumption of milk and help you explore some healthy yet tasty dairy milk alternatives.
DAIRY MILK IS NATURAL: THE BIGGEST MYTH
Although mother cows naturally produce milk as food for their calves, commercially available milk is a processed food item and can contain residues of pesticides and heavy metals, as well as harmful bacteria. Milk is pasteurised to eliminate these microorganisms but this results in the destruction or reduction of the vitamins contained in unprocessed animal milk. This is particularly the case with high-temperature processing used for the production of long-life or UHT milk.
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE MILK YOU DRINK MAY ALSO CONTAIN UNHEALTHY SUBSTANCES AND CHEMICALS?
Cow’s milk contains calcium protein and vitamins B2 and B12, but along with that, dairy products also contain unhealthy substances such as saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, cholesterol, and sodium. These are associated with the development of cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the mass farming of dairy cows can lead to rapidly spreading diseases on farms, which is one of the reasons why antibiotics are often added to feed. Due to intensive farming and constant milking, many dairy cows suffer from an inflammation of the udder, known as mastitis, which means pus is often present in cow’s milk.
DAIRY MILK CAN PROMOTE CANCER
Because the function of cow’s milk is to ensure the rapid growth of young animals, it contains growth-promoting substances, including the growth hormone IGF-1, for example, which is at the centre of cancer research because it is shown to contribute to tumour formation in humans.
A 2014 research study showed an increased risk of prostate cancer in men who drank large quantities of animal milk, although calcium intake from plant-based sources did not increase the risk. The chances of developing ovarian cancer also increase with greater animal milk consumption, due to the high intake of lactose.
YOU CAN GO PLANT-BASED WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON CALCIUM CONTENT
Dairy products often regarded highly for their relatively high protein content. But the proteins contained in cow’s milk can lead to a range of allergic reactions, including skin irritations, respiratory and digestive problems, and even shocks. A plant-based diet can provide the body with plenty of calcium. Calcium-rich foods include tahini (sesame paste), almonds, rocket leaves, and kale leaves, and many such plant-based milk options that are fortified with calcium.
HOW IS PLANT-BASED MILK GOOD FOR HEALTH?
Unlike dairy milk, plant-based milk contains no cholesterol, saturated fatty acids, or unhealthy trans fatty acids. Research shows that soy products, including soya milk, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. From a nutritional perspective, soya milk is the best alternative to dairy milk, partly due to its high protein content. Milk made from cereals, such as oats, and rice milk, are also good alternatives due to their natural sweetness and high fibre content. Unsweetened almond milk is particularly low in calories, while other plant-based milk is rich in ‘healthy’ fats. Many plant milk varieties are enriched with calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, making them a suitable alternative to dairy milk in this respect, too. All in all, plant-based milk is not just beneficial to one’s health, but it is also cruelty-free and kind to the environment.
We understand you don’t want to quit having milk, which is why we have an awesome list of milk alternatives for you. If you would like more details about healthy and cruelty-free milk options, click here!
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