Is Milk Still Doing a Body Good?


Edited by: KELSEY CRUZ

“Don’t forget your glass of milk!” yelled Mom every morning before school. She watched the commercials, she read the news articles, and she knew the health benefits of that cold, white glass. However, over the last two decades (and beyond), that helpful parental reminder has been pushed to obscurity as the definition and necessity of ‘milk’ has been pondered.  Milk used to do a body good, building strong bones and teeth and repairing muscles post-workout.  In the early nineties, commercials, ad campaigns, and doctors boasted the benefits of drinking milk, and consumers could rely on it to satisfy calcium and protein requirements. But what is it doing lately?  Is it doing our bodies more harm than good?

According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the real danger of milk resides in its production.  Americans are consuming dairy at an unnatural rate, forcing cows and farms to produce faster which results in milk ridden with pesticides and drugs. Because of milk’s high demand, some farmers inject synthetic hormones like recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) into dairy cows, causing them to develop udder infections. Now follow me here, ladies: If the dairy cows are being fed growth hormones and developing infections, antibiotics are then being pumped through their bodies to help heal them, and subsequently, pumped through their milk production and our milk consumption.

“Pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins are other examples of contaminants found in milk,” explains the PCRM. “These toxins do not readily leave the body and can eventually build to harmful levels that may affect the immune and reproductive systems. . . Moreover, PCBs and dioxins have also been linked to cancer.”

Since dairy milk is dangerous due to its high demand and production, what about other kinds of milk? As a child, I never wanted to drink anything other than whole milk. I hated the way skim milk tasted, the way it looked, and its color at the bottom of my cereal bowl. But as I read studies and articles about dairy milk’s links to cancer and weight gain, I realize almond or soy milk may be a healthier option.

Soy milk, for example, is especially popular in Asian countries like China and Japan and has gained popularity around the world as lactose intolerance or lactose sensitivity as grown. Unlike cow’s milk, soy milk is naturally low in fat and contains no cholesterol since it is made from a plant rather than an animal byproduct. However, although soy milk is high in protein, it is low in calcium. Soy milk is also high in estrogen, which brings its own side effects.

“When you consume soy protein, you’re actually courting the Mr. Hyde side of two natural drugs: genistein and daidzein,” explains Jim Thornton in a popular Men’s Health article about soy’s negative effects. Tell your boyfriends that those natural drugs act so eerily similar to estrogen that they may cause erectile dysfunction and enlarged breasts in men.  And although Thornton’s research focuses predominantly on men’s health, the natural drugs in soy protein can endanger women as well.  Because of its estrogen levels, it’s loosely linked to cancers including breast, ovarian, and cervical.

No food has ever reached some dizzying level of perfection, and no food probably ever will.  Ladies, take your milk with a grain of salt (just a pinch, though), and remember that all options have both positive and negative attributes.  Check out the chart below to get a quick summary of various milk options, and choose one that works best for you and your lifestyle. Be a smart consumer and research the pros and cons of the milk you drink, and partake always in moderation. Bottoms up!

Type of Milk Calories Total Fat (g) Protein (g) Calcium (%)
Cow, whole 147 8.1 7.9 33
Cow, skim 86 0 8 50
Goat 169 10 9 33
Soy 132 4 7 25
Coconut 467 50.5 4.8 4
Almond 60 2.5 1 20
Rice 120 2 0.4 2



Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Home, Your Nutrition

Subscribe to Get Fit Get Life for the latest health news!

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

One Comment on “Is Milk Still Doing a Body Good?”

  1. Deshawn Schoener
    October 8, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    Soy milk is great but i still prefer the old school cows milk since it contains more calcium. **.*,

    Newly released content from our very own blog site

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: