What’s Really In Your Milk?

We get a lot of questions asking whether or not it is ok to have dairy, and if you’ve been following us for awhile, you know we are very fond of our milk alternatives.

But are dairy alternatives really better for you, and what makes conventional dairy so different?

We probably all know someone who has a hard time handling dairy products, and some are affected more than others. Does this mean that dairy is bad for some and good for others?

Continue reading after the video to learn:

  • Why conventional dairy is so unhealthy for you
  • Better ways you can consume dairy
  • Healthy non-dairy alternatives

What makes conventional dairy so unhealthy?

First, it is important to understand what is in dairy, where it comes from, and how the cattle that produce it are raised. Plus, what types of things that are in milk that you may want to avoid and what it is doing to your body.

Conventional dairy usually comes from large farms where there are very unhealthy practices going on, including what the cattle themselves are being fed.

Cows that are raised and maintained to produce milk, are normally fed grains, rather than grass. Cows have evolved to eat and digest grass better than anything else and this is where their nutrition comes from. To keep costs down, they are fed grains as an alternative, a food source that does not provide them with the nutrition they need to stay at optimum health levels.

When cows are fed grains, something they are not meant to eat, you have a whole host of issues that occur.

On top of being fed grains, the cows are packed into close quarters and pumped full of antibiotics, things that we do not need or want in our bodies.

The reason we often need to add antibiotics to dairy cows is that of what gets into the air as it is produced. It has been found that conventional dairy often times contains blood and puss in it, which is also why we need to process and pasteurize it.

Years ago, dairy farms used to give added hormones to dairy cows, such as rBST or rBGH, synthetic chemicals used to increase milk production. As consumers began to figure out that these hormones were being added, many farms stopped using them and would add to their milk label that the milk being sold is hormone (rBST and rBGH) free. However, to keep up milk production, cows are constantly impregnated so that the cow is constantly producing milk in order to make a profit.

All of this treatment makes the cattle at these dairy farms extremely unhealthy. It causes the increase in production of puss, due to inflammation, and it increases sickness. This leads to the cows needing more antibiotics.

Because the cattle live such unhealthy lives, it leads them to also live much shorter lives, only 3-5 years instead of its natural lifespan of 25 years. Once they can no longer produce milk, they are sent to slaughter.

What are some alternatives to conventional dairy?

If you simply can’t give up dairy, there are some dairy choices that you can consume that are a little bit better. If you must consume dairy, look for an organic brand that is non-homogenized. Homogenization means that the milk is placed under high pressure and pushed through a small nozzle in order rip the milk apart on a molecular level. In raw milk, the cream rises to the top, separating from the milk. However, when you homogenize the milk, the two are permanently blended together, meaning it alters a lot of the natural compounds in milk.

In raw milk, you have a lot of the natural bacteria and enzymes that help your body process and absorb the components of milk.

If you are lucky enough to live in one of the few states where it is legal to purchase raw, organic milk, you should do this as an alternative to just buying it at the grocery store. Click here to find out if your state allows the sale of raw milk. 

Non-Dairy Alternatives

The best alternative is to give up dairy completely and if you are willing to do this, there are some milk alternatives that you can still consume.

Unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk are some great options when dong with a non-dairy alternative. You can also go with cashew milk, rice milk, or hemp milk.

One of the biggest selling points to dairy is that it is high in calcium when, in fact, these milk alternatives often contain way more calcium than any dairy product. For years we have been told that we need to consume milk because of the amazing calcium benefits that you get from it. In fact, dairy if subsidized by the government, pushing money into selling more and more dairy, telling you how healthy it is and how you need to be drinking it. In fact, you don’t.

The truth is, you don’t need milk to get calcium. Calcium is in so many things these days that we don’t need to be trying to supplement with dairy. For instance, vegetables are loaded with calcium!! The calcium found in something like collard greens is up to 65% absorbable through our body, compared to only 33% in milk.

Milk may not be life-threatening to you, but it certainly isn’t the healthiest thing you could be putting into your body. In fact, it can be downright disgusting. You are much better off consuming one of these dairy alternatives mentioned above than going with conventional dairy.

If you are worried about getting enough calcium or need help fitting these alternatives into your lifestyle, then getting on a meal plan is the best option. This takes out all of the worry and the stress of trying to figure your nutrition out, leaving it to an expert nutritionist who will design a custom meal plan based on your weight, height, lifestyle, activity level, your goals and the food that you love.

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