The problem with cows’ milk

Current government guidelines recommend drinking three glasses of milk a day for every adult. But is milk healthy for us and should we be eating dairy at all?

I cut diary out of my diet years ago, primarily because it didn’t agree with me, but still believe there is sufficient doubt about its health qualities and question whether we should be drinking milk at all.

A recent study from Harvard University, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed a lack of evidence for the government’s recommendations.  The Harvard scientists found no data to support the claim that the consumption of dairy leads to better bones, weight loss, or improved health.

They also found some serious risks tied to dairy consumption, including weight gain, increased cancer risk, and increased fracture risk. The study suggests that dairy can also cause other problems like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, allergies, eczema and acne. Whilst it is true that some people can tolerate dairy in small amounts, it should not be a staple of our diets.

Unfortunately, dairy contains some very allergenic proteins, which can be problematic for many people. Alternatives to cows’ milk are goat and sheep dairy, which include sheep cheese and yogurt, goat cheese and yogurt, both of which are widely available. It is known that if consumed in large quantities, dairy can also deplete bone density, which is the cause of other significant health problems.

I’m personally not keen on goat’s cheese, as it tends to have a quite over-bearing aroma and strong taste. Perhaps we should also choose organic because pesticides and chemicals are concentrated in the fat found in non-organic dairy. Unfortunately, organic cows are often milked while pregnant, producing milk that is full of hormones.

There is a suggest that we take a ‘dairy holiday’ for two weeks and see how you feel and then reintroduce dairy again but try to cut down. Better still, if possible, stick to low fat sheep or goat dairy if you do decide to eat dairy again, but try to avoid cow dairy.

I’ve heard it said, cows’ milk… great for calves, not so great for humans! I believe that sentiment to be true.


8 Jul, 2015

4 thoughts on “The problem with cows’ milk

  1. This is very informative, thank you for researching and posting it. Your post makes so much sense; cows milk is for cows, not humans so it’s not surprising that it can lead to all of the problems you have set out.

    I very recently swapped cows milk for almond milk and also cut out drinking tea and coffee at the same time so my intake of diary has dramatically reduced and I do feel better for it. I still have infrequent and small amounts of dairy such as cheese on a pizza or butter in a cake or biscuit if I am out, but I do seem to be much more tolerant of these small amounts and it doesn’t cause me the digestive problems that I used to experience.

    It is a lot easier nowadays to replace diary with soya or almond or other milk alternatives without giving up on the things we like to eat and like you, I would certainly recommend people give it a try.

    1. You’re welcome. I’m pleased you’re cutting out tea coffee and swapping dairy for almond milk has made a difference to you. The differences we feel in ourselves when we come off any type of food is gradual, monitored over a long period of time. I personally think it’s a healthier way to live and ultimately that’s what we should all be aiming for.

      I’ve also heard it said that having too much cows’ milk depletes calcium and that’s another good reason for giving cows’ milk up. Where dairy was once considered a health food, which we have all grown up on, (me included) we’re now finding alternatives to replace it.

      Given the current research that can only be a good thing.

  2. I have heard that cow’s milk, isn’t healthy. I personally don’t drink milk because it doesn’t agree with me; it makes me nauseous. I occasionally drink almond milk; it’s gentler on my stomach.

    I haven’t cut all dairy products from my diet. I love cheese too much to do so.

    1. Thanks Maria. Although you and I have different problems with diary products, the fact that we both struggle with different symptoms, proves how bad cows’ milk can be.

      I personally feels there needs to be more education on cows’ milk. I am not sure how many of us really understand some of our symptoms around eating dairy products. It took me a while to work it out myself, because I also had problems with other foods.

      I hear what you’re saying about cheese. There’s just something about cheese. It’s the kind of food we all want more of. Eating too much cheese has high cholesterol implications.

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