Even though raw, organic milk is known to provide various health benefits, a Harvard researcher and pediatrician believes that conventional milk and dairy products are actually harmful.
Keep reading to learn more about his research and the alternatives he suggests.
DAVID LUDWIG’S RESEARCH
According to Ludwig`s research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, the side effects of sugar-sweetened drinks are already well-known and confirmed by many studies. Excessive consumption of sugar has been associated with diabetes, inflammatory-related pain, obesity, etc.
Due to the negative effect it has on our health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the United States Department of Agriculture, and other organization are against the consumption of calories from sugary drinks.
However, they still promote reduced-fat milk, which is actually the only calorie-containing beverage promote. The RDA of this milk is three cups a day.
“This recommendation to drink three cups a day of milk – it’s perhaps the most prevailing advice given to the American public about diet in the last half century. As a result, Americans are consuming billions of gallons of milk a year, presumably under the assumption that their bones would crumble without them,” says David Ludwig.
If the USDA suggests drinking reduced-fat milk, it also promotes the consumption of added sugars, which goes against all research urging people not to consume sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks. The whole idea of consuming low-fat milk or chocolate milk wipes out the logical thinking for the recommendation in the first place as the fats are actually replaced with detrimental sugars.
“The worst possible situation is reduced-fat chocolate milk: you take out the fat, it’s less tasty. So to get kids to drink 3 cups a day, you get this sugar-sweetened beverage,” Ludwig states. “…we can get plenty of calcium from a whole range of foods. On a gram for gram basis, cooked kale has more calcium than milk. Sardines, nuts seeds beans, green leafy vegetables are all sources of calcium.”
THE CASE AGAINST LOW-FAT DAIRY, AND OTHER DANGERS OF MILK
Even though there is a point in Ludwig`s analysis and criticism of the USDA`s recommendations, there is much more to the full-fat vs reduce-fat argument.
In fact, there are many reasons to stay away from fats like trans- fats and refined polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils, such as canola, sunflower, corn, and soy. However, the evidence that the consumption of saturated fats from grass-fed land animals, coconut oil, and milk, is still slowly emerging. According to a 2010 analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of [coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease].”
Moreover, the consumption of full-fat dairy products provides many benefits. It has been found that its pure state, full-fat dairy promotes heart health, lowers bowel cancer risk, promotes weight loss, keeps diabetes in check and aids in vitamin absorption. However, while pure dairy (raw, organic, and coming from grass-fed animals) is good for you, conventional dairy may be damaging.
Make sure you educate yourself what your dairy contains prior consuming it. Conventional milk may contain antibiotics, painkillers, and many more.