There is a whole host of conflicting studies showing drink skim milk for reduced fat intake, drink organic whole milk for full vitamin intake, drink soy milk for prostate and whole health, don’t drink soy products due to over processing and under fermentation. It gets a little confusing, and extremely irritating, everywhere you turn another interest group is telling you to consume a different type of milk like products. But take a look at this sentence and tell me what is wrong with it…..interest groups and milk like products. If single ads don’t set off bells and whistles in your head try compiling a few ads and studies done on milk and find out who has backed them, what measures were taken during the study, what was actually studied, and what was actually found before just jumping onto that conclusions mat and making rash decisions.
First of all can we agree that one should “eat for evolution”. Eat the food in the form that we as humans have evolved to consume, it may seem silly, but it is astonishing how far from this we have come thanks to food industrialization. The short of it, eat the food that looks like food, your body will thank you later. Second, milk is a fantastic source of calcium, vitamin D, A, E and K. These also all happen to be fat soluble vitamins, meaning without fat in your diet you will never be able to absorb and take benefit from them. But not to worry, our brilliant mother nature has managed to provide a neat little package to ensure that your fat soluble vitamins in milk will be absorbed properly, its called whole milk. Other types of processed milk 2%, 1% and non fat get increasingly less beneficial, and also tend to be worse for you. There are several types of milk proteins that are broken into two groups, caseins and whey. Caseins are the fats that generally get used for cheese production and whey gets pulled out to create proteins powders, chip flavors and various other dairy flavored food type products. These also happen to be the two bi products under most scrutiny by anti milk interest groups and have organized studies that have shown they aggravate the symptoms of autism, ADHD, and IBS.
Do these two types of proteins then cause these problems, no. Do they aggravate them, maybe but only if these people are allergic to milk products. And this goes back to “eat for evolution” any person with Asian decent has a very high probability of being allergic to milk or lactose intolerant (two different problems), this includes Muslim, Indian, Greek, any Asian country, parts of Russian heritage, parts of Gypsies heritage, Native American and some south Americans. It takes a certain amount of a certain type of bacteria in a person’s gut to properly break down these huge animal proteins (nearly 6 times larger than the milk proteins found in human breast milk). When humans first started drinking cow’s milk they became very sick, but over time of continued use and the wonders of evolution and adapting to environment certain peoples have developed the ability to properly digest and reap the benefits of this fantastic food.
Those afraid of the side effects of dairy allergies don’t go running to the grocery store and picking up all dairy free products yet. Caseins are extracted for dairy products like cheese. But whey is extracted for all manner of processed foods including dairy free creamers. If you think about whole milk, all the things that it holds, a certain percentage of this a little bit of that, etc. Then think of processing out whey, its going to take a lot of milk to pull out enough whey to create the cheesy flavor in cheetos. The amount of whey being consumed in one package of cheetos is astronomically higher than that of a glass of milk. Not to mention that fact that glass of milk is a package of natures brilliance, chances are your body knows what to do with it, where as eating cheetos probably causes your digestive stomach bacteria’s to say WTF (not really but you get the point).
I read a study not to long ago, and now I cannot for the life of me find it to attach for your reading pleasure (or horror, more likely horror) about kittens and milk products. A group of kittens were split into test groups one of group of kittens were raised on whole milk, another on 2% milk and yet another on dry powered milk (powerdere milk tends to be made of processed flours, proteins, whey, extracted and refortified vitamins etc). The groups of cats on liquid milks seemed to have grown into adults with seemingly little issues, those on powered milk were a little slow in development but nothing too noticeable. The second generation of liquid milk cats were fine, the powered milk cats showed some pretty serious retardation, the third and subsequent generations the 2% cats started to show lowered developmental abilities but no major side effects and the powered milk cats got worse and worse until they could no longer reproduce.
Now that you have some facts on dairy, let’s talk soy milk and milk alternative. Soy milk has its own issues in that about 90 % of the American population is allergic to it. Just like most people of Asian descent are allergic to dairy, Americans only started eating soy products with any sort of regularity around 1920’s and have had very few generation to adapt a proper internal biochemistry to digest such foods. Almond milks and coconut milks are also decent tasting bi products but before you make any rash decisions remember that these two are highly processed products and lend themselves to their own problems, many are high in sugar and low in fat which makes the fat soluble vitamins they are fortified with nearly impossible for your body to absorb (just because they are on the label doesn’t mean your body will automatically know what to do with it).
The best possible thing you can do for yourself is go to a doctor and get allergy tests. Not all doctors will see this as a reasonable request, so going to a naturopath will lend the most support for your quest. There are two types of allergy tests one for immediate reactions and one for long term reactions. Not only do they show what you may be allergic to but also the degree. After getting your results back you will be better equipped to make a decision regarding what sorts of milk products you should be consuming. If you don’t have the means to undertake this quite expensive endeavor you can test yourself through fasting and then reintroducing products back into your diet. This takes a lot of patients and an insight into what your body is telling you that not everyone has the patience to undergo. Just be patient with yourself if this is your choice, it make take a few trials. This is the method I have taken and am still several years later playing with it. I know I am allergic to whey and while it is in milks and cheese, I find I have a much more mild and manageable reaction to whole milks and cheese than I do to food type products (which I avoid like the plague now).
Choosing how to eat right can be very confusing, especially considering all the conflicting message out there. The best possible advice I can give is just listen to your body. It will tell you when something is wrong, you just have to be listening to understand what it is trying to say. If you go into anaphylactic shock when you eat dairy, I’d say avoid it. If your child’s ADHD or IBS symptoms are worse when consuming certain products, avoid it, but don’t replace it with a processed product just to maintain a semblance of normality, these products have their issues too. Be smart about your choices, research foods and pick ones that work best of you, not anyone else but you, because every body is unique.
Side Notes: Two trivia questions, where is the title of this blog from and what is wrong with the picture I have posted above. Also see below for links to more milk information.