We know that raw, organic milk offers many well documented health benefits, but a Harvard researcher and pediatrician argues, that due to the little known fact that dangerous sweeteners are added to many conventional milk and dairy products, it can be detrimental to your health.
David Ludwig published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, says there have been a great number of well researched articles concluding the adverse effects of sugar-sweetened drinks on our health. Over-consumption of sugar has been linked closely to obesity, diabetes, inflammatory-related pain, and much more. As a result of this recognition of sugar’s negative effects on our general health, even the United States Department of Agriculture, the American Academy of Pediatrics, in addition to other organizations , are recommending against consuming calories from sugary drinks.
However, the drink that is often overlooked in the “one calorie per glass” category and still actively promoted is actually reduced-fat milk, to the point where we can be encouraged to drink up to three glasses a day. This is whereLudwig questions the scientific rationale behind such common recommendations. “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.
In Ludwig’s eyes, if the USDA is advising us to drink reduced-fat milk, it is therefore also encouraging the vast consumption of added sugars – a questionable piece of advice that contradicts all the research saying we should not to consume sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages. The idea of consuming low-fat milk cancels out the whole reasoning for the recommendation in the first place as all that is happening is that the fats are merely being replaced with sugars that we know is detrimental to our health.
Ludwig also says “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
Following his research titled ‘The Case Against Low-Fat Dairy, and Other Dangers of Milk’ the Harvard researcher certainly had a valid point in highlighting and being critical of the USDA’s recommendations, but there are many other additives which we should be aware of in the whole arena of full-fat vs reduced-fat milk and other dairy products.
Indeed there are many we should be avoiding including certain fats such as trans-fats and refined polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils (such as corn, soy, sunflower, and canola), but more recently the documented evidence for a moderate consumption of saturated fat, found in milk, coconut oil, and grass-fed land animals, is gaining more recognition.
For years now saturated fat has been the ‘big bad enenmy’, however in 2010 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded in a study that: “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of [coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease].” Furthermore, there are numerous benefits to drinking full-fat dairy products. In fact in it’s most purest form (i.e. raw, organic, and coming from grass-fed cows), full-fat dairy has been found in research to potentially promote heart health, it has been found to control diabetes, also aid in the absorption of vitamins, it can lower bowel cancer risk, and even be used as an aid in weight loss. So while pure dairy could potentially promote your health, conventional dairy may prove very damaging.
So before you consume more conventional dairy without thinking, please take the time to educate yourself as to what is actually in your dairy. Many people would be surprised, to say the least, that there could be 20+ painkillers, antibiotics, and much more lurking in your milk.