Did you know that it is estimated that nearly 75% of the population is lactose intolerant?
The biggest percentage is in the Asian countries and is lower in most European countries and Australia. But most people don't actually know if they are lactose intolerant or not.
Research about this topic is widely spread. Some research says is very healthy other says it’s not. The one says it’s good for your bones, the other says it’s actually accelerates osteoporosis, which is the weakening of the bones.
The thing is, it’s both. Dairy and more specifically full fat milk has a lot of health benefits. It has a complex composition of nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin d, vitamin b2, b12, probiotics and conjugated linoleic acid, naturally occurring fatty acid found in meat and dairy products. CLA can help maintain weight loss, retain lean muscle mass, and control type 2 diabetes and lowers the rist of heart disease.
Doesn't sound to bad does it?
Looking at this from a historical perspective though, humans are not designed to drink cows milk. Although we have done this now for centuries, that doesn't make it natural. As mentioned before most of us don't even know if we are lactose intolerant. We often see symptoms like bloating, digestive issues, cramping and diarrhea as a reaction to something else, rather than diary.
But babies and young kids need milk right?
As babies we have an enzyme that helps us breakdown the lactose in milk, mother’s milk. When we grow into adults that enzyme dissapears and this makes breaking down the lactose in milk a lot harder. Lactose consists of two carbohydrate components: glucose and galactose. These are basically milk sugars, this is what we struggle with digesting. So that's why people can generally consume lactose free milk without any issues.
So even if we consumed milk as a child, that doesn’t mean it still serves us as adults. For people that are lactose intolerant (most of us..) it causes inflammation in our bodies. But full fat milk itself is not inflammatory, but it depends if our bodies can digest it. And an interesting fact is that research has show that overweight people, that aren’t lactose intolerant, have higher inflammation markers when consuming milk in comparison to people with a healthy weight. Most likely this is because their metabolic system is already under pressure.
The other thing with milk is that it’s not the same quality as 50 years ago. Nowadays it's mostly mass produced, cows are artificially inseminated over and over again. They're basically pregnant their whole lives so they can keep giving more milk. They are given growth hormones as calves to grow into big cows quickly. This is unnatural and unhealthy.
The milk product you're consuming is contaminated with artificial hormones, the generally low quality unhealthy feed that they're fed. In factory farms they often get fed old cow carcasses.. This ends up in your food. The stress that the animal endures also affects the milk production and the quality. A dairy cow usually only lives for 4 to 6 years after that the milk production declines and they are useless to the dairy industry. A cattle dairy cow has a life span of 20 years.
So, if you can get your fresh milk from the neighbour next door who has cows that are grass fed and looked after, yes milk will give you lots of health benefits, if you’re not lactose intolerant. Otherwise, just be careful and mindful of what you put in your body.
You are what you eat.
Not sure about your own health and whether what you eat or drink is making your healthier or not? Feel free to book a discovery call, free of charge, to see where you're at.