The great milk debate.
This topic is heated in our culture, to pasteurized levels. Many people, some with stakes in the game of milk disappearing, have made claims that milk is unnatural and even bad for human health. Is there truth in this claim? In the next couple minutes, you’re going to find that answer. Take your lactaid, because we’re getting into the creamy cold facts.
These claims are coming from Physicians Commitee. The claims they make are without context, if not wrong. Don’t worry, we’ll back up the claims with sources. Here’s a link to read their “white lies debunked” article.
Claim #1: Babies can’t process milk, so we shouldn’t drink it
“Waaaaah” That’s the sound of colic, aka, baby upsetedness. A study cited by Pysicians Commitee claims cows milk causes colic, inflammation, and Type 1 diabetes.
In this study they used infants that drank their mother’s breast milk. Some moms drank cow milk, some did not. Some moms consumed whey-protein.
The study says that they observed an increase in colic (baby unsettledness) with the mothers who consumed cows milk. The source also notes that same experience whith Whey.
Babies are sensitive. You don’t feed babies tacos, sloppy joes, sorbets, and other foods intended for human consumption. What’s going to happen? We all know, and the answer will be all over your sofa.
Why can’t you feed a baby pork, beef, or other meat? It’s too much protein that stresses the infant’s kidneys. This is true, yet we don’t link a babe’s inability to process meat to say we shouldn’t eat meat.
Claim #2 Milk is not heart healthy
The Physicians Committee claims milk is heart clogging, due to it’s high saturated fat content. “Diets high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which remains America’s top killer.” But food science changes.
Keep this in mind. Science has changed it’s mind on food every 5 years. Doctor’s are recommending diet changes as fast as tiktok trends come and go.
Science was SO wrong
It turns out saturated fats can contain “good” cholesterol. Saturated fats raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels, which may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
(Notice the trend of Keto, and the resurgance of Atkinson’s diets.)
This means drinking milk, eating bread, and meat is not the cause of bad cholesterol. Trans fats, cannola oil, dougnuts, and that kind of food are the real cause of clogged arteries and heart failure. Because of the different kinds of fats!
Humans have been consuming these foods before they were labeled bad. After the rise in fake butter and cannola oil, heart failure sky rocketed. Doctors were recommending high carb intakes. It turns out meat and milk are actually good for you.
Raising good cholesterol (through meat, eggs, milk for example) actually aids your body in transporting cholesterol to the liver. Having a high bad cholesterol (LDL) level will cause buildup and cause heart risks. Why did we get this so wrong?
A study done in the 70s explained to us: countries with diets high in cholesterol have high death rates. This study did not take into accounts other eating habits, such as smoking, sugar consumption, and exercise prevalence.
They ignored countries (in their own research) which have a high saturated fat intakes, such as the Arctic Inuits, or even the Kenyan Masai. These are healthy people, but if you look at their diets,they consume plenty of saturated fats.
Here are the 3 fats we’re talking about
Monosaturated fats (good)
Avocado, olive oil, flax seeds, walnuts,
Saturated fats (also good, not quite as good as monosaturated)
Full fat milk, fatty animal protein, cheese, etc.
Trans fats (the bad fats)
Fried food, packaged chips, candy
Science changes, the best evidence may not be the best next week. Because of this, there have been diets with adverse effect on Americans. It turns out a simple diet is the best. The Amish live to be about 72, and they eat all the cheese they want.
Claim #3 Lactose intolerance is very prevalent
The Physicians committee are claiming most people are allergic to milk, about 60% of people. They use this stat without explaining it. In fact, it’s so common most people say it without thinking about it. It’s akin to saying “we only use 30% of our brain, if only we could unlock the 70%.” It’s an untrue statement that is accepted as truth.
Sure, plenty of people are allergic to milk. But a couple other of the most common food allergens are: peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, eggs, and more. Just a quick search on google tells you:
Peanuts: 6.7 million
Shellfish: 8.7 million
Wheat: 2.4 million
Milk: 6.1 million
If we do the math, 6.1 is only a small fraction of the population. 6.1 million is only 1.8% of the population.
These are all less than 5% of the US population. You can read the stats for yourself here: https://www.foodallergy.org/resources/facts-and-statistics#:~:text=Studies%20published%20in%202018%20and,peanut%3A%206.1%20million
60% is not true
60% of humans have some negative reaction to dairy, according the The Week and their resources. But that is the world. This takes into account humans who don’t have a history of drinking milk. 90% of china has a lactose intolerance. When did they start consuming milk? Not until the 1860s, when trade with Europe began.
Native Americans are twice as likely (but nowhere near 60%) as white Americans to be diagnosed with diabetes. Europeans have been consuming bread and sugar for far longer. Now that our cultures have become very close, our diets have become similar.
Why did I share this? To show that some people do have problems dealing with certain foods. People that have been biologically predisposed to sugars handle certain foods better. Native American diets, before 1492 consumed a healthy diet of veggies, berries, fish, and wild game.
1 in 10 are allergic.
According to Lois McBean, MS, RDN, Advisor for Nutrition for the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, lactose intolerance is not as common as we think. Only 1 in 10. This tells us that many people are bent on exaggerating, or miscontextualize the stats. Milk is a staple in American diet. It provides loads of essential nutrients, and does so in a very little amount.
Milk is good. Some people have an intolerance for it, but that’s fine, I won’t penalize them.
The controversy behind health and milk is not so controvercial. Don’t over-indulge, but that goes with anything. Milk packs the most nutritional punch among all beverages. Heck, if the Amish live a healthy life off the fat of the land, are we really going to tell them to switch to a modern diet? Nope, and I won’t be switching either.