What kind of milk to drink?

Most people drink cow milk. I think this is alright if it comes from a happy, healthy cow (or goat for that matter) somewhere in your neighbourhood/from a small scale local farmer. However, most people drink milk that has been mass produced. Many studies claim that this milk is rich in factors that are not beneficial to humans. Once I started researching how the animals get treated during the milk-making process, there were more than enough reasons to start avoiding mass-produced non-organic cow milk. Especially the growth factors (such as insulin-like growth factor, IGF) cause problems and have been reported to cause cancer in the animals, as well as in humans drinking the milk of treated animals. However, this effect might take decades to show. Acne in humans, on the other hand, can develop within days of consuming non-organic dairy and can just as easily quiet down just a few weeks after eliminating dairy from ones diet.  If you suffer from acne, it is probably a really good idea to stop drinking mass produced milk as well as stop consuming other non-organic dairy products.

Milk is most known for being a good source of calcium. Young children and post-menopauzal women are informed through marketing campaigns that milk is important for their bones. However, Harvard studies show that there is no positive correlation between calcium intake and prevention of osteoporosis. In fact, because it remains unclear whether dairy products contribute to development of ovarian and prostate cancer, Harvard scientists recommend no more than one glass of mass produced cow milk per day.

As for soy milk, I used to buy it and love it when I thought it was the healthy alternative. Now, I am seriously doubting soy milk as well. It seems that processed soy in soy milk is not a healthy variant of soy. In fact, the extra vitamins added to soy products are not actually ‘extra’ – they are there because processed soy by itself costs our body those vitamins, so in order not to become deficient in these vitamins the manufacturer adds artificial vitamins to the milk to compensate. To all you soy lovers out there: read this article and decide for yourself: 3 Health Foods to Avoid.

A good alternative to mass produced cow milk and soy milk is almond milk, preferably unsweetened. It has a specific flavour that might take some getting used it, especially if you are used to drinking cow milk. However, my blog is full of satisfying recipes that do not require any milk at all and I believe – if you really want a healthier body – skipping dairy and soy milk can really help get you there. It might cost some effort, but you can do it!


Something to think about (image from the Internet, could not retrieve original source):


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About ana's bananas

Food should be healthy, pure and delicious. I am a medical student and I am here to turn your kitchen into a tastebuds heaven - with awesome benefits for your health!


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  2. Mike

    Hi Ana,
    Great blog. I’ve switched from cow milk to soy milk 5 months ago, but I’ll have to switch again it seems :)
    Do you have any suggestions for a soy milk substitute for people who have a nut allergy? I take it that almond milk is not so good for them either ..

  3. Ha Mike! What an excellent question! I’ll make sure to update about this above soon!

    So, another popular alternative is rice milk. I would advise you to look for rice milk made from brown rice and preferably unsweetened. White rice causes quite high blood sugar level peaks and even brown rice is quite starchy (sweet) already.

    Pff… but it’s still a tough question. Even rice milk is rich with (bad) pro-inflammatory agents. Also, I don’t like how they add a bunch of additives to rice milk like it’s nothing. So, I would recommend trying to limit milk altogether, although I know that is pretty tough. Maybe give in to a glass of organic cow milk or brown rice milk, or a bowl of organic greek yoghurt, when you really have to … or if you have to have your cereals in the morning, you could try the oatmeal recipe with boiling water (and of course other ingredients to make it more yummie).

    I’m curious btw, what persuaded you to make the switch away from cow milk?

  4. jmdw

    I’m okay with switching to almond milk, it’s just my girlfriend who has the allergy and who wasn’t all too happy about soy milk already (something about the levels of oestrogens in soy upsetting hormone balances with women). Have to keep exploring for other liquids to mix with the oatmeal in the morning.

    I’ve been been interested in health and food for quite some time now, made some slight changes to my diet over time, watched some interesting talks (i.e. William Li at TED: Can we eat to starve cancer?) and heard some disturbing things about cow milk, but it was not until reading ‘De voedselzandloper’ by Kris Verburgh at the start of this year that, I changed the way I eat pretty radially. Particularity because the graphic presentation of his model and the recipes in his book make it really tangible and easy to change what you eat. Just like your blog! And I do know Verburgh is wrong on some things (e.g. soy milk and agave nectar) but most of it sounds as pretty solid advise to me.

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  6. Mike,
    Here’s a link for you to an organic farm that you can easily get to for freshly milked organic cow or goat milk if you are still interested! It’s 1,50 euro for a liter, and the goats are looking happy!


  7. jmdw

    Hi Ana, Thanks. Funny you should mention that. I grew up and still live near by Het Geertje and I visit one in a while. With my new way of eating, I hadn’t connected the dots though. Thanks.

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