Doctor explains: acne, cellulite, cancer risk – why we can say goodbye to cow’s milk
Plant drinks have become increasingly popular in recent years. Doctor Meike Diessner explains what makes the alternatives so valuable – and why we should finally turn our backs on cow’s milk.
Let’s get rid of old behavior patterns and eating habits that have become second nature to us, but are no longer up-to-date. More myths are rampant about Cleopatra’s bathtub contents – also known to most as milk – than there are milk producers grazing on fresh, green pastures these days. From this romantic illusion, which is reminiscent of Heidi and Peter, I would like to bring you, dear readers, back to the less juicy ground of facts.
About the expert
Meike Diessner is the founder of the Practice for integrative orthopedics in Bochum and specializes in conservative therapy methods. As a sports and nutritionist, the topic of healthy eating is particularly important to her. More information can be found on their website or hers Instagram-Kanal.
For the most part, happy cows are only seen in advertising and on milk cartons. We’ve mentioned it again and again, but I’ll say it again clearly here: milk, and cow’s milk in particular, is not a food that promotes our health. And by the way: Even an XXL column would not be enough to talk about the terrible conditions in factory farming.
1. The metabolism gets off track
So let’s focus on the health effects. More and more studies, for example one from Harvard University in Boston, are establishing a connection between the additional consumption of milk (products) and an increased risk of fractures. Meanwhile, at Yale University, attention has been drawn to the fact that D-galactose can be responsible for pathogenic metabolic processes.
D-galactose is a molecule that is produced by the breakdown of milk sugar (lactose) in our small intestine and can accelerate aging processes due to oxidative stress. Among other things, this can result in the unloved sagging cheeks and hailstorms (cellulite) on the buttocks and thighs. Unfortunately, my X-chromosomal comrades know what I’m writing about – we don’t love it.
And I have to add even more risks from too much cow’s milk: chronic inflammation, nerve degeneration and a weakened immune system. Have I de-romanticized you or are you still thinking about healthy milk, Heidi and her Alm-Öhi between happy cows?
2. Lactose intolerance develops
Then I have to be persistent and continue the list. We just briefly mentioned lactose: This double sugar poses further challenges for our bodies. Some people more than others. In order to digest and break down milk sugar, we need an enzyme called lactase. In infancy, our reserves are still well filled with it – after all, the body wants to grow and develop. Even then, by the way, not through cow’s milk, which has a completely different composition than human breast milk.
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Then, the older we get, the less aligned we are to “growth”. Except in breadth due to slowed down metabolic processes and because we have learned how good life can taste to us. Since our body then wants to use the energy better, it keeps reducing lactase production. Put simply, we all develop a more or less pronounced lactose intolerance. The lactose can only be broken down poorly or not at all.
3. “Acid” environment causes fart alarm and increased risk of cancer
Unfortunately, this pleases the bad intestinal bacteria, which multiply by leaps and bounds and create an “acidic” environment from the excess lactose. This new climate – another reason to avoid cow’s milk products – doesn’t make you jump for joy any more than a glass of sour milk itself does. It does, however, cause a good fart alarm. And tumor cells also like it acidic, our cancer risk increases. In addition, the development of allergies, respiratory infections and withered connective tissue (hailstorm – you know) are consequences of the sour egg. Not enough?
4. Milk protein promotes acne
In addition to the uncharming-sounding crow’s feet, let’s say our laughter lines, which frame our eyes over the course of life, dermatologists have discovered that milk drinkers are more likely to develop acne, especially skimmed milk consumers. Therefore, the researching dermatologists concluded that acne is apparently promoted more by the milk protein than by the milk fat content. And quantity matters, too: since skim milk products have fewer calories, people might be inclined to eat more of them. After all, it is “low in fat”.
Rethinking takes place
Despite all these facts, milk remains very popular thanks to antiquated PR gags such as “Milk makes you fit and strengthens your bones” with the kind support of the industry. We have already discussed in the previous column that there are many healthy and more valuable calcium hits – and so we take the butter off the bread with this argument as well.
However, knowledge of the health disadvantages that excessive consumption entails and the poor keeping conditions of the animals, which also flush environmental toxins, antibiotics and growth hormones into us in the bypass, are increasingly leading to a rethink.
More and more alternatives available
Luckily, milk alternatives are slowly but surely catching on. Of course, not everyone wants to do without “good old milk” and a sip in their morning coffee doesn’t bite the grass directly, which is actually intended for free-range cows. It’s more about noticing and questioning the overconsumption, because like table sugar, cow’s milk is also hidden in many industrial products.
As the demand for alternatives increases, so does the supply. The industry knows nothing about that. It’s been a long time since you had to go to the organic supermarket to get hold of a plant-based drink. You can find them everywhere, and what’s more: many supermarket and discounter chains have long since brought their own inexpensive house brands onto the market. The list is now so long that everyone can actually choose their favorite variety: almond, rice, oat, coconut, spelt, pea, cashew. All of this is now on the shelves and offers itself.
Check carefully: What is really in it?
If you have a favourite, I recommend almond or oat drink in particular, check the small print again with regard to the risks and side effects. There is no benefit in exchanging cow’s milk for a plant-based drink whose list of ingredients reads like a chemical cocktail. Because here, too, there are many differences that separate the chaff from the good plant-based drinking alternative. Some brands continue to rely on additives and table sugar in the recipe. For example, tricalcium and potassium phosphate should not be included. It is better to opt for a brand (ideally in organic quality) that, in addition to the plant species, was only made with (sea) salt, oil and water.
Special case soy
In the case of soy drinks, it should also be checked that no genetically modified beans have been processed. Also, soy is not safe for everyone. Breast cancer patients, for example, should refrain from excessive consumption due to the estrogen-like effect of the soy isoflavones it contains. The study situation is currently unclear.
So let’s hold on: As is so often the case, we have long had the choice of whether we want to make our lives a bit or a sip healthier. Thankfully, thanks to industry finding a new outlet, the issue of “cow’s milk alternatives” has gotten easier, while the myth of untouchable milk has died out in the pastures.