The end of June marks the closing of National Dairy Month, a marketing scheme that praises the numerous benefits of milk consumption on human health. But what if National Dairy Month promotes more harm than good in the American public? Recent studies reveal that milk is not actually all that healthy – in fact, it is proven to increase the risk of prostate cancer, bone fractures in women, severe acne and many other illnesses. The USDA recommends that every American adult consumes at least three cups of milk a day to promote bone health, but more and more scientists agree that ditching dairy may be in your best interest.
It’s no question that Americans are obsessed with dairy. The United States produced 215 billion pounds of dairy in 2017 and the Beverage Marketing Corporation reported in 2010 that the average American consumes 20.4 gallons of milk every year. However, this number is steadily declining as more Americans learn about the unwanted side effects dairy products can cause.
Recent scientific studies on dairy consumption prove that milk might be more harmful than the USDA would have us believe. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows a strong link between high dairy consumption and prostate cancer. Another study, performed by Dr. Bodo C. Melnik, connects Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone in found in milk and dairy products, to severe acne and cancer.
Furthermore, the high calcium content in milk may not have any benefits for bone health at all. A study by Harvard Medical School notes that there is no reduced risk of hip fractures in women associated with higher milk and calcium consumption, and a 2014 Swedish study finds a high correlation between high dairy consumption and increased incidents of bone fractures in women and higher mortality rates.
With all of the evidence linking dairy products to increased risk of debilitating illness, it’s easy to see that the best thing you can do for your health is to ditch dairy completely and switch to plant-based alternatives. Turns out, you won’t be alone in the switch; sales of plant-based milks have grown 54% since 2012 according to CBS News. Meanwhile, dairy production in the united states dropped 11% in 2016.
If you cannot imagine going without creamer in your coffee, cheese on your veggie burgers or a healthy cup of yogurt, don’t worry. There are so many plant-based alternatives to all of your favorite dairy products, and new ones are released frequently. At Rooterville, we LOVE cheese by Follow Your Heart, Heidi Ho, and Miyoko’s Kitchen. We encourage you to explore all of the different options on the market and see for yourself!