Milk is an essential part of a healthy diet for most people. It’s packed with Vitamin D and Calcium, both of which are hard to get from other foods. Which makes it a pretty important part of a balanced diet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t live without it! Even though milk is an important source of Calcium, there are plenty of other ways to get that same nutrition. There are also some potential downsides to drinking too much milk as an adult – like the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. If you’re contemplating cutting down on or cutting out milk entirely, here’s what you need to know about what happens if you don’t drink milk:
What Happens If You Don’t Drink Milk?
- If you cut out or cut down on milk as an adult, you’ll have to look elsewhere for your daily dose of Vitamin D and Calcium.
- Vitamin D is important for a healthy immune system keeps bones and muscles healthy, and reduces the risk of cancer. Because milk is a significant source of Calcium in most people’s diets, cutting it out completely can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis as you age.
- As you get older, your bones naturally become weaker. Osteoporosis is a disease that makes them even more fragile and susceptible to breaking. Getting enough Calcium helps your body rebuild bones with stronger tissue, which can help prevent osteoporosis.
- It’s important to note that the health benefits of milk are often overblown. While milk can be a good source of protein, Vitamin D, and Calcium, it isn’t the only source.
- There are plenty of other foods that contain all those nutrients, and there are plenty of other healthy ways to get them.
Where Do You Get Your Calcium?
- If you’re cutting out milk, you’ll also want to make sure you’re getting enough Calcium.
- Some other good sources of calcium include broccoli, sesame seeds, Brussels sprouts, almonds, strawberries, salmon, and many types of tofu.
- You can also take a supplement to make sure you’re meeting your daily quota.
- If you’ve already developed osteoporosis, it’s important to know that the best way to lower your risk of breaking a bone is to take medication.
- Certain types of medication can increase bone density, which can help prevent future fractures.
How To Get Enough Calcium Without Drinking Milk?
- Some people choose to cut out milk completely, while others just cut back on how much milk they drink.
- For example, if you’re used to having two glasses a day, you could drop down to one.
- As long as you’re making up for that lost Calcium elsewhere in your diet, you shouldn’t have to worry about developing osteoporosis or other health issues related to a low calcium intake.
- If you’re cutting back on milk, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough Calcium in your diet.
- Check out our list of good sources above, and try to incorporate a few of those into your daily meals.
Disadvantages Of Not Drinking Cow’s Milk
- If you’re not drinking milk, you’ll also need to make sure you’re not missing out on any nutrients that are found in it.
- For example, milk is a good source of Vitamin B12, which helps the body produce red blood cells. If you aren’t drinking milk, you’ll need to make sure you’re eating enough B12-containing foods in your diet to avoid health issues caused by a deficiency.
- If you’re allergic to milk, or you can’t drink milk for medical reasons like lactose intolerance, it’s important to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need from other foods.
Why People Don’t Drink Milk?
- There are a few reasons why people decide to cut out milk in their diet.
- They may be lactose intolerant, avoid milk for religious reasons, or choose not to drink milk due to ethical concerns related to the treatment of cows.
- If you’re lactose intolerant, drinking milk can cause stomach pain, gas, and bloating.
- You may also experience some digestive issues like diarrhea.
- If you’re allergic to milk, you’ll most likely experience some of these same symptoms.
- If you’re avoiding milk for ethical reasons, you may want to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients from other foods in your diet.
Pros Of Not Drinking Milk
1. It’s loaded with hormones and antibiotics
We’ve all heard of the hormone-fed cattle controversy that has been circulating the internet for years. If you are still unsure as to how this happens, here’s how: When you raise cattle on a farm, they are often fed with hormones and antibiotics in order to increase the rate of growth. This, in turn, makes the cattle gain weight much faster than they would naturally. When this milk is then extracted, the hormones remain in the product. This means that the milk that we consume has higher than normal levels of hormones, which may impact our bodies in untoward ways. These hormones may cause a variety of side effects, including mood swings, weight gain, acne, and even sexual dysfunction. Antibiotics are also commonly added to livestock feed, which makes their milk safe for human consumption. This, in turn, can harm your health as it can lead to antibiotic resistance.
2. It can cause digestive issues
As mentioned earlier, milk is high in lactose, which is a sugar. This makes it difficult for those who suffer from lactose intolerance to digest it properly. If you don’t process the lactose, then it will remain in your gut undigested. This, in turn, can lead to digestive issues like bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. For those who don’t suffer from lactose intolerance, milk is still a tricky drink to digest. Like any other food, it needs to be broken down by enzymes in your gut. If you consume dairy regularly, your body sees it as a challenge and starts producing extra amounts of enzymes to handle it properly. It’s amazing how our bodies are wired, right? However, if you continue consuming dairy excessively, you’ll soon find that your body can’t keep up with the demand for extra enzymes. In time, it will become fatigued and find it increasingly difficult to process dairy.
3. It may be associated with weight gain
The current research on the link between dairy and obesity is divided. While some studies show a link between the two, others don’t. However, there are reasons why milk may lead to weight gain. It contains a lot of calories and is high in saturated fats — two factors that are associated with weight gain. If you are trying to lose weight, then milk is not the best drink for you. Furthermore, milk also contains sugar, which makes it a carb-rich beverage.
4. Milk is not the best source of Vitamin D
There are many people who believe that milk is the best source of Vitamin D. But is it really? No, not at all! In fact, studies show that people who consume high amounts of dairy products may not be getting enough Vitamin D. This can be attributed to two reasons — the vitamin D added to milk and the coloring added to it. The vitamin D that is naturally present in milk is far from enough to boost your health. Plus, it’s water-soluble, which means that it’s not stored in the body for future use. On the other hand, vitamin D supplements are fat-soluble, which means that they’re stored in the liver and can be used later on.
5. It may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis
We mentioned earlier that milk is a highly nutritious beverage. This is true for both children and adults. However, the problem arises when we continue to consume this drink even after we’re able to drink other beverages. Because we consume milk at a very young age, our bodies never get a chance to grow without it. As a result, our bodies aren’t able to develop fully. If you continue to drink milk throughout your life, you may find it difficult to break away from this habit even when you’re old enough to drink other beverages. This can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis — a bone-weakening disease that is common among senior citizens.
The Cons of NOT Drinking Milk
Calcium is one of the main benefits of drinking milk. The problem is that when you drink milk, you’re actually losing calcium. Cows produce milk using calcium from their bones, which is why cows get osteoporosis. The calcium in cow’s milk isn’t enough to keep your bones strong. Dairy products are high in dietary calcium but low in other nutrients like Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, Magnesium, Zinc, and Iron needed to absorb calcium. Depending on your lifestyle and genetics, you may not be absorbing enough calcium from drinking milk. As you age, your body’s ability to produce Vitamin D naturally slows down and decreases your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
May Lead to Osteoporosis
Although there are other ways to get calcium, the combination of dietary calcium and Vitamin D is most effective. Milk is fortified with Vitamin D, but the calcium content is higher than the recommended daily intake. On the other hand, there are many plant-based foods that are high in calcium and low in dietary calcium. The calcium in these foods is easier to absorb than the calcium in milk.
Negative Effects on Gut Health
When you drink milk, your gut bacteria try to break down the lactose into glucose and galactose. As a result, they create hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide as byproducts. Lactose intolerance is a genetic condition where the body can’t break down the carbohydrate lactose. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues like nausea, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea. If you keep drinking milk, your gut bacteria will keep producing these noxious gases that can be harmful to your health. In fact, one study suggests that drinking milk leads to more intestinal gas than eating beans. If you’re experiencing intestinal issues, try cutting down on the amount of dairy you consume and see if it helps.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t drink milk, or you want to reduce the amount you drink, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough Calcium in your diet. Some people who replace milk in their diet may need to take a supplement to meet their daily Calcium goals. If you want to replace milk in your diet, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough protein, Vitamin D, and Calcium from other foods.