Is milk bad for you?

Is milk bad for you?

#MilkLife
#StopDrinkingMilk
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Cow's milk didn't become a grocery staple until 1920, when pasteurization, nutrition and mass production saw the beverage's popularity skyrocket with adults. Dairy producers say milk is rich in nutrients that help keep bones strong, build muscle mass and fight disease. But critics say mass consumption of milk in adults is unnatural and has led to upticks in obesity rates and climate change. What do you think? 🐮

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Humans couldn't even drink cow's milk until about 7,500 years ago—when Neolithic humans in Central Europe evolved enough to drink milk without getting sick. The concept of milk being a grocery staple for healthy children and adults is even shorter; commercial dairy transportation and pasteurization regulations weren't commonplace until 1917.

Now, your average American drinks 19.6 gallons of milk per year. Cow's milk is a $35 billion industry. But as Americans worry about obesity rates and carbon footprints, consumers have begun to sour on buying milk. So is milk bad for you?

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Milk has impressive marketing muscle, but that's about it. The "Got Milk?" campaign in the '90s single-handedly resuscitated flagging milk sales and conned people into believing it was some kind of miracle elixir. But there are a surprising number of negative health consequences to drinking so much milk and it's a completely unnecessary addition to a healthy adult's diet. It's also high in calories and full of hormones. Milk does more harm than good.

I know: the dairy industry has done an excellent job of equating milk with strong bones and preventing osteoporosis — but the research doesn't back it up. High cow’s milk intake is associated with increased risk for bone fractures as well as death, according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal. Among women, those who consumed three or more glasses of milk per day had a 60 percent increased risk for developing a hip fracture and a 16 percent increased risk for developing any bone fracture.
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Don't let all the naysayers fool youmilk can be a positive part of a healthy adult's diet. It's about making smart choices. And especially for men, milk has a lot of positive health benefits:

In fact, milk is one of the best muscle foods on the planet. You see, the protein in milk is about 20 percent whey and 80 percent casein. Both are high-quality proteins, but whey is known as a "fast protein" because it's quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream. That makes it a very good protein to consume after your workout.

It's important to separate the real benefits from the propaganda, but it's totally unfair to label milk as bad. 

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Yeah, but what about the environment? The carbon footprint for a drink that is completely unnecessary for a healthy adult's diet is exorbitant. It takes nearly 683 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk, and that's not factoring in the carbon costs of shipping and transporting the milk—or the environmental impact of maintaining a dairy farm of 700 cows on average. 

Just one glass of milk is quite taxing on the environment. You're better off just drinking water and taking calcium supplements.

Those numbers really take milk production out of context. Dairy farms have gone through great pains to lower the environmental impact of producing milk of the years, and have built a framework for sustainable and environmental practices with the goal of lowering the carbon footprint for dairy by 25 percent by the year 2020. The milk industry is well ahead of its own internal roadmap on reducing the carbon footprint of milk, and consumers should take pride in dairy farmers' commitment to environmental stewardship:

This commitment built on a history of continuous improvement: Today, producing a gallon of milk uses 90 percent less land and 65 percent less water, with a 63 percent smaller carbon footprint than in 1944, thanks to improvements made by dairy farmers in cow comfort, cow health and nutrition, and breeding.

Here are some perspectives from people who say milk is bad for you (even if they think it tastes great). 

Here are some perspectives from people who say ignore the hatersmilk is great!

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