Milk is for babies? A review of the nutritional information

cows milk glass bottle
"Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Milk was the first food every one of us enjoyed in our lives. It was always custom-made and fresh. It had the perfect temperature and the nutritional content was tailored to our needs. It was served immediately upon request and sometimes came with a soothing rocking chair motion. When there was milk, there was mom or dad – the first people in our life we build a relationship with. The white liquid didn’t come with a lot of questions back then like “Do you want 2%, skim or raw milk?” And it was cheap. It didn’t cost our parents a thing. So I guess it is legitimate to say that milk carries much more for us than its nutritional value. It carries soothing emotions and warm memories. So no surprise that the opening phrase on is the following phrase which conveys these emotions “Let us sooth you to sleep” and then the nostalgic milkglass bottle turns off the light.

Human milk is not cow’s milk.

Now, let’s put all fuzzy emotions and memories aside. Comparing the nutrients of human milk (HM) with cow’s milk (CM) is like comparing a Porsche with a Jetta. Milk is not milk. HM is handcrafted for babies; CM is handcrafted for developing calves. The question is, does it matter?

  • Protein and Calcium
    CM has three times more protein (4 g per 100 g) and almost four times more calcium (118 mg per 100g) than HM. Protein and calcium are great nutrients to build stuff in the body. Do more protein and calcium translate into growing faster? Patrick Holford (British Author and Nutritionist) says that CM makes things grow – including cancer cells. Furthermore studies show that drinking calcium rich CM does not necessarily translate into strong bones. Osteoporosis rates are higher in countries that drink the white liquid than in countries where its is not a stable food.
  • Phosphorus
    CM has a less preferable calcium-phosphorus ratio than HM. Too much phosphorus can prevent the absorption of calcium and therefore can contribute to weak bones.
  • Carbohydrate
    HM has almost double the carbohydrate (9 g per 100 g) found in CM. Lower levels of carbohydrates in CM might be responsible for sweet cravings when the milk hits our taste buds because we have the feeling that something is missing. Does anyone have Oreo’s or honey with the milk?
  • Sodium
    HM is lower in sodium. It contains 16 milligram per 100 grams, CM has 50 milligrams. Too much sodium in foods we eat can increase the calcium loss through the kidneys. But since cow’s milk has too much calcium anyway, this might counterbalance it nicely?
  • Fat
    Fat is the only nutrient with similar values in both kinds of milk. So who told us to go for the low fat milk?

Confused? You grew up on CM and still alive. So it can’t be that bad? My perspective is that: The more I learn about my body the more I’m convinced that (besides some minor engineering faults like putting the wind pipe and the esophagus so close to each other) our body is an amazing and super complex machine. Every nutrient that doesn’t match the human metabolism needs to be eliminated, which in turn means extra work for the body. In addition to that milk quality has changed quite a bit. Todays milk is highly processed, homogenized and standardized and has not much in common with the old fashioned raw milk besides its colour.

Milk might promote the formation of mucus, which is a breeding ground for infections.

According to Chinese medicine unused matter is turned into mucus and mucus is a great playground for bacteria. Oh and I had mucus. My sinuses and throat were mucus-forming plants, which was reason enough for me to launch a new experiment: Eliminating cow’s milk from my diet. It was a success for me. The mucus is gone and I haven’t suffered from my bi-annual severe sinus infection since. Some people report when they removed cow’s milk from their diet they found improvements with asthma, allergies, pimples, acne, energy levels and ear infections.

So it is for you to discover, what removing cow’s milk from your diet will do for you. If you can’t decide quite yet, wait for these topics to dealt with in a future blog post or buy a goat. Although goat’s milk nutritional content is close to cow’s milk it appears to cause fewer reactions.

  • “Milk is milk and it’s all produced the same way – by cows.”
    Why this claim doesn’t hold the full truth. Cows for instant can’t make skim milk. The important distinctions between conventional and raw milk and how it affects your health.
  • Why horses and rhinos maintain healthy strong bones without worrying about the milk deliveryman. They don’t need to get their calcium from cow’s milk.
  • Why lactose intolerance might actually not be a disease but a normal process.
  • Healthy alternatives to cows milk.
  • What about cheese, yogurt, kefir and buttermilk?

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Milk is for babies? A review of the nutritional information by
Tanja Knapp
About the Author
Tanja Knapp

Tanja Knapp is an Explorer, Adventurer and Happiness Hunter currently camping in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Her roots are in Germany where she grew up on a remote farm. A colony of abnormal cells in her cervix taught her the lesson that would change her life forever. Life doesn't get better by chance, it get better by change. She truly believes in creating happiness & health through constant adapting, growing and evolving. Her super power is curiosity. With her blog she likes to inspire others to explore uncharted territory.

If she is not busy writing, running, swimming or cycling, she is expanding her knowledge, exploring the World, and taking on new challenges.

She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and graduated with an Honors diploma in Holistic Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2013. She obtained a Hospitality certification in 1998 and a Marketing Communications diploma in 2004. She has worked both in Europe and North America.

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