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MILK evil or essential?

It’s the issue dividing healthistas: those who still do traditional cow’s milk, versus those who won’t let it near their turmeric latte. So, what’s the truth about the benefits of cow’s milk? And can you match them on a plant-based diet?

When it comes to the merits of dairy milk vs plant-based types, the picture is a muddled one to say the least – with dramatic language, claims and counter-claims being employed on both sides of the debate. For the prosecution, we have the likes of Peta, who link (what they describe as inevitably pus- and antibiotic-laden) milk with a number of health concerns, from acne to cancer. For the defence, is the Dairy Council who argue that (in their view, natural, wholesome) milk has been an integral part of our diets for 11,000 years. Many leading UK nutrition scientists signed up to their The Milk Manifesto, which sets out the ‘lifelong health benefits of consuming milk’.

However, one thing that is clear is the dramatic decline in cow’s milk sales and corresponding rise in plant-based milks, or mylks. Fresh cow’s milk sales are down by £54m while the non-dairy market has grown by 155 per cent in the UK over the last two years. Sales of Alpro alone (who make a huge range of plant-based milks, from roasted almond to soya ‘growing up milk’) are up £23m.

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About Healthy Magazine

Prolong that summer health kick with our brand new #feelgood365 issue. Inside, we expose the health mistakes that even the experts make, and round up 7 simple tips to help you sleep better. You can also find a whole 25 brilliant veggie recipes – from plant based protein bowls to sharing supper. Plus! We ask: what's the real truth about dairy? Find out more in the brand new issue of Healthy.