Is yogurt healthy for you? Many television commercials claim it is because of the probiotics, but that may not always be the case. According to a study by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, regular yogurt consumption does not improve overall health. A study by the European Lung Foundation suggests that eating low-fat yogurt while pregnant is linked to increased risk of childhood asthma and hay fever.
Compared to children of women who reported no intake, children of women who ate low-fat yogurt with fruit once a day were 1.6 times more likely to develop asthma by age seven, according to the ELF study. This statistic is not only shocking but incredibly scary for pregnant women.
Dairy products have been linked to health problems like acne. In an interview with Mercy For Animals, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Gene Rubinstein explained the link between acne and dairy consumption:
One theory is that the majority of milk consumed in the United States comes from pregnant cows, and that the pregnancy hormones cause increased oil production leading to acne.
While skim milk has less hormone, it’s more strongly associated with acne, explains Dr. Rubinstein. Skim milk is often sweetened to make it more palatable, eliciting an insulin increase that leads to oil production and acne. In fact, milk itself triggers an insulin response.
Dr. Rubinstein went vegan “partially because of the impressive skin effects,” noting that his patients have remarked that his skin “looks a lot better.”
The insulin-like growth factor in dairy has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, according to one study. What’s more, dairy consumption has been linked to lower sperm concentration and abnormal sperm shape and movement, excess estrogen, and even increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Higher consumption of dairy products can even lead to greater risk of Parkinson’s disease.
While the dairy industry touts milk as good for strong, healthy bones, populations that consume the most cow’s milk and other dairy products have some of the highest rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures, according to a study by musculoskeletal epidemiologist Tania Winzenberg and her colleagues.
If heightened disease risk weren’t scary enough, think about this: Animals suffer tremendously for dairy products, including yogurt. At dairy factory farms, cows are forcibly impregnated, roughly handled, and separated from their calves—male calves are torn from their mother’s side and slaughtered for veal. Cows are caught in this cycle until they become “spent” and are sent to slaughter. Watch this Mercy For Animals undercover video of dairy workers violently punching, stabbing, and beating cows.
Thankfully, there are many vegan yogurt options widely available that contain all the healthy probiotics without the health risks or animal cruelty.
Need help switching to a plant-based diet? Download our FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide here.
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