Is Milk Healthy: The Dairy Debate You Need To Read

"Is Milk Healthy"One of the questions I am asked time and again by my Biosignature fat loss clients is ‘is milk healthy?’, or almost equally as often ‘is it okay to have dairy’?

If you’ve ever embarked on an attempt to lose body fat, or to improve your health and rid yourself of possible food intolerance, then this question has no doubt popped into your mind as well.

is milk healthy?

When it comes to consuming milk, or indeed any dairy products as most people consume them, and simultaneously wanting to be lean and healthy, I think we have a bit of a problem on our hands.

Let’s talk about some of the key points in this seemingly never-ending debate about whether dairy is good for you.

commercial milk products


The main thing you need to know is that pastuerisation of milk kills the good bacteria as well as the bad. This is not a good thing. Furthermore, this heating process also kills much if not all of the nutrition in the milk. Vitamin D and calcium, often cited by the dairy industry as important reasons to drink milk (true, in theory), are the two most obvious examples. If you’ve ever seen vitamin D or calcium enriched milk in the store, you’re looking at a food stripped of its natural nutrition and synthetically enhanced.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not such a fan of things that need to have synthetic nutrition added back in.


Homogenized cow’s milk is milk robbed of it’s natural and good fats and may upset the molecular structure of the milk protein. That’s right – animal fat in a pure organic state is healthy, and can even help with weight loss.

low fat milk products

Low-fat, skim milk, or reduced fat milk is NOT a natural food. As my colleague Maximus Mark points out in this short YouTube clip, how on earth can you absorb fat soluble nutrients such as Vitamin D if you strip milk of it’s natural fats?!

I’d add to that the fact that your digestive system is designed to recognise foods in a whole state, not foods that have been processed and stripped down.

is cows milk healthy for adults in particular?

The question of whether humans (aside from babies) should drink milk has been raised by some health experts, and also by the vegan community.

Personally I’m with Mark on this one, I just don’t buy it. I believe we are designed to enjoy foods provided by nature in their natural state. This might mean not having milk as an everyday part of your diet, but I don’t think it means never having it. Of course sheep and goat milk are both very low allergenic beverages, and many people who struggle with lactose intolerance find they can happily benefit from these alternative milk choices.

lactose intolerance: does it really exist anyway?

The short answer is yes, of course. People definitely react to lactose. The question is why is this so, especially considering that lactose intolerance has notably risen in the past 20 years or so.

The quality (or lack thereof) of most commercial milk is probably a key reason for this, but another point to consider again here is the issue of consuming foods in their natural state.

In this case, that would mean raw.

If you’ve never tried raw dairy before, well firstly you are missing out (especially when it comes to the cream, WOW!), and secondly, you’ve never actually tried REAL dairy. Raw dairy can be hard to find, but worth the effort. Try your farmers market or organic store, and ask for ‘bath milk’ or ‘body cream’.

what you really want to know: is milk healthy for your body fat?!

As I’ve implied above, my opinion is that milk and other dairy products in their natural raw (organic) state are extremely healthy for you and in fact cream and butter can even be a great addition to your weight loss diet!

When it comes to getting lean we definitely do need to make a clear distinction between milk and other common dairy products such as cream and butter. (No ice-cream with sugar added is definitely never going to be on the weight loss menu :))

The reason cream and butter can help you with weight loss is that they are pure fat. As such – when consumed raw and organic – they are actually fat burning fats and can also increase absorption of nutrients from your greens. I use butter and cream pretty much daily in my cooking – you’ll notice if you start to do the same that they help fill you up and reduce cravings.

are dairy products good for me?

As far as milk goes, if you want to get lean then even raw milk can be an issue. Milk tends to elevate your blood sugar levels quite rapidly. For this reason (as well as the previously mentioned benefits), I like to put full-fat raw organic cream in my coffee instead of milk, or if I’m out I use just a dash of milk. Add some cinnamon and you have a delicious fat-burning caffeine hit!

If you were going to have a decent serving of milk, I’d advise doing so after weight lifting when you are at your most insulin resistant. Bodybuilders have traditionally done this to help increase strength and muscle growth.

take home milky goodness points!

  • If you love milk and don’t want to eliminate it, go for raw milk and consume it ideally after training.
  • If getting lean is your focus, use raw cream and/or butter preferentially over milk
  • If you can’t access raw, organic and unhomogenised full-fat dairy products are best
  • If you find you react to milk and other dairy products then you may well be fine with raw. You could be reacting to the quality rather than the actual lactose.
  • Use butter on your veggies and even to cook your meat – the butyric acid helps you burn fat and you will absorb more nutrients from your food.

Oh – and if you want to enjoy my all-time favourite sweet treat, have a small bowl of raw cream with some berries. A-ma-zing!

18 responses to “Is Milk Healthy: The Dairy Debate You Need To Read”

  1. Kat says:

    Interesting post – just wondering, are you recommending cream over milk as it doesn’t elevate your blood sugar levels? Why would cream not elevate you blood sugar levels when milk does?

    Also, I’d be interested to know what your thoughts are on Goat’s milk as an alternative?


    • Kat says:

      Hi Kat,

      Thanks for the comment! Re goat milk, I’m very much in favour of that, again because it’s quite low allergenic. Also for variety’s sake – if you’ve grown up on dairy or consume a lot, it’s nice to give the system something else to work with.

      Goat milk is my preferred formula base for babies who can’t have breastmilk, organic of course.

      As for the cream question, no, cream doesn’t raise blood sugar at all (so long as there’s no sugar added!); it’s 100% fat and fat is the only macronutrient that has no effect on blood sugar.

      Interestingly I was talking to Maximus Mark this morning and he mentioned that when he keeps raw milk in his diet he stays leaner! We agreed that that’s unusual though 🙂 … shows that it’s all about trial and error!


  2. Peta says:

    Hi Kat
    You haven’t mentioned yoghurt. Where does it fit in?

    • Kat says:

      Hi Peta,

      Good point! Actually I kept thinking about yoghurt while I was writing and then obviously became side-tracked.

      I am very pro yoghurt so long as it is REAL yoghurt, i.e. full-fat, plain, ideally stored in glass. I’m pro fermented products in general. Most people who are lactose intolerant are fine with yoghurt, but goat or sheeps yoghurt are excellent alternatives if you’re super sensitive. Also for kids, my daughter loves goats yoghurt.


  3. Sonja says:

    hi Kat, great post! however, lactose intolerance has raised, yes, but more due to the development of new tests. Lactose intolerance (LI) has mainly the cause that it is difficult for adult mammals to tolerate milk for obvious reasons. humans are the only mammals consuming milk or dairy as adults. there are 2 kinds of LI: primary, where the enzymes for metabolizing lactose (= lactase) are not produced due to a genetic defect, and secondary, where the enzyme production progressively is declining due to less needing them because one is either cutting back on dairy or aging. thats normal when babies are not being breastfed anymore. why then put energy into the production of an enzyme the offspring will not need anymore? however, as with cows for milk production, where the need of producing milk is artificially induced in cows, the further consumption of dairy (unless baby is milkprotein allergic etc.) makes the further production of the enzyme lactase. that humans need mik for bones, calcuim, health etc. is of course only because the milk producer lobby is telling so. I like milk in my coffee too, but no other adult mammal needs milk or dairy for health. on the ter hand, you can buy lactose-free so called cat-milk, cow-milk for your adult cat pet in stores, long before the milk lobby got the idea to sell very expensive lactose-free milk to humans who cannot let go of the dairy. did you know that casein is a drug to calm down pets when they got transported? interesting, casein is classified as drug…
    the milk topic is very interesting!!
    keep up the good work!

    • Kat says:

      Thanks for the comment Sonja! I’ve read a lot of that sort of stuff before, but I’m still not fully on board with the idea that we ‘shouldn’t’ drink milk. I agree that we don’t necessarily need it but I don’t agree that we shouldn’t have it 🙂

  4. Almora says:

    Hi Kat, what are your thoughts on milk alternatives such as soy/almond milk? Thanks, Almora

    • Kat says:

      Hi Almora. I’m not a huge fan of soy. Put ‘soy’ into the search engine on this blog if you’d like to know why 🙂

      Almond milk, for sure 🙂

  5. Brenda says:

    Hi Kat,

    I agree that raw milk is best and the most tasty too. My question is about cooking. Even if you can get raw milk or other dairy products if you cook with them we are basically pasteurizing it ourselves. Even putting cream in your coffee would do that. I have given up grains and almost all sugar but didn’t want to give up the versatility of being able to use a little dairy in my cooking. (sour cream, cheese, cream, yogurt) But yet it sort of makes sense that dairy shouldn’t be cooked and consumed raw only. So I am torn about using dairy. Since I’m giving up other certain foods that I had to give up for health reasons and to loose weight……… I would like to be able to keep dairy in to give me more flavor and cooking options. My daughter has her reasons for wanting to go dairy free (Paleo), but I’m in charge of the cooking so so far she hasn’t gotten her wish. What is your opinion about cooking with raw dairy?

    Also accept for some cheese I can’t usually get raw dairy so I do use organic bought at Whole Foods market here in the states. I really don’t know if this passes either?



    • Kat says:

      Hi Brenda,

      A little organic cheese is okay; I wouldn’t be eating cheese daily anyway so don’t worry about being ‘perfect’.

      As for your other question – great point. I disagree that it’s like pastuerisation, as pastuerisation means gradually heating at increasing temperatures over at least 15 minutes; I believe it even goes up to boiling point. I guess it’s about making the smartest choices we can.

  6. Mark says:

    Good Work! I’ll just add, the Hunza Tribe drank 3 to 4 litres of milk a day! They were one of the healthiest cultures. Keep up your great work Kat!

  7. Caz says:

    Hi kat!
    Great to see an article on milk and dairy as I have been searching for more info on the issue.
    Just wondering where do u get raw milk from???
    Thanks :))

  8. Phil says:

    Hi Kat

    What’s your opinion on the effect of full fat products / saturated fats on cholesterol? My trainer has always said to go full fat also but due to my family history of high cholesterol, I have tended to stick with the ‘reduced fat’ / light options for dairy because they have less saturated fats and slightly less sugar too. I steer clear of any ‘fat free’ marketed products. (I always opt for natural/organic dairy including yoghurt and a2 milk.) Even when I stick to a mostly dairy free diet and predominantly lean red meat and chicken, cook in olive oil etc etc I can still end up with raised LDL cholesterol levels.


    • Kat says:

      The question is whether so-called high LDL levels are truly the concern that we’ve been led to believe. There is an excellent book called The Cholesterol Myth, which I recommend reading if this is an area of concern for you. Also google cholesterol con. The most important reading is actually the ratio between LDL and HDL, not total levels of LDL … remember also that there are 2 types of LDL and only 1 is considered dangerous. Even that is in question by the non-medical establishment though. As for sat fat; there is no conclusive scientific proof that it is bad for us. Every study you read ends in something like ‘the study may have been flawed as our findings indicate more weight loss/better health/whatever it is they’re studying in the higher sat fat groups!’ The issue is when you eat a lot of fat but also lots of sugars/processed carbs. That’s a recipe for disaster.

  9. Phil says:

    Thanks for the response Kat:) i just realised you do biosigs which tells me you follow poliquin’s principles…that explains why your articles are so in line with what I’ve been taught in training. Biosig really works wonders! Keep up the good work and I’ll check out that book if my trainer doesn’t already have it.

    Did not even realise there were 2 types of LDL. My Hdl levels are usually decent from good fats (around 2) but LDL shot up to about 4 this time and it’s usually low 1’s.. So I better do a bit more reading.