1. REAL MILK IS ESSENTIAL FOR GOOD HEALTH.   There are so many choices of “milk” in the stores today that you need to know how to select the right milk for you.  There are plant-based milks such as soy, rice, oat and almond and there are animal-based milks from cows, goats and sheep.   First of all, plant-based so-called “milk” is not really milk.  An accurate name would be “plant-based almond drink”.   Dictionaries define milk as a liquid secreted from the mammary glands of female mammals to nourish their young that is also a source of food for humans. In selecting food in today’s world we need to be aware of marketing science and knowledge-based science to make healthy choices.  Let’s look at the ingredients in a plant-based milk such as almond milk and compare them to the ingredients listed in one percent organic cows milk:

Almond milk has filtered water, almonds, calcium carbonate, tapioca maltodextrin, sea salt, potassium citrate, carrageenan, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, vitamin A palmitate, vitamins D2 and d-alpha tocopherol (natural vitamin E).

One percent milk has organic low fat milk, vitamin A palmitate and Vitamin D3.            

What is troubling about the long list of ingredients in the almond milk? The source of protein (almonds) is not high quality protein (it lacks some essential amino acids). Cow's milk has casein and whey proteins that are made up of all the essential amino acids that humans need.  Casein and whey are high quality, easily absorbed proteins.  Whey is another protein and the solid part contains the cheese.   The Contra Diet recommends fresh cheese like ricotta and aged cheeses made with animal rennet like Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan), Manchego and cheddar.

The carbohydrate in the almond milk is a maltodextrin, which is a sugar substitute extracted from starchy foods.  A study by Laudisi et al1 shows that maltodextrin promotes inflammation of the intestine.  On the other hand, the sugar in milk (lactose) is also a sweetener but more importantly it enhances the absorption of calcium, which is vitally important for your health.  You may be attracted to the plant milks because they are sweet and flavored. If you want to change the taste of milk you could try adding vanilla and coffee and/or if you want a sweetener, you could add honey or sugar..  Check out our Milk Recipe ..


The fat from almonds is 15% polyunsaturated unstable fat that can oxidize and produce free radicals causing damage to cells and enzymes.  Milk contains predominantly saturated and monounsaturated fats (which are stable fats) with a small amount (3%) of polyunsaturated fat.  The stable fats in milk are much better for you, and your body lets you know that because your hunger and food cravings are satisfied.

The  additives (lecithin and carrageenan), and natural flavorings (we are not told what they are) can all be detrimental to your health.  Cow's milk contains beneficial minerals and vitamins like calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamins A,B,D and K plus iodine and sodium in forms that are easy to digest and assimilate.  Cows milk does not need extra additives to trick your taste buds.


For one thing, we are confronted with an onslaught of marketed drinks ranging from fancy fruit juices to huge varieties of sodas and flavored waters, to plant-based “milks”.  And don’t forget the staggering variety of coffee drinks at the local coffee shop!  Many of us love to meet up for coffee and conversation with friends, colleagues,and family. When you are enjoying a coffee klatch, consider ordering a latte containing just coffee with cream and sugar.  Keep it simple and chemical free.  Many commercial drinks are cleverly marketed and are cheaper and easier to produce than those made with fresh milk. They have a long shelf life and high profit margin.  Milk, on the other hand, is labor intensive because it is produced by an animal on a farm and milk also has a shorter shelf life.        

For years milk was the main drink of children and a popular drink for adults as well. Milk was served at every meal and snack.  In the 1930s First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt greeted children at the White House with the question, “ Have you had your milk today?”  In the 1940s people drank milk 3,4 or 5 times a day.  An evening meal could be bread or crackers soaked in milk.  Up and into the 1950s children in school had milk for their morning and afternoon snacks as well. In the recent past adults have come to believe that they have outgrown their need for milk.  Now we have come to think “Milk is for kids!”  Marketing is a powerful tool.

People are deterred from drinking milk from fear of the following:  

1. that they are allergic or lactose intolerant 

2. that milk will produce excess mucus  

3. that milk will raise cholesterol levels

Let us address these fears.  Allergic  reactions are often caused by the natural bacteria in milk, which is why we recommend drinking ultra-pasteurized milk (most brands are) that kills those bacteria and aids in eliminating bloating and gas symptoms.

Lactose intolerance may be solved by starting with lactose free milk and gradually introducing small amounts of 1% organic milk.

Your body will slowly adapt by starting to make the lactase digestive enzymes that you may not have and that are required to digest milk. 

Mucus forming can happen when milk starts healing the digestive system. This healing can change the peristaltic rhythm which in turn can alter the bacteria that can create mucus.  This can happen as your body adjusts.  Your body adapts within a period of several days to a couple of weeks most of the time.

We recommend starting with 1% milk because it is low in fat which minimizes weight gain and cholesterol. Additionally, it  allows you to consume more milk daily.  


-Contains carbs, protein and fat that can stabilize up and down energy fluctuations

-Provides EASILY ABSORBABLE CALCIUM that can keep bones strong and dense

-Since protein is an essential part of a good diet, milk and other dairy products are the only protein sources that contain high levels of calcium

-Keeps you feeling SATISFIED so you won’t overeat.   You won’t find yourself eating empty calories to satisfy cravings.    

-May normalize blood pressure and stabilize irregular heart beat

-Can promote relaxation and better sleep

-May soften skin and hair

-Can aid in healing the digestive tract

-Besides CALCIUM, it supplies other essential minerals and vitamins as listed above

People who start drinking milk and making it a regular part of their diet begin to feel so good that they cannot imagine their diet without it.  It becomes the major food in their diet.  Milk drinkers find there is no substitute because it is so satisfying.  It meets all your nutritional needs (with the exception of iron). 

Cows, sheep and goats are herbivores with their natural diet consisting of grass and other plants.  These animals are scientifically classified as “ruminants” which means their digestive systems have a specific design that creates the magic elixir, milk, by thoroughly digesting and assimilating nutrients from plants. The nutrients produced in the cow's rumen are selectively absorbed into the cow's bloodstream, where the liver can further filter out any toxins before the amino acids and other nutrients are absorbed by the udder to be synthesized into milk(*).  Thus, when you drink their milk you are drinking a rich liquid source of refined greens.  You can eat greens until the cows come home (haha!) but the fact is we are not designed to digest and  assimilate greens the way ruminant animals can plus you would need to eat a huge quantity of greens to get the equivalent nutritional value that you can get by drinking milk.  


If you do not presently drink milk, here is how you might proceed:  

We recommend that you buy 1% organic ultra pasteurized milk.  Check that it contains 12g carbohydrate, 8g protein and 2.5g fat in an 8 oz glass.

Since we recommend a lot of milk, we recommend 1% fat because full fat milk may have too many calories for many adults and could cause bloating and weight gain.  If you are allergic, be sure to buy ultra pasteurized (most brands are) which kills all bacteria.  If you are lactose intolerant, start with lactose free milk and gradually introduce 1% organic milk.  Your body will slowly adapt by starting to make the lactase digestive enzymes that you may not have and that are required to digest milk.   

Consider three different levels to begin the process:

Gradual start: Drink ½  glass (4 oz) with each meal.

Medium start:  Drink an 8 oz glass with each meal.

Dive in: Drink an 8 oz glass with each meal and add an 8 oz glass as a snack twice a day (like a smoothie).

An 8 oz glass of milk contains 300 mg of calcium.  Gradually work up to Ray Peat’s guidelines of 2000 mg of calcium daily which is six cups of milk (8 oz each).  You can also eat other calcium sources like cheese and well-cooked greens.  Beware of calcium supplements because they may be difficult to digest and absorb.  Milk contains lactose which helps your body absorb the calcium it needs lots of, especially as your body ages.  Milk also has the wonderful bonus of requiring little preparation time.

(*) http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/milk.shtml