Wow, summer is flying by, and it’s busy! I have been doing more of this:
and have not been getting much work done! I wanted to share some information about why dairy isn’t the best choice for your health.
We have grown up with the “got milk?” campaign and have been told that dairy is very important for calcium in our diets, but actually, there are far better sources of calcium.
Dairy comes from cow’s milk and would be the perfect food for a calf (Mark Hyman), just as breast milk is the perfect food for our babies. The truth is, the dairy industry is a huge money making industry in our country, and has brainwashed us to think that we need dairy for nutrients, but that is far from true.
Hormones (specifically rBGH) are injected into cows frequently to increase their milk production. rBGH is a natural hormone that cows produce anyway, but by giving them more of this hormone, their milk production increases. The high levels of this hormone cause problems for the cows that then affect consumers. The risk of mastitis increases – an infection that increases the amount of cow’s pus that ends up in the milk. Not only this, but cows are treated with antibiotics which also ends up in the milk. This also has to be painful for the cows 🙁
Dairy has been known to cause menstrual pains, asthma, brain fog, mucus, allergies, and mood swings among other reactions (Rosenthal, Integrative Nutrition).
Marketed for being good for our bones, dairy does not decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption also have the lowest rates of osteoporosis. Vitamin D has been shown to be more important in preventing fractures than calcium. (Hyman)
Calcium may increase cancer risk, especially prostate cancer. Dairy consumption increases the body’s level of Insulin Like Growth Factor, a known cancer promoter. (Hyman). IGF-1 is a naturally occuring hormone found in both cow’s milk and breast milk. It responsible for the quick growth of newborn babies, both humans and calves. When cow’s milk is consumed by humans, it behaves as a cancer-accelerator making dairy associated with breast, prostate and colon cancers. (Mike Ewall). IGF-1 also promotes cell division. When cell division becomes uncontrolled, it causes cancer.
In addition to cancer, dairy is full of saturated fat and linked to heart disease.
Once babies have been weaned, they stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk, which is why about 75 percent of the world’s population cannot properly digest dairy products. (Hyman)
Dairy is not an easy thing to ditch! Cheese is well loved, as is butter – and well served as well. Start slowly and try alternatives such as cheese made with almonds, and using coconut, olive or avocado oil in place of butter. Small changes for new habits.
What are other sources of calcium?
Good choices of plant-based sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables, broccoli, almonds, black beans, and blackstrap molasses. Calcium fortified foods such as almond milk also provide calcium. Oxalates are compounds found in some leafy green vegetables and they can inhibit calcium absorption. Beet greens, Swiss chard, rhubarb, and spinach are high in calcium but also in oxalates. Try to choice other leafy greens such as collard, kale or mustard greens. Additionally, for bone health, a vitamin D supplement can be taken. (Virginia Messina, MPH, RD)
Do you eat dairy? Do you notice a reaction when you eat dairy? What is it?