In nature, female mammals nourish their babies with their own milk and stop after a relatively brief period of growth. After this time, young mammals never again show any interesting milk nor do they have access to it. Humans are the only mammals who continue to consume milk into adulthood. The truth is we don’t need dairy. In addition to this, dairy is loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol which contributes to clogged arteries and heart disease. Also dairy has been cited as a significant contributing cause of the many ailments including menstrual pains, asthma, excess mucus, allergies, skin conditions, and mood swings.
Many people are allergic to dairy products or even have a mild intolerance to diary and don’t know it. Dairy products cause the body to produce more mucus which is a breeding ground for colds and causes symptoms of allergies. Personally, I used to suffer with colds and allergies every year and this was virtually non-existent when I quit eating dairy all together.
In addition, the modern methods of dairy processing are cause for concern as well. The average cow produces milk for about 300 days after giving birth. In an attempt to keep daily production levels high farmers administer a bovine growth hormone, BST. Experts say this has many adverse side effects for the cow and for humans. The use of BST has been banned in Canada and Europe but is still allowed in the US. Although, recently many companies are starting to make a commitment to their customers to stop using hormones in their products.
In order to maximize the number of days a cow can produce milk, they are kept pregnant most of their lives on both commercial and organic farms. During pregnancy female cows hormones like estrogen and progesterone are sky high and these hormones are present in their milk. There is both concern and evidence that consuming dairy is linked to high rates of breast cancer. I strongly encourage you to explore alternatives to your milk products.
Alternatives to dairy:
- Rice milk
- Almond milk / Nut cheese
- Oat milk
- Coconut milk / coconut yogurt
A common question in response to this topic – how am I going to get enough calcium if I don’t eat dairy?
Contrary to popular belief, dairy does not prevent osteoporosis or bone fracture. Numerous studies have been conducted on the countries with the highest dairy intake – US, Sweden, and Holland and these countries have the highest incidence of osteoporosis and fractures. While countries with the lowest intake such as Japan and South Africa have the lowest.
This is a really hard concept for people to grasp because doctors are constantly telling us to drink milk. It’s really unfortunate but doctors are NOT trained in nutrition. In all the years of medical school they maybe have 1 or 2 classes on nutrition. A lot of doctors go to the nutrition school that I went to (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) because they have no clue how to advise their patients when it comes to food.
These are some non-dairy foods that are high in calcium:
- Sesame seeds
- Collard greens
If you are concerned about calcium add some of these foods into your diet. Regardless of their calcium levels these foods are really nutritious and health foods to eat anyway. Sesame seeds happen to be the highest in calcium. They have 1160 mg of calcium in 100 grams of seeds where 100 grams of milk only has 291mg. Eat sesame in the form of Tahini and it’s delicious. Tahini makes a great addition to hummus and is great in sauces and dressings. Eating a diary-free diet is very healthy and delicious even though it may seem impossible at first.
If you are struggling with making a diet change whether it be dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, or anything else I am available for on-on-one phone coaching to get you through this process. Depending on location, health food store tours, cooking instruction, and in-person coaching may be available.