I don’t often go all negative or black and white.
I don’t consider myself someone who says things just to shock or be evangelical on my own beliefs.
However, when it comes to dairy, I consider it my duty to let you know about some pretty shocking schemes that have led you to believe that milk is not only necessary for good health, but also helps you lose weight.
Before I go all ‘conspiracy theory’, let me first tell you why, despite some suspicious research and misleading ads, cow’s milk really doesn’t do a body good.
Dairy is breast milk for calves. It is the perfect food, for baby cows.
Just like human breast milk is perfect for human babies.
If that sounds shocking to you, it’s because very few people are willing to tell the truth about dairy. In fact, criticizing milk in a country with a large and powerful agricultural industry is like taking on talking about aliens, the spherical nature of the world or overcoming Parliament like Guy Fawkes.
But that’s just what I’m about to do.
Based on the research and my experience working with my clients, I typically advise most of my goddesses to avoid dairy products completely. I like cheese just as much as the next lady, but as a scientist and nutritional advisor I have to look honestly at what we know.
Mark Hyman, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of UltraMetabolism and The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days, discusses the many reasons to avoid dairy, both for health and for weight loss.
He goes on to note the power and influence of the dairy industry lobby whether that is in the UK or US and the impact it has on food guidelines, which recommend consuming dairy as a part of a healthy diet. Dr. Walter Willett, head of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, a critic of USDA food guidelines calls the Food Pyramid (recently replaced by “My Plate”) “udderly ridiculous.”
As for dairy, he outlines some reasons to avoid it. Importantly, approximately 75 percent of people are lactose intolerant, meaning they do not have the enzymes to digest dairy properly.
Rather than reducing fractures — as we have so often been told — according to data from the Nurses’ Health Study, dairy there may be a 50 percent increased risk of fractures.
Counter to claims about dairy being good for bones, those parts of the world with the lowest rates of osteoporosis — such as Asia and Africa — also consume the least amount of dairy.
According to research, a higher intake of dairy products — as well as calcium — is linked to a higher cancer risk, prostate cancer in particular. Consuming dairy causes a rise in the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), also linked to a higher cancer risk.
You can read a full transcript of the video above at Dr. Hyman’s blog: Why Dairy Products Are Not Health Foods.
Contrary to all the pervasive messages we receive, dairy is not a healthy food for consumption, let alone weight loss, as food allergies of all kind can cause weight gain or make weight loss more difficult. I know from personal experience; when I quit eating dairy several years ago not only did my IBS clear up permanently — I’d been plagued with it since I was in my late teens — but I also lost five pounds without even trying.
For an extensive, well-researched expose of both the dairy industry and the health risks of dairy products check out the book by Joseph Keon Ph.D., Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth about Cow’s Milk and Your Health. You can also find numerous articles on the dairy industry, health consequences of consuming dairy and an overall wealth of information at NotMilk.com.
As Yuri Elkaim discussed in his other book, The All-Day Energy Diet, the main issue with dairy is that it’s the most acid forming of all foods.
Considering that too much acid in our bodies— a condition known as metabolic acidosis— has been shown, like inflammation, to be at the root of many health problems we now face, it’s a smart idea to minimize your intake of such foods. What’s the problem with too much acid, and how does it make losing weight more difficult, you ask?
When you eat any food, it is eventually metabolized by your kidneys, where it leaves either an acid or alkaline “ash.”
With continued consumption of acid-forming foods (dairy, grains, sugar, lots of animal products), we develop low-level acidosis, which must be buffered at the expense of alkaline reserves like bicarbonate and calcium. Instead of allowing excess acid to ruin your delicate blood vessels and organs, your body looks to store this acid to prevent further damage.
And guess where it goes? That’s right— into your fat cells.
Foods that contain more protein and phosphorus and fewer alkaline minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium are more acid forming, while those that have the opposite makeup are alkaline forming.
Dairy products (especially cheese) are the most acid forming of all foods.
This is due to the large amount of protein and phosphorus they contain. Even though dairy also contains a substantial amount of calcium, its phosphorus impairs calcium absorption and utilization in the body.
When you look at bigger, unbiased studies, dairy’s true colors are revealed.
Take, for instance, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which included more than 77,000 women. It found that women who drank three or more glasses of milk a day had no reduced risk of hip or arm fractures during a 12-year follow-up period when compared with women who drank little or no milk.
What’s interesting is that our Paleolithic ancestors didn’t drink milk, and yet osteoporosis was almost nonexistent in their time. Instead, they got plenty of natural sunlight, regular weight-bearing exercise, and lots of whole foods— the perfect recipe for strong bones. Yet, today, we continue to be misled by big-money lobby groups who want us to believe that milk is required for good bone health.
And besides, Kale contains more calcium than milk per 100g– FACT!
Kale has 133 percent of a person’s daily vitamin A requirement — more than any other leafy green, according to 50 Shades Of Kale.
Kale vs. milk — worth noting that kale has 150 mg of calcium per 100 grams, while milk has 125 mg
Why Ditching Dairy is Important for Your Hormones:
Cows are pregnant nearly 300 days of the year and Harvard Health sharesthat the more times a cow has been pregnant during that year, the more hormones she produces through her milk every time.
Cows were not made to stay pregnant 300 days of the year and they develop infections due to this high demand for production, not to mention may be subject to further disease and bacteria when antibiotics aren’t used (such as in organic farming practices).
So, what about a cow’s hormones so detrimental to our own health?
Here are some things to consider:
- Insulin Issues
One of the primary reasons dairy is linked to acne is that it raises insulin in the body. All dairy contains IG1, or insulin-growth factor. It raises our levels of insulin, which causes blood sugar swings that lead to acne. Acne is strongly influenced by hormonal changes, which is one reason so many teenagers struggle during puberty. Why would we put ourselves through that anymore than necessary? No matter what kind of dairy you choose, you’re taking in excess insulin growth like factor. Sadly, it’s promoted as a healthy option for body builders looking to bulk up, but over time, it’s not a healthy choice and will likely cause insulin problems that lead to overeating, sugar cravings, and poor blood sugar control.
- Mood Swings
Dairy also contains hormones that can lead to mood swings. Estrogen and testosterone are our sex hormones, and when they get out of balance according to our bodies’ needs, we suffer mood swings as a result. Dairy milk promotes excess estrogen in the body due to it containing estrogen from female cows. At the same time, milk naturally contains androgenic properties, so it raises testosterone in the body and can cause bulking quickly. It’s absolutely chock-full of all these hormones we don’t need scurrying throughout bodies. Think about it this way: the dairy you consume contains hormones from the female cow and the male cow that were used during impregnation. That doesn’t sound so healthy or appetizing, now, does it?
Dairy milk accounts for about 80 percent of estrogen consumed through the human diet, along with the fact that milk from pregnant cows (which is how all milk products are produced) contains about 33 times as much estrogen as milk from non-pregnant cows.
Mood swings inarguably happen due to swift hormone fluctuations.
The jury is in: milk causes cancer in any form, organic or not. Check this out: Harvard Health studies show that dairy milk and cheese products led to testicular cancer in men ages 20-39 and has been found to affect breast, colon, and prostate cancer heavily as well.
And then there’s the casein protein found in milk that has also been linked to cancer. Even without hormones or even lactose, casein is a detrimental protein to our health and should be avoided however possible.
Here are 10 tips for going DAIRY FREE:
- Start with your Milk– Oat Milk is the closest to Cow’ Milk and tastes awesome in tea and coffee. All major coffee shops now do Soy, Almond and Oat milk alternatives.
- Start with alternating Cow’s Milk Cheese with Goat’s & Sheep’s cheese
- Then you can begin to replace all soft & hard cheese with Cottage Cheese (the only cheese that debunks the inflammation equation)
- Replace ALL dairy cheese with smashed avocado, hummus, nut butters and nutritional yeast flakes.
- Replace butter with a Non Dairy Alternative– we love Flora’s Vegan Butter and Pure and use nut butters or smashed banana.
- Replace your bread products– look out for one without milk- better still STOP EATING BREAD!
- Don’t consume normal crisps as they all contain milk. Switch to Pom Bears, McCoys or Tesco’s own brand Salt & Vinegar.
- Oatly is an amazing brand that does Oat Creme Fraiche and Oat Milk Custard! You will love it!
- You can still enjoy chocolate check out this Vegan Chocolate on the High Street Guide, Chocolate, these awesome Coconut Collaborative Salted Caramel Choc Pots & Sweet Freedom Choc Spread.