Many of us who grew up in North America were raised on milk and dairy products. We were lead to believe that dairy was not only important but NECESSARY for bone health. Dairy is one of the 4 food groups in the Canadian food guide and it is recommended to have 2 cups a day.
But over the last few years many questions have been raised over the benefits of dairy. Many individuals report gastrointestinal upset due to the lactose in milk and others seem to be unable to tolerate casein, another protein found in milk. Although dairy does have a few benefits, I personally feel the risks (or side effects) outweigh the benefits for dairy consumption. Not only does my food sensitivity test reveal that I develop an inflammatory response in my body when I eat dairy, some of the recent research presents some pretty compelling reasons to put down the cows milk.
Here are the other reasons I have chosen to stop consuming diary:
- MILK MAY INCREASE BONE FRACTURE RISK: In 2013, 2 researchers from Harvard, Dr. David Ludwig and Water willet published an article raising even more questions about milk: they suggest it does not help bones become stronger and may be linked with cancer . In the late 90’s the Nurses Health study followed over 75,000 woman for over 12 years and found no protective effect of increased milk consumption on bones. In fact, it may even increase fracture risk.
- DAIRY CONSUMPTION HAS BEEN LINKED TO CANCER: dairy consumption may also be linked to ovarian cancer and breast cancer !
- DAIRY MAY INCREASE ACNE AND OTHER INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS: Additional concerns have been outlined in research pertaining to dairy promoting acne, allergies and inflammation in some individuals. Many woman notice less PMS symptoms and/or less cramping with the removal of dairy from their diet. I have seen numerous cases of hard to treat acne significantly improve by just removing dairy from the body!
- WE CAN OBTAIN ENOUGH CALCIUM THROUGH VEGGIES, NUTS AND SEEDS: The recommended daily calcium intake for woman aged 9-18 years of age is 1300mg per day and for woman aged 19-50 it is 1000mg per day. 1 cup of milk is around 300mg, however research has shown that calcium absorption from vegetables (kale) is greater than from milk. Listed Below are some great sources of calcium.
Sesame Seeds – A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 351 mg calcium.
Spinach – A cup of boiled spinach has 245 mg.
Collard Greens – A cup of boiled collard greens has 266 mg.
Blackstrap Molasses – One tablespoon has about 137 mg.
Kelp – One cup of raw kelp has 136 mg.
Tahini – Two tablespoons of raw tahini (sesame seed butter) have 126 mg.
Broccoli – Two cups of boiled broccoli have 124 mg.
- DAIRY MAY AGGRAVATE OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS: such as irritable bowel syndrome, ear infections and chronic constipation.
Except for the odd piece of cheese, I have cut dairy out of my diet completely for the past few years. There are so many great alternatives available- almond milk, hemp milk, gmo organic soy milk, rice milk etc! Goat’s milk is also a good alternative for some, however individuals who have a really hard time digesting cow’s milk also may have trouble with goats.
Have more questions about diet? Or are you looking for more ways to increase your health? Book an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor!
Yours in Vitality,
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