I stopped consuming cow’s milk 10 months ago. And I want to share with you why I decided to do so and give you 10 reasons why you should consider doing the same.
There was an important topic that stands out in my nutrition studies; it was about examining the dietary effects of various diseases and health conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, flu, allergies, heart disease and diabetes. I have learned a lot about those conditions and their causes, not just about their symptoms. The thing that surprised me most was that from a dietary perspective there was one food which was on the NO GO list in all of the above mentioned health conditions. You guessed it – that food was dairy.
I wanted to know more. I could not stop thinking that if dairy had to be avoided when one is sick it should probably also be avoided when one is healthy.
Then I read the China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and this gave me all the answers I needed and more. It made me change my mind about dairy for good. If you are interested in knowing more I recommend you read his book.
In summary, here is a list of the top 10 reasons why you should give up dairy today.
10. Hormones, saturated fat and cholesterol
Milk (and all other animal products) contains cholesterol. Dairy products are full of saturated fats and are linked to heart disease. Milk contains contaminants that range from hormones to pesticides.
Milk naturally contains hormones and growth factors produced within a cow’s body. In addition, synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone are commonly used in cows to increase the production of milk.Once introduced into the human body, these hormones may affect normal hormonal function.
9. Dairy consumption leads to weight gain
Dairy products leave an acidic residue in the body and are a major contributor to dietary acidosis. This can lead to weight gain because an acidic body holds on to fat to protect the vital organs from excess toxins (have a look at my article on alkaline acidic balance for more information). You might think that skimmed milk is a better option, but according to a study conducted by Harvard professor David Ludwig, MD, the sugar contained in skimmed milk may make you fatter than whole milk.
8. There are better sources of calcium
Dietary acidosis leads to a net loss of calcium in the body. There are better sources to get your calcium from , such as dark leafy greens, beans, nuts and broccoli. Kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk.
7. Dairy does not = healthy bones
While it is true that milk is high in calcium, we somehow forget to mention how that calcium is absorbed by the body. If we eat food high in animal protein we create an acidic environment in our body. Calcium (an alkaline mineral) is then released to neutralize the acidity. The problem with dairy is that it is high in both – protein and calcium, and it creates an acidic residue in the body, which means that much of that calcium contained in the milk does not actually get absorbed.
Regarding osteoporosis, research shows that countries with higher dairy consumption have a higher rate of osteoporosis. A Harvard Nurses’ Study of more than 77,000 women ages 34 to 59 found that those who consumed two or more glasses of milk per day had higher risks of broken hips and arms than those who drank one glass or less per day.
6. Constipation and digestion problems
Dairy can constipate children. And too much dairy can constipate adults as well. Milk has no fiber and the majority of people can’t digest lactose – the natural sugar in dairy product. Digesting dairy becomes even harder when it is combined with other foods. Foods loaded with cheese are not part of a healthy and balanced diet. And I am sure no one really wants to feel bloated or suffer from stomach cramps or indigestion. Eat food rich in fiber instead and you will notice a difference straight away.
5. Lactose intolerance
It is estimated that about 75% of the world’s population are ‘lactose intolerant’ and those that aren’t (primarily Caucasians) tolerate milk sugar because of an inherited genetic mutation. You would be surprised as to the number of people who can’t properly digest lactose and do not even realize it.
4. Cancer correlation
In The China Study Dr. T. Colin Campbell explains at length about his research and the link he found between casein (the main protein found in cow’s milk) and cancer. During his extensive research he found out that casein promoted cancer in all stages of its development. He ends up concluding that the only safe protein is plant-derived protein. Dr. T. Colin Campbell research is one of the most discussed studies on the effects of animal protein (casein) consumption on the human body.
3. Dairy consumption can lead to respiratory problems
Casein is often used as the adhesive component in super-glue. It is a thick and mucus-forming substance, of which there is 300% more in cow’s milk than in human milk. High dairy consumption can clog and irritate the respiratory system. This is the reason why people suffering from asthma should seriously limit (or eliminate) their dairy consumption.
2. Animal cruelty
Dairy production can be cruel. In some big dairy farms female cows are artificially inseminated after their first birthdays.
After giving birth, they lactate for 10 months and are then inseminated again, continuing the cycle. Cows have a natural lifespan of about 20 years and can produce milk for eight or nine years. However, the stress caused by the conditions on factory farms leads to disease, lameness, and reproductive problems that render cows worthless to the dairy industry by the time that they’re 4 or 5 years old, at which time they are sent to be slaughtered. Painful inflammation of the mammary glands, or mastitis, is common among cows raised for their milk, and it is one of dairy farms’ most frequently cited reasons for sending cows to slaughter.
1. It is milk from a COW!
Cow’s milk is produced to be consumed by calves.
Sure, humans are meant to consume (their mother’s) milk as babies, but not as adults and especially not milk from other animals.
Can you name another species that either:
- Consumes milk after adolescence
- Consumes milk of other animals / species?
I promised you 10 reasons but I want to share with you one extra reason why you should skip dairy – beauty.
Dairy consumption and acne are linked! The hormone IGF-1 in cow’s milk can cause inflammation and lead to acne. Also dairy glues together dead skin inside your pores leaving them clogged.
How to give up dairy?
It’s a lot to take in if this is all news to you, but the good news is that you are in control of what you eat. Those 11 reasons are pretty straightforward as to why you should consider giving up dairy. It will be challenging for you in the beginning depending on how much dairy you are used to consuming. But then again not any harder than quitting other habits.
Dairy consumption really is not necessary for your health and nutrition. Pasteurized milk is heated at high temperatures, which denatures a lot of its fat and protein anyway.
Delicious dairy alternatives
Have you tried home-made almond milk (recipe here)? Coconut milk, rice, hemp and oat milk are all great milk alternatives and they are becoming more available. There are a lot of cheese alternatives as well. I love making myself some cashew cheese at home. It might sound weird at the beginning but it tastes really good – I will make sure to post that recipe one day.
If you absolutely must have cheese, and find it hard to completely give it up, then try to have goat cheese instead. Goat’s cheese is easier to digest and is nutritionally better for us than cow products and it is also less allergenic.
Start out by going dairy-free for a month and see what happens. Even if dairy-free is not an option for you pay attention to how much dairy you consume. If anything I hope that this article has provoked some thoughts. Even small changes can make a huge difference! 🙂
Have you gone dairy-free? What was your experience? OR you don’t want to give up dairy? Why? I would be happy to hear about your experiences and opinion.