I am a firm believer that dairy products have no place in a healthy diet.
Nowadays, there are so many amazing alternatives to dairy products that there is no reason to be consuming dairy on a regular basis. Dairy has many detrimental health impacts on the body and there is no reason to consume it. Think about it…we drink our mothers milk because it helps us grow and be strong, and a baby calf does the same thing. The difference is that a baby calf at birth is 100 pounds, and the milk the mother feeds it is meant to grow the baby twice their size in only 45 days. By comparison, humans take 180 days for the same amount of growth (Source). Here are some shocking facts about dairy that you may not know:
- Dairy can actually deplete the calcium from your bones. Yes, milk contains calcium, but scientific studies have shown that humans do not actually absorb the calcium from cows milk when we drink it. In fact, milk can actually leach calcium from our bones. This is why America (the #1 milk drinking country) has the highest rate of osteoporosis! Milk acidifies the body’s pH, and our body uses our calcium stores to neutralize the acidifying effects of milk (Source).
- Milk nowadays comes from very sick, unhealthy cows. The milk we are drinking nowadays is much different than hundreds of years ago. Cows are given a plethora of antibiotics, and most are also injected with a growth hormone called rGBH. This is a man-made hormone used to artificially increase milk production. rGBH increases the blood levels of insulin-growth factor 1 in the people that drink it. Higher levels of this growth factor is linked to several cancers; breast cancer being the most notable (Source).
- Dairy can cause painful stomach and digestion issues. Did you know that nearly 75 percent of the worlds population is unable to properly digest milk? (Source). Dairy aggravates irritable bowel syndrome, can cause gas, bloating, or constipation. This happens because dairy inflames our gut lining. Long term inflammation of the gut lining leads to bigger problems, like autoimmune disease.
- It can worsen acne/skin disorders. There have been many studies linking dairy consumption to acne and skin issues. Many individuals find that by reducing or eliminating dairy from their diet, their skin drastically improves. There are several reasons for this. IGF-1 factor in milk causes inflammation in the body, and acne is caused by inflammation. If you have particularly painful acne that is red and swelling, it is very likely caused by inflammatory food items. Milk and dairy products also lead to an insulin spike which makes the liver produce even more IGF01. Dairy causes the skin to produce excess oil, leading to clogged pores (Source).
- The dairy industry is a horrendously cruel industry. Not only do factory farm operators impregnate the mother calves by usually artificial insemination (essentially rape), calves are torn away from their mother within a day after they are born.. Naturally, this causes them extreme distress and confusion. It is common to hear the mother calf call for their baby for several days. Can you imagine that happening to a human? The babies that are males are sent to veal crates where they are locked up and cannot move barely an inch (this is done to ensure their muscles do not develop). (Source). I recommend watching the movie Earthlings, it is extremely eye-opening to this topic.
- There are incredible alternatives to dairy out there, so there’s no need to miss it ever again! There are tons of plant-based milks in supermarkets nowadays, so there is no reason to ever purchase dairy again. Some examples are almond, coconut, soy (go for organic), hazelnut, cashew, and the list goes on! You can also make almond milk from home, and it tastes even better! Here’s how. In addition to milk, there are plant-based yogurts, ice creams, cheese, pizza, and so on. Some of my favorite brands are:
- So Delicious: This company makes INCREDIBLE coconut based ice creams that taste better than the real thing.
- Kite Hill: Kite Hill makes awesome vegan yogurts that are made with high quality almonds instead of milk.
- Chao Cheese: This is by far the best vegan cheese I have tried. The “cheese” is created with tofu, coconut oil, and other ingredients, and you would be shocked at how similar it tastes to real cheese!
Next time you are browsing down the dairy aisle, remember these tips. Your body will thank you, and there is no need to support such a cruel industry.