Ditching dairy might be hard when it’s everywhere, in refrigerated shelves in stores, in restaurants, and in packaged goods. In our culture, we grew up believing that dairy is the way – and only way – to grow bigger while maintaining healthy bones and teeth. But this is not the case! In fact, about 75 percent of people around the world are lactose intolerant. There are many plant-based foods that can provide your body with calcium. Ditch dairy for the dairy cows, who do mourn when their babies are taken away from them.
1. A Chemical Cocktail!
Dairy is a chemical cocktail, as it contains steroids, (naturally occurring and synthetic) hormones, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, antibiotics, veterinary medications, synthetic preservatives, additives, and (possibly most disturbing) white blood cells (aka pus).
2. Don’t Need it for Healthy Bones
You do not need dairy for healthy bones. There are excellent plant-sources of calcium that are alkalizing and support bone health. Broccoli, kale, other leafy green veggies, sesame seeds, tahini, calcium-set tofu, almonds, and fortified plant milks/juices all have adequate amounts of calcium to meet daily requirements.
3. Exercise is Way Better for Your Bones
The number one most important factor in bone health is exercise. To increase and maintain bone density, stress needs to be applied to your bones regularly. Add resistance training, and exercises such as walking, jogging in order to increase mass, and prevent osteoporosis. This factor far outweighs any nutritional component. My favorite expressions are “move it or lose it” and “you’ll rust out before you wear out.” So…just do it! And do it often!
4. Casein is Basically Like Crack
Casein-the primary protein in milk-causes physiological addiction. Have you ever noticed that the more cheese you eat, the more of it you crave? Casomorphins are formed in your brain when you eat or drink dairy. These are opiate-like substances that produce euphoria, making you physically need more dairy. The only way to break this addictive cycle, is to cut it out entirely.
5. Casein is possibly a potent carcinogen.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author or The China Study, found casein to be a powerful cancer promoter after decades of laboratory research. He was able to turn cancer on and off simply by increasing the amount of raw casein fed.
6. Packed with Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
Dairy provides high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which are known to cause atherosclerosis. This leads to heart disease.
7. Don’t Forget About Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health too. No matter how much calcium you are consuming, you need vitamin D to help absorb it. Plus. 70-97% of the population is insufficient or deficient in their vitamin D levels. Ask your doctor for a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test and if your level is below 35-50 ng/mL, add a daily dose of sunlight (a few minutes at peak hours with no sunscreen). If this doesn’t improve your D levels, you need to supplement.
8. Are You a Calf?
We are the only species that drinks the lactation excretions of another species AND the only species who continues to drink milk after being weaned.
9. Plant-based Milks Rock!
There is currently a wall o’ milks that are plant-based and delicious at your neighborhood grocer. Choose between almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, oat milk, coconut milk, flax milk, rice milk, chocolate almond milk, horchata rice milk, vanilla soy milk, almond-coconut milk, and the hundreds of other varieties now available. Exciting, decadent, creative, and much healthier….dairy milk is indeed jealous!
10. Seventy Percent of the World’s Population is Lactose-Intolerant.
The fact that more people than not react with painful gastrointestinal symptoms upon consumption of dairy demonstrates the fact that the human body is not intended to consume it. Doctors and dietitians are now pushing the use of lactase enzymes and other symptom-relieving medications in order to ensure “adequate” intake of dairy products. Yet, if we have to force our bodies to accept something it doesn’t want, shouldn’t that be a sign that something is wrong?
Image Source: Andrew Magill/Flickr