Today I’m sharing with you what I’ve learned about dairy and why I consume very little of it. It’s important to go beyond “it’s good for you” and “it’s not good for you” when understanding which foods you should and shouldn’t incorporate into your diet, so I’m giving you guys facts and the explanations why.
When I first read this information, (in my favorite book of all time, The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder) it really just “clicked” for me. I hope some of you experience a similar feeling and understand something you may not have previously understood about dairy product consumption with this post. 🙂
1. Dairy products are acidic:
When thinking about the pH level of our blood, we always aim to be on the more alkaline side of the spectrum. On the other hand, more acidity= disease, inflammation, tissue degeneration, bloating, premature aging, acne, dark under-eye circles, unhealthy hair and nails, more difficulty in losing weight and more. Dairy products leave extremely acidic residue in the bloodstream and can therefore contribute to many of these issues. Alkalinity promotes health and beauty, and we are always striving for that!
2. Manipulation by a big industry:
The dairy industry is huge and has a lot of money. With this money, they continue to perpetuate big health claims about the calcium and other “great-for-you” properties in milk, heavily influencing the American dietary guidelines. With all the people who consequently view milk as a staple food item, there is a lot of money to be made.
In reality, the negatives outweigh the positives in terms of what’s actually in dairy products. There are many great sources of calcium to choose from such as spinach and broccoli that have no other harmful properties. Bringing us to the next point…
3. The real story with the calcium in milk:
Many studies have revealed that there is a correlation between protein consumption and calcium retention. The more protein is consumed, the more calcium is lost- primarily through the urine. So although there is a lot of calcium in milk, it is not actually being absorbed or used by the body due to the high protein levels also present.
4. How we are going “against” what mother nature intended:
Humans are the only species on Earth that continue drinking milk after infancy. We are also the only species on Earth that drink the milk of another mammal. When I first read this information, I thought that was insane. We have manipulated the natural flow of things- for me, that raised a big red flag. Milk’s purpose is to give nutrients to babies. Then after those first few years, they will get their necessary nutrients from other foods (like how cows switch from milk to grass). We are the ones who have altered this natural progression and there also are biological reasons why it doesn’t sit well with our bodies to do so. Which brings us to the next point:
5. Why we have difficulty digesting milk:
Even if you are not lactose intolerant, the human body is not designed to easily break down dairy products. You may have already noticed some discomfort in digesting dairy products. This is because after the first two or three years of life, we no longer have the enzyme “lactase” in our digestive tract which is responsible for breaking down the sugar in milk, lactose. Therefore we expend a lot of precious energy trying to digest it, and we most likely experience gas pains and bloating along the way as well. If you do eat dairy on occasion, you can take a digestive enzyme before your meal which puts the lactase enzyme in your system beforehand. I used to do this before more drastically cutting down my dairy intake altogether, and it worked really well.
6. The problem with casein:
Casein is a protein found in cow’s milk in exponentially higher levels than it is found in human breast milk. Casein has been found to promote cancer in several studies, including studies on rats.
7. Hormones and other drugs:
Because cows don’t naturally produce as much milk as we need to take from them in order to sustain the industry, they are fed antibiotics and hormones. These eventually filter into the milk and we consume them as well.
As Kimberly Snyder writes, “Excessive mucus can begin to harden and build up along the walls of our intestines, adding to the [toxic] sludge and slowing down matter moving through the intestinal tract. Dairy is one of the most mucus-forming foods there is.”
Personally, milk has always kind of grossed me out and I only ever ate cheese and ice cream as far as dairy products are concerned. I use almond milk when I drink coffee, which is a great, healthy alternative. I definitely still indulge in cheese from time to time and I’ll never fully give up ice cream. I just think it’s important to know all the facts and substitute/cut down on things where possible.
Obviously a little bit of dairy in your life won’t kill you, but it’s good to know the effects on the body, and be mindful to try and limit it if you’re someone who consumes a lot of it.
Thanks for reading, hope it helped you 🙂
photo of calcium: Ragesoss,
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