Dairy: The Bovine Bottom Line
Is DAIRY clean eating? It can be, but the way MOST Americans purchase and consume dairy, its is not. So how can you consume dairy and keep it clean for your family? And what about calcium? Read some of my points below and you can decide for yourself what fits for your lifestyle :-)
Why? Milk’s purpose, by nature, is to "fatten up" an infant. Did you know that we are the ONLY species that consumes milk after infancy and into adulthood. And with that, we do not consume our own HUMAN milk, but are consuming a COWS. Sounds kind of absurd, doesnt it?! I am not saying that we should stop enjoying dairy products, but its worth acknowledging that dairy is not an essential part of the human diet. Milk is unnecessary and a not an essential building block for human growth and development.
SECOND: Synthetic Hormones Modern methods of dairy processing cause concern. The typical cow produces milk for about 300 days after giving birth. In an attempt to keep to keep her production levels high throughout this time, the dairy industry began widespread use of the “bovine growth hormone” that they inject into cows to increase milk her production. The makers of BST claim they are safe (DUH, obviously!), but experts disagree as Canada and Europe has banned BGH use.
Natural Hormones: In order to maximize milk production, dairy cows are kept pregnant most of their lives on both commercial and organic farms. During pregnancy, a female’s cows hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, go sky high, and the hormones are present in their milk. There is both concern and evidence that this high hormone content in dairy products is linked to high rates of breast cancer in women. If you eat dairy, I would suggest at LEAST consuming organic. The organic cows natural diet contains no added hormones, chemicals or antibiotics. Organic milk contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and E and antioxidants. The Harvard school of Public Health sites possible increased risk of ovarian and prostate cancer in those who consume 3 cups per day, as the government recommends.
(Side Note: My friends daughter was experiencing very painful menstrual cramps. I suggested she reduce her dairy consumption (mostly milk). After three months her cramps have shifted from severe-to minor. I believe because she was consuming less hormones in her food intake.)
THIRD: Dead Milk: When we pasteurize milk, we are killing the very enzymes that deems milk useful in nourishing our young. What is left is essentially whats called, "dead" milk. Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. There is nothing but the chemicals and hormones left. If you are going to drink milk on the logic of "health" then it should be Raw milk. Otherwise, its dead pasteurized milk with no value. In our modern world pasteurization isnt even necessary.
FOURTH: Calcium: OMG what about my calcium?!! The recommended daily intake of calcium for an adult between the ages of 19 and 50 is 100mg a day. Dairy does NOT prevent osteoporosis or bone fracture by boosting calcium intake. Actually, numerous studies show that the countries with the highest intake of dairy, such as the US, Sweden and Holland, have the HIGHEST incidence of osteoporosis and fractures, while countries with the lowest intake (Japan and South Africa) have the LOWEST rates of osteoporosis and fractures. Heres why, healthy bones need calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, boron, copper, manganese, zinc and many vitamins. An excess of calcium WITHOUT these other vitamins actually increase the likelihood of fracture. Vegetable foods contain an abundance of calcium WITH the other vitamins. So, just by eating green vegetables, and whole grains provide all the essential vitamins and calcium , with out the negative side effects of hormones in the dairy.
For me, I get my calcium in my veggies and grains. My family and I drink almond or coconut milk. When I need milk for a particular recipe, I personally use Silk coconut milk or pay extra for the organic full fat grass fed cow version. But honestly, it's pretty seldom I use regular cow milk and I have generally reduced dairy altogether.
Heres some foods that contain calcium:
So NOW what?
Use the Real Raw Organic deal or Better “milk” alternatives: Rice Milk Almond Milk (Silk Brand my personal favorite) Coconut Milk
The best dairy options are those that are organic.
INGREDIENT TIP: When choosing brands of Dairy (especially yogurts, ice creams and some milks), better options will be ones WITHOUT Carrageenan.
Research has shown that exposure to carrageenan causes inflammation and that when we consume processed foods containing it, we ingest enough to cause inflammation in our bodies. Studies show that all forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation. This is bad news. We know that chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and cancer.
Great article with more details on Carrageenan:
*Easy Find Dairy Brands (the Green side is a better option)
I love this site as it makes narrowing brands down SUPER easy as they have done the work for you on whats clean.
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