Dairy is a major part of the human diet from the moment we enter this world. And if we look at the consumption of dairy it has increased dramatically in all of the developed countries across the world.
The modern cow is freak of nature – cows are now producing three to four times as much milk than 100 years ago. Why? Several factors have allowed this including selective breeding and use of growth hormones.
Pasteurization and bacteria – is a process of heating the milk to reduce the number of viable pathogens or germs. Raw milk contains lactic-acid producing bacteria that protect against pathogens or germs and during pasteurization, these are also destroyed. Therefore, there is no protection against any undesirable bacteria that may accidently get into the milk. Interestingly, in America, all recently documented outbreaks of salmonella from contaminated milk have occurred in pasteurized milk. So pasteurization cannot give you any guarantees. This could possibly be due to the fact that research suggests bacteria are not totally inactivated until 15 minutes of pasteurization and most modern techniques only pasteurize for 15 seconds!
Pasteurization and nutrients – pasteurization destroys the enzymes which help digest calcium and also alters some of the amino acids. It also destroys vitamins and decreases the availability of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Therefore, consumption of modern, pasteurized milk puts a massive stress on the digestive system.
Consumption of dairy has been linked with an array of diseases and medical conditions ranging from breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and chronic ear infections in children.
But it gives us strong bones? Doesn’t it??
The most common misconception about dairy is that we must consume dairy to have strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. I think we have been brainwashed!
A 12 year Harvard Medical School Study of 78 000 women found that those women who drank milk three times daily actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk.
An Australian study of elderly men and women showed that higher dairy product consumption was associated with increased fracture risk. The list of similar studies goes on.
There are many other sources of calcium (vegetables etc...) and many other factors which influence the body’s ability to utilize calcium and build strong bones.
And, to further confuse the issue, some researchers estimate that only 30-40% of the world’s population produce lactase in adulthood. Lactase is an enzyme that is essential to digest lactose or the milk sugar. Furthermore, casein which is the milk protein, is one of the most difficult for the body to digest and therefore can be “toxic” in the body.
Consider the alternatives
There are many alternatives to using dairy and, like most things in life, it is about finding the right balance or combination that works for you and your lifestyle.
Coconut milk or coconut cream – YUM! Including coconut cream in your diet is not hard. It tastes great and has many other health benefits.
Rice milk - this is an easy alternative and most people find that it tastes ok too.
Soy milk – there is many schools of thought on whether soy is safe to include in your diet. In my opinion, the issues centre around the fact that we consume a large amount of soy products unknowingly, as it is used in many processed foods. The second issue is the quality of the soy that is used. More often than not it is genetically modified and an isolate. Ie in an isolated form not in its natural state. So, as with everything, moderation is the key and make sure you use really good quality soy milk. My preference is Bonsoy.
Almond milk – is best when it is made fresh. Sounds like a hassle, but, try it and you’ll find out it is not. Almonds are full of nutrients including magnesium, potassium, Vitamin E and are high in monounsaturated fats and there is an abundance of research into the benefits of these nutrients. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20
Goat’s milk cheese – goats milk is more easily digested in the human digestive system due to the protein make up. Therefore, if you want to have some cheese and cracker, this is a good alternative.
In general, my experience has been that people who minimize or eliminate their consumption of dairy products commonly report their digestive systems work better, they get less sinus problems, less skin problems and some people even find they can think better. Go ahead...try it...you’ve got nothing to lose!
For further detailed information specific to you or one on one consultations, contact me on 0415 998030 or email@example.com. This document is not intended to replace medical diagnosis or treatment.