It is hard for many of us to believe, myself included, when we first hear that Dairy is awful for humans. We have been told for generations that not only is it good for us, but that it is necessary. This simply is not true. In fact, it contributes to many of the health problems and diseases we commonly experience today including heart disease, diabetes, and gastro-intestinal illnesses. I know what you’re thinking, “This is ridiculous and outrageous!” Let me try to explain and see if you still disagree with me.
Why We Don’t Need Dairy
Humans are the only mammals on earth that consume milk into adulthood and after weaning. We are not supposed to consume anything other than mother’s milk and only until we are weaned. Let’s face it; we are addicted to milk because it is the ultimate comfort food from birth. It has a psychological effect on us and makes us feel safe and loved.
At the root level, if you compare cow’s milk to human milk, the percentage of nutrients is vastly different. As described in Annemarie Colbin’s book, Food and Healing, “Cow’s milk has three times more protein and almost four times more calcium than human milk.” Sounds good, right? Not really. She goes on to explain the importance of calcium to phosphorous ratio, and how “human beings absorb less calcium from the high-calcium cow’s milk than from the lower-calcium human milk.” The excesses found in cow’s milk build up in the human body because we cannot digest or absorb them, and it causes many issues.
There are growing numbers of cases of “Lactose intolerance” which is actually just a genetically correct reaction to eating something the body cannot digest. Lactose is a form of sugar that causes spikes in human glucose levels when digested and can cause problems with diabetes. If your body no longer produces lactase (an enzyme needed to digest lactose), you become lactose intolerant. The human body naturally stops producing this enzyme after weaning, usually by the age of 4 or 5.
The idea that we need dairy for calcium intake is absolutely false, and in fact, it is often the cause for malabsorption of calcium which is believed to be the root cause of Osteoporosis in our modern culture. Humans did not begin ingesting dairy products until after the agricultural age when we started domesticating large animals for food. Consequently, it wasn’t until after this time that Osteoporosis started to show up in humans.
Most humans today do not consume dairy, and it has been proven that cultures that have never consumed dairy have little to no incidence of osteoporosis. So where do we get our calcium from? The same way all animals are designed to, from leafy greens. Fresh vegetables and produce are supposed to be our source of minerals and vitamins, not commercialized processed foods.
Why Dairy is Bad For Us
Cheeses are either aged or processed using molds or enzymes from calves’ stomachs (rennet) and can cause an increase in Candida overgrowth. Dairy is a simple carbohydrate that is digested quickly, causing spikes in the blood sugar and feeding yeast. Overall, it slows down the digestive process and neutralizes digestive acids, causing other foods to ferment and rot. Digestion is impeded by dairy consumption and, along with grains, causes many of the gastro-intestinal auto-immune disorders we find today.
Dairy products create an excess of mucous, increases inflammation, and decreases immune function. It is becoming more and more prevalent that dairy consumption causes allergies as well. Along with food allergies and lactose intolerance, we also see an increase in respiratory allergies including hay fever and asthma.
Then, when you add in antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and other industrial chemicals, the problems are compounded. Animals are fed genetically modified foods, which create their own nutritional deficiencies and illnesses. Dairy is then further processed with pasteurization which removes all nutrients and enzymes along with pathogens. The vitamins and minerals are then chemically added back in and at this point, are no longer bio-available and cannot be digested by the human body.
If you still are not convinced, consider the fact that all milk contains blood and pus. And you are at risk of ingesting viruses and pathogens that cause cancer. If you take the time to research dairy and dairy farming practices, you will quickly find scientific evidence that proves dairy is not meant for humans. Furthermore, you will find that any evidence supporting dairy consumption is backed by dairy coalitions and big corporations.
Consider this: We have been duped by the very people claiming to provide healthy food that we supposedly require for good health.
The only slightly acceptable form of dairy would be plain, unsweetened yogurt or kefir for its probiotic benefits, although I would prefer to take Probiotic Supplements. Due to the bacterial cultures, it is partially digested for us, so it is not as harsh on our digestive system. Butter, particularly clarified butter (or Ghee) in small amounts can also be tolerated for cooking if preferred for flavor.
What Can We Use In Place Of Dairy
At this point, you are probably wondering how you can do without dairy in all of your favorite foods and dishes. Coming from someone who loves cheese and ice cream, I can tell you it is possible if you get creative. There are many wonderful things you can use in place of dairy and stay healthy. Cheese is probably the hardest to replace and/or give up.
Keep in mind that not everyone has intolerances to dairy, although it is not healthy for anyone. However, everything in moderation…..if you want to eat cheese on rare occasion, it isn’t going to kill you, just don’t make it part of your daily diet and make other adjustments to account for the sugar intake.
I have provided some ideas on the Substitutes page and in some recipes shown on the Recipes page to get you started.