The ” Down-Low ” on Dairy
From my years of experience in the health field, practically everybody in the health industry can agree that veggies are a great choice when it comes to proper nutrition, however, the battle lines tend to get drawn quickly at the mention of dairy. The push for daily consumption of dairy by the USDA began as a recommendation for folks to increase their calcium intake. Calcium as I am sure you are aware is a necessary mineral for building strong bones and even for muscle contraction and nerve transmission. Yet, even with all the hype from both sides of the issue, we have to ask the question…”What is the best for MY body?” And “Are there hidden dangers to my health whether short-term or long-term when consuming dairy on a regular basis”?
It is no secret that dairy tends to cause inflammation in a large percentage of the population resulting in digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, thus resulting in all of those over-the-counter medications we see so often in our local Walgreens and CVS.
Dairy can often contain hormones and antibiotics that we never even knew we were drinking! Many times when people drink milk they are consuming far more than just milk. American dairy farmers have long been injecting cows with a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone called rBGH to increase milk production. This forced increase in milk production often leads to an udder infection in cows called mastitis, which is then treated with courses of antibiotics, which can make their way into your dairy products.
But…..What About raw and organic milk?
While dairy-free is the way I tend to advise, If you are just dead set on not giving up your milk just yet, and you’re not casein sensitive then organic, raw milk can certainly be a healthier and less chemical-laden route to go. Organic and raw milk comes from cows that have not been injected with rBGH and have not been treated with antibiotics, which eliminates the concern that these chemicals will find their way into your milk.
Raw milk, although contentiously debated, does have many health benefits that pasteurized milk lacks. The pasteurizing process, which is intended to kill harmful bacteria, kills many of the helpful enzymes that occur naturally in milk as well. In fact, one of the enzymes present in raw milk that is missing in pasteurized milk is the lactase enzyme, meaning people who are lactose intolerant are actually able to drink raw milk because it contains the enzyme needed to break down lactose their body is unable to produce.
So where can I get calcium if not from dairy?
ultimately, the decision of whether or not to consume dairy and from what source rests with your body. Try eliminating dairy from your diet altogether and pay attention to how your body reacts, then try reintroducing dairy in its different forms and sources and notice how you respond.
If you do decide to eliminate dairy, fear not, there are plenty of other natural sources of calcium you can incorporate into your diet!
- Collard Greens
- Coconut Milk