Quitting dairy products isn’t easy!

We’ve been raised with a glass of cold milk in the morning or with our cereals, cheese on sandwiches and ice cream for occasional sweet treats.

Not to mention, for cappuccino!

These foods taste good (also, due to the fat and salt inside) and might remind us of our childhood foods.

They’re part of our daily habits and are very, very convenient (opening a cheese packet to put on bread takes 10 seconds).

Because we’ve been raised with milk at home, we’ve heard about the calcium and protein benefits of it, from numerous publicity ads and from our parents,

it’s so hard to ditch and to imagine that there’s another part of the story.

More and more people experience the benefits from skipping dairy products. I experienced it myself on many levels (health, skin, weight…). I’ll share that

with you in another post.

In this article, the idea is to share science-based reasons to stop consuming dairy, for health reasons.

When I gained this awareness, from my Plant-Based Nutrition courses, from the e-Cornell University, I was a bit choked up. I also wondered why the majority of the population doesn’t know about this. But, this is another debate I can write about in another post.

I believe that being properly educated will allow you to make an informed decision. Eventually, giving you a boost of motivation, to ditch dairy products

and improve the health of your family!

Here are 7 very valuable reasons to skip cow’s milk and any other dairy product:

1. Higher Risk of Cancers:

Consumption of dairy products has been linked to a higher risk of various cancers. Especially, to cancers of the reproductive system. Most significantly,

dairy product consumption has been linked to an increased risk of prostate and breast cancer. The danger of dairy product consumption, as it relates to prostate and breast cancer, is most likely related to increases in insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is found in cow’s milk. The consumption of milk and dairy products, on a regular basis, has been shown to increase circulating levels of IGF-1.

In addition to increased levels of IGF-1, estrogen metabolites are considered risk factors for cancers of the reproductive system, including cancers of the breasts, ovaries, and prostate. These metabolites can affect cellular proliferation, such that cells grow rapidly and aberrantly, which can lead to cancer growth. Consumption of milk and dairy products contributes to the majority (60-70 percent) of estrogen intake in the human diet.

2. Diabetes Type 1 Is Linked to the Consumption of Dairy Products in Infancy:

Insulin-dependent (type 1 or childhood-onset) diabetes is linked to the consumption of dairy products in infancy. Many researchers in this field believe the causality of this disease is related to the consumption of cow’s milk protein, early in life, before the digestive track has fully matured. Multiple studies have demonstrated that children with insulin-dependent diabetes have higher levels of cow’s milk protein antibodies.

3. Intolerance, Allergies and Colic Linked to Dairy Products:

Following Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Disease-Proof Your Child, the leading cause of digestive intolerance, leading to stomach complaints, is dairy products. Symptoms, such as diarrhea and flatulence occur, because individuals don’t have the enzyme lactase to digest milk sugar lactose.

Cow’s milk protein is the leading cause of food allergies in children and many children are lactose intolerant. Many kids have subtle allergies to cow’s milk that perpetuate nasal congestion, leading to ear infections. Colic is an additional concern, with milk consumption. Up to 28% of infants suffer from colic during the first month of life. Breastfeeding mums consuming cow’s milk can have colic babies. The cow’s antibodies can pass into the mother’s milk while breastfeeding.

4. Milk Is Low in Iron:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants under 1 year of age not be given whole cow’s milk, as iron deficiency is more likely, due to the low amount of iron found in cow’s milk, as compared with the human breast. If you wish to wean you baby, soy or rice formula (designed for babies) exists. Human breast milk is perfectly deigned for developing humans. Cow’s milk is perfectly designed for baby cows.

5. Dairy Products Have Little or No Benefit for Bones:

Clinical research shows that dairy products have little or no benefit for our bones. A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children. Similarly, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 72,000 women, for 18 years, showed no protective effect of increased cow’s milk consumption on fracture risk.

6. Dairy Products Are Full of Saturated Fat:

Dairy products—including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and yogurt— contribute to significant amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat in our diet.

Diets high in fat and especially in saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease and can cause other serious health problems.

7. Hormones, Pesticides and Traces of Antibiotics Can Be Found in Milk:

In some cases, synthetic hormones are used in cows to increase the production of milk. Once introduced into the human body, these hormones may affect normal hormonal function. Antibiotics have occasionally been found in samples of milk and dairy products. When treating cows for conditions, such as mastitis or inflammation of the mammary glands, antibiotics are used. Unfortunately, mastitis is a very common condition in cows, due to dairy product practices, which have cows producing more milk than nature intended. Pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins are other examples of contaminants found in milk. All of these toxins don’t readily leave the body and can eventually build to harmful levels that may affect the immune, reproductive, and the central nervous systems.

Moreover, PCBs and dioxins have also been linked to cancer. Other contaminants often introduced during the processing of milk products include melamine, found in plastics, which negatively affect the kidneys and urinary tract, due to their high nitrogen content, and carcinogenic toxins including aflatoxins. These are additionally dangerous, because they aren’t destroyed in pasteurization.

In Conclusion, we don’t need to consume dairy products to be healthy and, on the opposite, it’s best to avoid them. Does it sound a bit extreme? Yes! Think about it at your ease and ask me if you have any questions.

Is it safe to consume just a bit of it here and there? I can’t answer that, but what I know is that once you stop eating dairy, you feel so much better and don’t want to eat it anymore. Also, once you know the way cows are treated, for humans to have their milk, there’s no way you’ll continue drinking it. I’ll share more about the benefits and the ethical part, soon. I feel like there’s so much to say, so I’ll break that in pieces, (different posts) so you can digest the information 😉

How can you substitute?

– Plant milk products for your cereals, smoothies, cappuccinos, ice cream, etc.

– Avocadoes, hummus of lentils, beans, chickpeas, vegan cheese for your salad and bread.

– Vegan Parmesan for your pasta and Caesar salad, etc.

Skipping milk will allow you to discover new flavors and consume healthier and nutrient-dense foods. Keep posted; I will share more ideas soon!

Take care,

Gaelle

References:

– Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Health concerns about Dairy, Dairy fact sheet.  This fact sheet is build from 52 medical references. See: http://www.pcrm.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/health/Nutrition-Fact-Sheets/Dairy-Fact-Sheet.pdf

– Joel Fuhrnam, M.D. (2005),  Disease proof your child. New-York: St Martin’s Griffin

– Amy Lanou, PhD. (2001), Healthy eating for life for Children. New-York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

– T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Thomas M. Campbell, M.D.(2016), The China Study, Revised and Expanded version. Dallas: BenBella Books.

– Michael Greger, M.D.,(2018), How not to die, London, Pan Books.