Dairy and Disease

So we talked about dairy and calcium. How about dairy and disease? I know, not everyone's favorite topic, but very important!

Our bodies are not meant to consume dairy! We're the only species on the planet that eats dairy beyond infancy and according to the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide that in the United States, as many as 80% of African Americans and 60% of Hispanics are lactose intolerant to some degree.

Dairy and obesity: Cow's milk is designed to make a baby calf into a 400lb cow! Remember those milk ads with the hourglass-shaped glass of milk? They were implying that milk contributed to weight loss, but guess what? The researcher who did the study was sponsored by the Dairy Council and the weight loss results happened only in conjunction with calorie restriction. After being sued by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the ads were suspended and the dairy folks were forced to redact their claims.

Dairy and Cancer: "The medical world acknowledges that some of the biggest factors in breast cancer are fat, animal protein and excess estrogen. Well, since milking cows are pumped full of extra estrogen to make them lactate, dairy is your best and cheapest daily source of all three. Moreover, cows injected with bovine growth hormone have higher levels of naturally occurring hormone called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) which is also connected to tumor growth." Alicia SIlverstone, The Kind Diet Source: "Growth Hormone Raises Cancer Risk", The Harvard University Gazette

In a study comparing the cancer rates of 42 countries, milk and cheese consumption were strongly linked to the incidents of testicular cancer among men ages 20-39. The cancer rates were highest in places like Switzerland and Denmark were cheese is a national food and lowest in Algeria and other countries with lower dairy consumption.

Dairy, Asthma and Allergies: Dairy tends to be a high-allergen food group. This isn't the same as lactose intolerance. It's the milk protein, casein that can cause skin irritation such as eczema. It also causes asthma problems and for some people, dairy can promote the formation of mucus. Studies have linked milk to nasal congestion, ear infections, sinusitis and behavioral problems.

Dairy and Hormones: When all the hormones that cows are injected with combine with our own natural hormones, its no wonder dairy is thought to be a factor in reproductive cancers and even early puberty. When I was diagnosed with Endometriosis (linked with too much estrogen) I was advised by doctors to eliminate dairy from my diet. I never thought I could live without cheese, but after a week, I found out that living with no pain is a heck of a lot better than living without cheese. I've been pain-free since giving it up. Endometriosis, being a chronic inflammatory disease, is no friend of dairy since it's proven that dairy actually aggravates inflammation. Those with Fibromyalgia are urged to give up dairy as well.

Dairy and your Heart: Milk is full of saturated fat and cholesterol--the very things that clog the arteries to your heart! Journal of Internal Medicine researchers write: "It is clear that saturated fat, mainly dairy fats, are closely associated with the mortality rate from ischaemic [artery blocking or constricting] heart disease."

Dairy and Migraines: Study after study suggets that dairy products are key triggers of headaches and migraines. Mentioned earlier, milk can cause an excess of mucus which puts pressure on brain membranes, triggering a massive headache.

Dairy and Colic: More and more medical authorities are recommending that babies under a year old, stay away from cow's milk because cow antibodies and dairy proteins can upset the digestive system in infants.

Dairy has been linked to cataracts, infertility in women, ovarian cancer, juvenile diabetes and even autism.

Not only is dairy not good for you...but it's not good to the planet. Dairy cows produce toxic waste that seeps into the soils (due to all the nasty antibotics and growth hormones they're pumped full of). Fattening up the cows requires lots of land, water, energy, fertilizer, transport, labor, etc. That's a lot of used-up resources. A lactating cow drinks up to 50 gallons of water a day! Between hydrating and washing down the facilities, that's a lot of water! Making milk also uses tons of energy to pump the millions of cows.

I won't even get into how horrible it is to the animals themselves...it's not pretty.

Check out The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone--it's a great source for information!

Ok...I'll get off my soapbox and stick to the recipes!