Dairy VS Dairy Alternatives
Is milk truly a health food or are we at the mercy of deceptive marketing?
What are milk alternatives and why should they be an option?
Most of us if asked the question; "Why is milk good for you?", would probably answer with something along the lines of; "It is high in calcium and essential for bone strength, healthy growth in children and prevention of osteoporosis. A textbook answer and what most of us learnt growing up. This certainly seems to be the case when one looks at pro-marketing and advertising campaigns.
The Dairy Industry has spent a fortune highlighting and promoting these so called health benefits so that we would not even consider the possibility of the opposite being true. We now know that consumption of dairy is connected with symptoms and disease such as asthma, sinus, skin rashes, colic, digestive and especially upper respiratory problems. Not to mention the horrific conditions and actions practiced by this industry to produce vast amounts of milk, that we supposedly all need.
Luckily for the public, research and numerous studies over the past 20 years have emphatically disproved the food once thought of as essential. Rather research has shown that consumption of dairy is now being linked to type 1 diabetes, breast and prostate cancer, auto immune diseases, osteoporosis, heart disease and a host of other ailments.
Dr. T Colin Campbell -Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and author of The China Study (Benbella) based on the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted.
It seems that besides contributing to heart disease, cancer (of almost all types) dairy products are a major factor in autoimmune diseases
Cows milk protein supplies many foreign proteins that mimic our own, setting us up for one of many autoimmune diseases, ranging from:
Type 1 Diabetes (juvenile diabetes),Graves disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, Thyroiditis, Vitiligo, Pernicious anemia, Glomerulonephritis ,Multiple sclerosis, Lupus, Sjorgrens diseases, Myasthenia gravis, Addisons disease, Scleroderma, Primary biliary cirrohosis, Uveitis, Chronic active hepatitis
Doctor Neal Barnard Breaking the food Seduction published by St Martins press - president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine;
Cheese is addictive as it contains casein, like other dairy products. Casein is broken down in the digestive tract to form opiates called casomorphins. Cheese appears to be more addictive than other dairy products due to the much higher levels of casein.
Including dairy in a breast-feeding mothers diet is a cause of colic as the protein from dairy is able to pass from the blood stream into breast milk. Cheese also contains an amphetamine like substance, phenylethylamine (PEA).
The following hormones and related natural chemicals have been identified in cows milk:
Prolactin, somastostatin, melatonin, oxytocin, growth hormone, leutenizing hormone-releasing hormone, thyrotropin releasing hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, vasoactive intestinal peptide, calcitonin, parathyroid hormone, corticosteroids, estrogens, progesterone, insulin, epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor, erythropoietin, bomesin, neurotensin, motilin and cholecystokinin.
(Any and all of these can interfere with the chemical processes in your body)
Dairy is also a major contributor to headaches. Is the most common trigger in rheumatoid arthritis. Harvard studies have shown that men who avoid dairy products have a 30% reduction in prostate cancer (dairy appears to increase IGF-I (insulin growth factor I) which also been linked to breast cancer.
Dairy suppresses vitamin D activation increasing the risk of all cancers and contributing to osteoporosis. (Vit D is needed for the body to use calcium and has been found to be essential in preventing cancer)
With the consumption of cheese having doubled in western diets since 1975 it is interesting to note that the above diseases have increased at a corresponding rate.
Prof Walter J Veith in Diet & Disease (CRC Press) Past chairman Dept of Zoology at University of Western Cape
The calcium in dairy is more difficult to absorb than the calcium in whole-wheat bread and that is certainly not our best source of calcium. An investigation into the effects of various protein diets and calcium retention showed that proteins from dairy caused considerable calcium loss in the urine.
In other words, drinking milk and eating cheese and yoghurt results in you peeing your calcium into the sewerage system. This ties in with the evidence that countries that consume the most dairy products have the most osteoporosis (brittle bone disease)
More over calcium supplementation does not provide a solution as countries such as the US still have among the highest rates of osteoporosis
Immunoglobulins from cows milk will interact with the immune system and this can lead to an allergic reaction. Many allergies can primarily be attributed to milk
100% of newly diagnosed patients with Insulin-dependent diabetes (type 1) have antibodies to bovine serum albumin.
In plain English , 100% of new cases of type 1 diabetes have been found to have antibodies to cows milk protein implicating this cows milk protein as THE cause of the disease.
Moreover there have been reports of infants that are only breastfed and never received milk protein developing allergies to cows milk, which then alleviated when mothers eliminated dairy from their diet.
Dairy products are a can be a cause of infertility, particularly in men.
Dr Jockers DNM, DC, MS
Despite its popularity, milk may not be as healthy as you think. Conventional dairy may contribute to inflammation, gut flora imbalance, chronic pain, and disease. Dairy may lead to food sensitivities and allergies causing a variety of health complaints.
A large percentage of our population is lactose intolerant, which means that their body doesn’t produce enzymes to break down the dairy sugar, lactose. While there are lactose-free options available, it may not be the answer either. An increasing number of people are sensitive to a variety of proteins in dairy, such as whey and casein.
These dairy sensitivities may lead to chronic symptoms, including headaches, bloating, fatigue, skin problems, and gas. They also increase inflammation in your body and may lead to leaky gut syndrome, digestive troubles, autoimmune conditions, and chronic health problems.
Thankfully there are some nutrient-dense milk alternatives out there that you can enjoy instead of conventional dairy.
Dr Motala Red Cross Childrens Hospital in an article published in Pedmed July 1990
Cows milk contains more than 25 separate protein fractions, each capable of inducing an allergic response.
The following is a lists of clinical manifestations of milk allergy
Gastrointestinal: diarhoea, vomiting, failure to thrive, colic, Gastrointestinal bleeding (often resulting in anaemia), protein losing enteropathy.
Respiratory: Rhinitis, asthma, serous otis media (ear infections), Heiners syndrome
Skin: Eczema, urticaria, angioedem/anaphalaxis
Neurological: Irritability, restlessness
Don't feel overwhelmed if you are a dairy lover. There are great non-dairy alternatives for milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice creams and creams, all made from a variety of nuts, seeds or vegetable oils such as coconuts.
Yummy Dairy Alternatives
Knowing the risks of dairy, let's look at some great alternative options that are available.
Coconut milk is creamy and delicious and is made from a coconut’s white flesh. To produce thick coconut milk, manufacturers extract the liquid of the grated flesh of mature coconuts by squeezing them with cheesecloth. To create thin coconut milk, they use the flesh inside the cheesecloth and mix it with water. Thick coconut milk is fantastic for coconut rice, rice pudding, and baked goods. It is also higher in healthy fats. Thinner coconut milk, on the other hand, is perfect for smoothies, shakes, and as a plain milky drink.
Besides being rich in healthy fats, coconut milk is also a fantastic source of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron and an excellent source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that may help to balance your blood sugar levels, stabilize your microbiome, lower your appetite, and help you lose weight. Coconut milk also offers anti-inflammatory and antibiotic benefits .
Hemp milk has an earthy and nutty flavor. It is made of hemp seeds and water. Make it yourself by blending hemp seeds with water at a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio depending on the consistency you prefer. You may add a bit of stevia, dates, vanilla, cinnamon for sweetness.
Hemp milk is a fantastic source of healthy fats, protein, calcium, and iron as well as omega-6 essential fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and have the ideal Omega-3 and 6 balance. As a result, hemp milk may help to reduce inflammation in your body, reduce signs of aging, and protect your skin.
Almond milk is one of the most popular milk alternatives, with a nutty flavour that is easy to love. With its creamy texture it reminds most people of regular dairy. Make your own almond milk by blending one part raw, soaked almonds with two parts water, then strain (if you prefer) to remove any solids for creamy, homemade almond milk.
Almond milk is low in calories and much lower in carbs than cow’s milk. It is rich in magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, riboflavin and plant phytosterols. This may help to balance your blood sugar levels, lower bad cholesterol, reduce triglycerides, and protect your heart.
If you love almond milk, chances are, you will love cashew milk as well. It is increasingly popular, delicious, and nutritious. You can also make your own. Just like with almond milk, blend one part raw, soaked cashews with two parts of water, then strain to remove any solids for delicious homemade. Cashews are naturally softer and popular for its creaminess, for this reason it also makes a great base for vegan cheeses.
Cashew milk is a great source of healthy fats, plant phytosterols, protein, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It may lower inflammation, boost your immune system. It may reduce your blood sugar levels, protect your heart health, and lower your risk of breast and skin cancer.
Of the non-dairy milks, soya milk is the most nutritionally similar to cow’s milk and is the most popular milk alternative so far. It is moderate in calories and is a good source of protein and calcium. Soya milk contains compounds called isoflavones and phytosterols, that can possibly lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. It is suitable for a wide range of purposes and can be used without restriction for cooking, baking, or in coffee, and it can even be foamed.
Macadamia nut milk – the fancy and delicious milk alternative
Macadamia milk arrived on the scene much more recently than the other nut milks mentioned here and is still not widely available. This nut milk is low in calories but also very low in both protein and carbohydrates. It tastes great on its own and is particularly suitable for desserts and coffee. Make your own add a pinch of salt, stevia or erythritol, you can even add things like cinnamon and vanilla.
Oat milk is slightly sweet, with a thin consistency similar to low-fat milk. It contains a moderate amount of calories and has more protein than most plant-based milks. It also has more fibre than other milks, which is important because it helps regulate digestion and can lower cholesterol. Oat milk has more carbohydrates and sugar than many other milks – even unsweetened – so it may not be the best choice for people with diabetes. It is suitable for cooking and baking.You can also make your own.
Rice milk is the best choice for people with allergies
Rice milk is less likely to cause food allergies compared to any other milk because it is nut and gluten-free. It has a naturally sweet taste and can be used for cooking and baking. Rice milk is extremely low in calories, which are mostly from carbohydrates, and it has very little protein or fat. Since rice milk is a rather thin milk, it is less suitable for coffee.
We hope that this information has informed and inspired you!