What’s the beef with dairy?

Let me start off by stating that I LOVE cheese, I also LOVE Greek yogurt, I take my coffee with a splash of cream, and when I “cheat” I often “cheat” with ice cream. I grew  up drinking several glasses of milk per day – milk does a body good, right? Or wrong? Isn’t everything we were taught in the 1980s coming back to bite us in the butt?

The USDA recommends 3 cups (24 ounces) of dairy per day for people over 9 years old.  That’s a lot of dairy. An entire “block” of cheese is 8 oz. Most single serving yogurt containers are 5-8 oz (depending on the kind you buy). A traditional scoop of ice cream is about 2-3 ounces. My point in listing this is to show that we’d have to consume a lot of dairy throughout the day to reach the USDA recommended serving.

So why does the USDA make this recommendation? According to the USDA, their claim is that consuming the recommended amounts of dairy will give us the calcium, potassium and vitamin D we need to maintain a healthy diet.

Here’s a list of information refuting the USDA recommendations. The following list is directly from Walter Willett, M.D., Ph.D, the second-most-cited scientist in all of clinical medicine and the head of nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health:

1. Milk doesn’t reduce fractures. Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses’ Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50 percent!

2. Less dairy, better bones. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.

3. Calcium isn’t as bone-protective as we thought. Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.

4. Calcium may raise cancer risk. Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 percent. Plus, dairy consumption increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factors — a known cancer promoter.

5. Calcium has benefits that dairy doesn’t. Calcium supplements, but not dairy products, may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

6. Not everyone can stomach dairy. About 75 percent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products — a problem called lactose intolerance.

Because of reason 6, I am slowing cutting dairy out of my diet. For me personally, while nursing my daughter, I noticed she was extremely fussy after I consumed dairy products. I now try to limit my consumption to less than 4 ounces per day – which is substantially less than the USDA recommendation of 24 ounces per day. Also, please remember to check your labels, many of dairy products contain added sugar, especially ice cream, yogurt and some milks. Additionally, all dairy (unless you find a local farmer who sells raw dairy) is processed in some way. Finally, people who are lactose intolerant may experience IBS, allergy, sinus, and anemia directly related to dairy consumption.

For now I’ll take my coffee with a splash of cream and top my eggplant with cheese (everything in moderation) unless I can find a raw milk farmer!

If you’re considering cutting out dairy, I recommend reading the following articles:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/06/24/dairy-6-reasons-you-should-avoid-it-at-all-costs-2/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/dairy-truths?page=2

While you’re researching, check out the USDA guidelines: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy-why.html

Do you struggle with insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, pain? Email me at JadaDanos@gmail.com for a wellness products consultation or visit http://www.plexusslim.com/jadabruce

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