So some may know that we have been dairy free since April. Matthew has been dairy free for almost 2 years. Almost everyone asks "How do you get calcium???" as if dairy is the only form. So, in addition to my blatant gratuitous postings about my kids, I will also touch upon politics, religion, the state of our country and my new found love of nutrition and health. Here's why we do not consume dairy as a course of our normal everyday lives:
1) Dairy is for cows, do you still breastfeed (no smart ass comments from men on this one)? Alright then, why would you drink cow breastmilk? That's what it is!
2) Dairy is for baby cows, not humans.
3) The high protein content in dairy (which is much more concentrated in cheese by the way) actually turns our blood acidic. The body then pulls calcium FROM your bones to neutralize the acid. So, in some cases, you can end up with a net loss of calcium after your body is done processing it.
4) It produces mucous, a lot. Think 1 gallon of mucous stored in your organs, YUCK!
5) Got Crohn's? If you do, thank milk. 100% of people with Crohn's have it because of dairy consumption. It also is highly co-morbid with arthritis and other auto-immune disorders.
6) In countries where dairy consumption is non-existant or much less you have lower overall amounts of calcium consumption (from natural sources) but much lower rates of bone breakage and osteoporosis.
7) Highest countries for dairy consumption also have highest rates for breast cancer.
8) Cows forced to produce milk without calving usually have high rates of mastitis (breast infections). What happens when you have an infection? You produce white blood cells, commonly known as pus. The USDA and FDA have "legal limits" for bacteria and white blood cells (pus) in milk, eeeewwww. Limits also vary by state. States where it is hotter usually mean more infections. Ooooh, glad we are in AZ!
9) Have a daughter? Do you want her shopping for bras at age 5? How about getting a period by 7? Thanks to the hormones in milk (and meat and chicken), we are seeing a rise in early puberty. Even in the "hormone free" milk you are still getting the normal cow hormones.
10) Haven't had enough and want to know more? Go here: http://www.notmilk.com/.
Better sources for calcium:
1) Leafy greens (spinach, kale, broccoli)
2) Sesamee seeds
4) Non dairy milks like Almond, Rice or Hemp (very good stuff in there, lots
of Omegas too!)
5) Calcium fortified OJ
Most non dairy milks are also fortified with it, as are many foods these days. Your absorption rate is going to be higher (50% range for leafy greens vs. 32% for dairy) since there is not the big protein draw on your body.
Hidden places for dairy:
1) French fries (coating)
2) Breading on chicken nuggets and fish sticks
4) Hot dogs/lunch meats
5) Look for sodium caseinate, casein, whey, sodium lactate, milk, cheese, milk fats, milk solids, etc.
So there you go. Give it a try, just one week. Then at the end of the week, go have a big pizza and finish it off with ice cream and see how good you feel!