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Looking At Dairy From All Angles

Is dairy necessary?

Dr Padma Garvey/Plant-Based Doctor Mom

Looking At Dairy From All Angles

Dairy consumption, drinking another animal’s milk once you are weaned off of breast milk, is a relatively new thing for humans.  Keep in mind that human evolution spans some 6 million years.  We didn’t start consuming dairy until after 8000 BC.  So human dairy consumption is a drop in the milk pail of time.  Dairy, whether it comes from your mother’s breast or from another animal’s breast is a powerful food.  It is one of nature’s most potent growth promoters.  Human breast milk enables a newborn baby to triple its weight in one year. The problem is that as an adult there are only a few cells in your body that can continue to grow, fat cells and cancer cells.  A cancer map of the world will show you that the highest rates of all cancers but particularly breast and prostate cancers occur in countries with higher dairy consumption.  Even in countries like Japan and South Korea, that traditionally have dairy free diets, as dairy consumption has increased over the past few decades so to have rates of breast cancer.

Why did humans start consuming another animal’s milk?  Thousands and thousands of years ago, those humans that lived in colder, mountainous regions could not rely on consistent crop production for food.   Consuming the hard grasses of the region was difficult for human stomachs.  But if your domesticated animals ate those hard grasses and turned it into milk that you then consumed that solved the problem of getting through harsh climates.  So human dairy consumption did serve a purpose in the past.  But some proof that even our ancestors had a hard time with another animal’s dairy is that so many of them predigested it with bacteria making yogurt or cheese.  Our ancestors needed some help digesting another animal’s milk. 

Milk has been marketed as good for your bones.  It’s not.  In fact, around the world, the more dairy (and animal protein) a country consumes the higher the rates of hip fractures. This is known as the calcium paradox.  You can get all the calcium you need from green leafy vegetables.  Milk has been marketed as a good source of protein.  It’s average at best.  A baked potato with the skin or three Brussel sprouts have just as much protein as a glass of milk.  Moreover, the potato and Brussel sprouts have more fiber and vitamins, and no cholesterol. 

Some of this information has gotten to people.  Americans consume less milk now than before.  However, Americans consume 4 times more cheese now than in the past.  The shift from milk to cheese has actually led to the consumption of more saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories.  It takes 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.  Cheese is being marketed as a clean, healthy, natural food especially for kids.  It’s not.  In fact, it is a major reason why girls are getting their periods at younger and younger ages.   Yogurt is another dairy food that is being marketed as healthy.  But store bought yogurt is loaded with sugar and most don’t actually have live cultures for your gut.   If you want to make your own yogurt at home that would be better.  I make soy and almond milk yogurt every week.  It is easy to do with a yogurt maker and an excellent source of gut bacteria without the animal dairy. 

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