Dairy is addicting. Most people who eat it, eat it every day or almost every day. Even those who say, “I don’t do it a lot”, when you dig deeper into their diet, they’re often consuming it almost every day in some form or another, sometimes without awareness.
Dairy includes milk, and anything made from it (butter, cheese, ice cream, coffee creamer, etc). It’s always a good idea to look at food labels or get an ingredient list when eating out, because dairy is commonly added to foods you may not think of such as sauces (alfredo, nacho sauce), creamy dressings (ranch), and chocolate (cookies, chocolate chips, hot fudge sauce). Dairy is used in many baked goods such as muffins, Danishes, and brownies as well as snack foods like Doritos. Whey-based protein powders or protein bars is another commonly overlooked source.
Let’s recall that the purpose of cow’s milk…it’s God’s perfect food for baby cows. We (humans) don’t qualify. Baby cows are born weighing over 100 lbs, they have 4 stomachs and also the enzymatic capacity to break down the proteins in milk. Cow’s milk is the perfect food…FOR THE COW…Just as mother’s breast milk is the perfect food for the human baby.
What about “good” dairy?
I get this question a lot in various forms. What if it’s organic? Or hormone free from grass fed cows? What about raw milk or homemade cheese or yogurt?
If your standard is pasteurized homogenized conventional milk, then yes, all of these would be better. Organic would mean you could avoid the pesticides from the foods the cows are fed. Hormone or anti-biotic free would allow you to avoid the pharmaceuticals. Raw milk would be easier to digest.
But if the standard is optimal health (that is my standard for myself and my clients), then dairy still has many problems.
- It’s one of the 8 most common allergens.1 For more information about allergies and sensitivities, check out these blogs: The Elimination Diet…Leaves So Much STILL on the Table, The Gluten Review, and Should All People Avoid Gluten?. A true allergy is very serious. But understand that many people can be sensitive to something without being allergic to it. Signs of sensitivity include mucous in the throat (having to cough or clear the throat often), loose stool, upset stomach sinus issues2 or acne.3
- It’s been associated with osteoporosis (bone loss)…yes, you read that right. The idea of “Milk doing a body good” is not science, it’s brilliant marketing which comes not from a research facility but rather the corporate headquarters within the Dairy Counsel.
- The government in the US allows for up to just over 700 million pus cell/liter of milk. Pus is waste of various kinds from the cows and can include a myriad of toxins, bacteria, chemicals, blood and pharmaceuticals. It’s often a result of the cows being over-milked, leading to mastitis. Pus production is a natural process in this case for the cow but not one you want to be drinking!
- The vitamin D in dairy is fortified. In other words, it’s added to the milk rather than found in milk naturally. You’d be better off adding your own by supplementing with a good quality vitamin D such as either D3+K2 or the combination of D3 Serum and Limonene.
How to STOP:
Eating less dairy, although better than eating lots, is often not effective because the addictive properties are continually present and the protein that causes the issues are always in the system. Plus, if you are like over half of Americans and have a sensitivity to dairy, even small amounts will be enough to maintain symptoms of intolerance.
If you really want to break the dairy habit, it may be helpful to avoid it completely for 30-60 days (of course the longer the better). This can be tough for the first week or so but like anything, gets easier the longer you do it. If you choose to go this route, you may find it easier to never go back to dairy, or if you do have it on rare occasion, it will at least have less of a grip on you.
But also, as I always remind clients, we never want to make these types of changes painful. LOL. Breaking addictions are hard enough…There are lots of delicious ways to replace dairy with less harmful and more nutrient dense plant-based options.
Practical tips for replacing dairy in your life…one caveat- always check out ingredient lists when looking at store bought or restaurant options. Just because it’s dairy-free doesn’t necessarily mean it’s health-promoting. Some vegan or plant-based options are great, but many still contain sugar or other tradeoffs that don’t meet our/your standards for real fuel. Of course, anytime you can, making your own food at home is the best way to know exactly what’s in it and that it’s the healthiest option available.
|Ice cream||Banana ice cream (made from frozen bananas in a high-speed blender), coconut milk ice cream, cashew ice cream – you can also get an “ice cream maker” and make your own plant-based ice creams, *most store bought pre-made ice creams are loaded with sugar so check the ingredient lists and don’t go too crazy;)|
|Cheese sauces for pasta, potatoes, pizza or tacos.||You can make some great cheese sauces by blending nuts/seeds as a base with your favorite flavors. Many nut/seed cheeses use cashews, but I love to make them from walnuts or Brazil nuts. My favorite sauces are a Brazil nut or walnut base, blended with red pepper, garlic, hot peppers, a bit of apple cider vinegar, Pink Salt and spices to taste. This type of cheese is so tasty over steamed potatoes or beans and rice (similar consistency to mac and cheese). You can customize these cheeses to the flavor and consistency you like and use them for pretty much anything.|
|Sour cream on potatoes or tacos||Guacamole is great…in eating sour cream, you’re wanting something rich, fatty and creamy- guacamole is amazing for this!|
|Cream cheese||Guacamole or avocado is great on sprouted English muffins or bagels too…but if you really want cream cheese, Kite Hill makes one that has good ingredients.|
|Milk to thicken soup||Beans or cooked squash blended with a little water makes a great thick creamy soup base (plus it adds fiber and flavor)|
|Milk for coffee creamer or cereal/granola/oatmeal||There are lots of plant milks you can buy…many of them are not great in terms of ingredients (however most would still be better than dairy)…Ideally, make your own milk. It’s super easy: In a high-speed blender, blend about 1 cup of pure water to ¼ cup nuts/seeds (you can use more if you want it thicker)…strain the pulp with a nut milk bag…you can also add your favorite flavors such as vanilla or cinnamon as well as a few dates if you want it slightly sweet. This stays good in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. It’s best to make small batches and use it up right away.|
|Creamy salad dressings||You have a couple of great options here. First, you can always find a good quality flavored organic vinegar or vinaigrette. The other option would be to make your own dressing from a base of avocado or nuts/seeds. There are lots of recipes out there, but a plant base is the way to go.|
Change is not easy, but it is worth it…and you are worth it. You can do this!
If you need help with your health, don’t suffer alone. I’d love the opportunity to coach you to your radiant health destination.
Feel free to call the clinic for more information or to schedule. 269-204-6525
1. Iweala OI, Choudhary SK, Commins SP. Food Allergy. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2018. doi:10.1007/s11894-018-0624-y
2. Lill C, Loader B, Seemann R, et al. Milk allergy is frequent in patients with chronic sinusitis and nasal polyposis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2011. doi:10.2500/ajra.2011.25.3686
3. Juhl CR, Bergholdt HKM, Miller IM, Jemec GBE, Kanters JK, Ellervik C. Dairy intake and acne vulgaris: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 78,529 children, adolescents, and young adults. Nutrients. 2018. doi:10.3390/nu10081049
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.