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Dairy-Free Diets

As a nation, we consume a huge amount of dairy products every year. These include milk, cheese, yogurt and other foods. But do we really need dairy and is it healthy?

Vegans do not eat dairy products and in numerous studies they have been shown to suffer less disease than those that do eat dairy. It should be remembered that cows produce milk in order to feed their calves. Cow’s milk is meant for baby cows. Human milk is meant for human babies. Mammals of all sorts produce milk for their offspring. As you can see, milk is baby food not adult food. So why grown adults want to eat baby food and also think it’s good for them amazes me, especially when there is so much evidence showing that cow’s milk isn’t suitable for adults. There are many dairy-free cooking books on the market, including the one above.

Milk is high in fat because babies need a high amount of fat in order to develop and thrive. Cow’s milk contains around 55% fat. This is far too high for an adult. And don’t be fooled by the labelling. Milk labelled as 2% milk actually contains 35% fat. This is also far too high for adult consumption.

And it’s not just milk that is high in fat. Cheese can contain up to 77% fat and butter in almost 100% fat. I’m sure you get the picture and can maybe see why eating this level of fat isn’t good for you health.

Calcium

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living
But when you suggest to most people that they might like to follow a dairy-free diet their first worry is that they won’t be getting enough calcium. This is a complete myth. It’s true that you need calcium for healthy teeth and bones and it’s true that dairy products contain high levels of calcium. But the problem is that next to none of the calcium in dairy actually gets absorbed by the body. Additionally, dairy products are high in protein, and eating too much protein leaches calcium from your bones. A lack of calcium and Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones, but it’s a fact that the countries with the highest consumption of dairy products per head of population are also the countries with the highest incidence of osteoporosis. If the calcium from dairy was so good, then wouldn’t countries that consume a high amount of dairy have next to no osteoporosis. Another interesting fact is that osteoporosis is almost unheard of in countries that don’t consume much dairy.

So where do you get your calcium from? In fact calcium is available from many foods and it is also in a form that is more easily absorbed by the body. So the foods may have less calcium in them than dairy products have, but your body will actually be able to use them. Calcium-rich foods include green vegetables, beans, nuts, sesame seeds and tahini, tofu and some kinds of fish. So, as you can see, it’s easy to get enough calcium if you eat a varied diet.

Non-Dairy Foods Containing Calcium

Food Serving Size Calcium (mg)
Vegetables
Curly Kale 95g 143
Okra 40g 88
Green Beans 90g 50
Broccoli 85g 34
Watercress (raw) 20g (small bunch) 34
Nuts & Seeds 
Tahini 10g (one heaped teaspoon) 129 
Sesame Seeds 12g (one tablespoon) 80
Almonds 26g (12 nuts)  62
Walnuts 40g (6 nuts) 38
Brazil Nuts 20g (6 nuts) 34
Hazelnuts 20g (20 nuts) 28
Fish  
Whitebait (fried) 80g 688
Sardines (tinned in oil) 100g 500
Fish paste 35g 98
Salmon (tinned) 100g 91
Fruit  
Figs 220g (4 fruit) 506
Apricots 160g (4 fruit) 117
Orange 160g 75
Currants 50g (2 tablespoons) 47
Other Foods  
Tofu 100g 510

It should also worry you that many scientific studies have shown that those who consume dairy-rich diets are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. This is most likely due to the high levels of cholesterol in dairy products. This should be enough of a reason to ditch the dairy.

Many people that have given up dairy are amazed at how much healthier they feel. So why not try dairy-free eating for 10 days and see how you feel? I’m sure that you will be pleasantly surprised.

 

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