Dairy or not to dairy… that is the question.
Growing up we were always told to drink milk to grow big and tall and to have strong bones.
“Got Milk” was a campaign in magazines that featured some of the best A-list celebrities with a glass of milk and a milk mustache.
If you’ve noticed of late, that campaign hasn’t been featured in any magazines. The popularity of milk has decreased as more and more health-conscious folks are getting rid of dairy in their diets.
Dairy, which includes not only milk but also ice cream, yogurt, and almost everyone’s favorite – cheese… pizza anyone?
Michelle Obama was instrumental in creating My Plate, which prominently features a glass of milk with your meals as a healthy diet. Keep in mind, the government subsidizes dairy farmers, along with meat and corn farmers.
But, back to the question of the day… to dairy or not to dairy?
Back in the day during the caveman era, no one drank milk. There were no cows, hence no milk. Yet the “hunter-gathers” were strong and were able to kill their prey for meat. They thrived on what is known today as the Paleo Diet – a diet consisting of only meat, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. No dairy.
I have chosen to minimize dairy in my own diet for numerous reasons. The first one being that I am Asian-American. Most Asians are lactose intolerant. Although I can tolerate dairy most of the time, sometimes it just doesn’t sit well in my stomach. So I could have a slight aversion to dairy.
Dairy can cause stomach pains by creating gas. Dairy is also usually the culprit when you find yourself breaking-out all of a sudden.
What about calcium and protein?
I have heard this so many times… that people drink milk for the calcium for strong bones and to prevent osteoporosis. I have also heard guys tell me that they drink milk for the protein.
Studies have shown that countries that drink the LEAST amount of milk have the LOWEST rate of osteoporosis, ie. Japan. And those countries that drank the MOST amount of milk, had the HIGHEST rate of bone fractures, i.e. the U.S.
You don’t need to drink milk for calcium.
There are other options, such as sardines, herring, tofu, and almonds.
What about protein?
If you have been following my blog, you will know that I have addressed protein numerous times and have shared with you different ways to get your protein fix. Click here for some plant protein options:
Beans, nuts, meat, and seafood are great protein options – tuna, salmon, peanuts, walnuts, clams, liver, beef, pork, veal.. You don’t need the milk!
There are other options besides milk that you can use for your morning cereal . Almond milk and rice milk, for example.
Do you drink cow’s milk? What is the reason that you drink milk? How do you feel after you eat dairy?
A lot of people have told me how amazingly different they feel after minimizing their dairy intake – not only do they have more energy but their skin is better too.
Dairy is not for everyone. African-Americans are also highly lactose intolerant.
So if you are on the fence about dairy, try giving up all things dairy for a week and see how you feel. And you don’t have to give up dairy completely – you can still enjoy some milk in your coffee, an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, and eat pungent, aged cheeses. Moderation is the key .
The biggest reason most people stop eating dairy is for ethical reasons. It’s hard to see a baby calf (in the photo above) with its ear marked to indicate what number in line it is for slaughter. Some people believe that if they stop putting their money into dairy products, they are one less person supporting the dairy farmers.
So the decision is up to you. I hope this post has shed some light on whether you should include dairy as part of your diet.