Blog 2.2: Dairy
Why should dairy be taken out of our diet? Below is a list of several reasons backed by evidence that will make the case against dairy clear. Also, we will discuss how to get adequate amount of Calcium from plant sources to prevent osteoporosis.
Dairy contains saturated fat and cholesterol. The link between rise in cholesterol and heart disease from diet rich in saturated fats has been clearly established. Some recent articles and meta-analysis have erroneously questioned this association. With that in mind, AHA(American Heart Association) issued the following advisory: Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats will lower the risk of heart disease. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/frank-sacks-swap-saturated-fats-for-healthier-fats/
Many individuals indicate that they use skim milk at home, so they are not so concerned about the ill effects of dairy on their heart health. But, unless you have eliminated butter, cheese, and ice cream from your diet at home and when eating out, you are still at increased risk for heart disease, because even low fat versions of these products contain excessive amount of saturated fat and cholesterol.
All animal products including dairy contain IgF-1(Insulin-like growth Factor). In addition to dietary ingestion of IgF-1, dairy protein further increases our blood levels of this growth factor by promoting its production in our liver. Furthermore, the presence of steroid hormones in cow’s milk work synergistically to further raise serum levels of IgF-1 in humans. Breast cancer and Prostate are particularly sensitive to IgF-1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2715202/
Recall from previous blog, IGF-1 not only promotes development of cancer but also fosters its growth, proliferation and metastasis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12433724
Protein in cow’s milk, particularly casein causes inflammation. This may be related to conversion of casein to casomorphins. The link between chronic ear infections in children and dairy has been known for over fifty years. https://nutritionfacts.org/questions/dairy-and-ear-infections/
Increased consumption of animal products, including dairy has been linked with increased incidence of asthma. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/asthma/
Dairy does contain calcium, but so do green vegetables, particularly collard greens, bok choy, and kale, as well as beans and legumes. But unlike vegetable protein, animal protein including dairy protein leaches calcium from our bones. Animal protein contains greater amount of sulfur containing amino acids which acidify the blood and lead to leaching of calcium from bones. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9635066
This may help explain why Americans despite consuming higher levels of Calcium have higher incidence of osteoporosis and hip fractures than Chinese. http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1996/11/eating-less-meat-may-help-reduce-osteoporosis-risk Calcium is just one component of bone health. For optimal bone health, you also need adequate amount of Vitamin D, other trace minerals and regular exercise. http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/calcium-and-strong-bones
With adequate availability of calcium from plant foods, why increase the risk of heart disease and cancer that comes with consuming dairy products?