We spent the last two weeks talking about Cow’s Milk vs. Non-Dairy Milk, Part One and Part Two. But what about Giving Up Dairy all together? If cow’s milk is not good for you, neither is cheese, ice cream, sour cream, …..
My favorite article on this subject comes from Dr. Mark Hyman. He writes a very lengthy article on the fallacies of the food pyramid and quotes Walter Willett, M.D., Ph.D (the second-most-cited scientist in all of clinical medicine and the head of nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health) views on dairy:
1. Milk doesn’t reduce fractures. Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses’ Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50 percent!
2. Less dairy, better bones. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.
3. Calcium isn’t as bone-protective as we thought. Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk. vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.
4. Calcium may raise cancer risk. Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 percent. Plus, dairy consumption increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) — a known cancer promoter.
5. Calcium has benefits that dairy doesn’t. Calcium supplements, but not dairy products, may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
6. Not everyone can stomach dairy. About 75 percent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products — a problem called lactose intolerance.
So, now you know that dairy is not good for you and you should avoid it as much as possible (of course, if you are vegan, you are probably already doing that!). But what do you do to replace dairy. Here are a few recommendations from Lindsay Nixon from Happy Herbivore:
How to Give Up Cheese, Yogurt, etc.
1. Know your motivation. Keep in mind why you’re dumping dairy (see above).
2. Willpower. Know that you’re going to have to fight off an addiction. There will be a withdrawal — stay strong and break the cycle.
3. Find substitutes. Find vegan cheese and dairy substitutes to help make the transition easier. Find a non-dairy milk you like. If you liked whole milk, try almond milk. If you liked skim milk, try rice milk. Try different brands and different milks — soy, almond, rice, sweetened, unsweetened. You will find one you like.
Try different cheese substitutes (just make sure it’s vegan. Some rice, soy, and almond-based cheeses contain casein or whey, milk proteins). The most popular brand is Daiya. Other brands include Tofutti and Follow Your Heart.
I have just released a digital guide, How to Replace Gluten, Dairy and Eggs in Your Diet, that lists numerous tips to help you along. Order a copy today!
If you are interested in more information from either Dr. Mark Hyman or Dr. Walter Willett, check out the links below: