Don’t have a cow, but these products are not good for you.
Story: Michelle Schoffro Cook
While many people cite the health benefits of dairy-based yogurt, I do not include dairy products in my diet for a variety of reasons, most especially because I’m allergic to them. But even if you aren’t allergic to dairy products, there are other reasons to avoid dairy. Obviously, some of the following reasons may be rectified by simply choosing organic milk or dairy products from cows or goats that are sustainably and ethically raised, but other issues are not so easily resolved. Here are some of the problems with commercially available dairy products:
1.Dairy milk is for baby cows.
Baby cows have four stomachs to digest the proteins found in milk. We humans have one stomach that simply does not do the job of four.
2. Dairy is mucus forming.
That means they contribute to ear and sinus infections. Whenever one of my clients stops eating dairy products, they unfailingly experience tremendous improvements in their ear and sinus problems.
3. Dairy products are pasteurized.
While this process may be intended to destroy harmful, disease-causing bacteria, it also kills good bacteria and enzymes needed to ensure healthy gut health and digestion. Pasteurization further strains our digestive processes and leads to a growing number of people having trouble digesting dairy products.
4. Cows eat unhealthy food.
The commercial feed cows eat contains ingredients that should not be part of the food supply, including animal byproducts, genetically modified soy, genetically modified corn, cottonseed, pesticides, antibiotics and even chicken manure. These ingredients then find their way into the milk and dairy products in many stores.
5. Dairy is not a good source of calcium.
I have heard people question this countless times over 25 years of practicing and writing about health issues. Dairy marketing boards have conditioned us to equate milk with calcium.
But the truth is, humans can’t easily digest that calcium, meaning it is not readily absorbed. Research shows that the countries whose citizens consume the highest amounts of dairy actually have the highest incidence of osteoporosis!
6. Milk is hard to digest.
Most milk is homogenized, which is a process that involves denaturing the proteins found in milk, making them even more difficult to digest. Many people have immune system reactions to these denatured proteins. I believe homogenization plays a role in the growing incidence of allergies and autoimmune conditions.
7. Dairy can contain pesticides.
Health-harming pesticides find their way into dairy due to the high amounts used in growing cow feed. Some of these pesticides are linked to cancer or considered neurotoxins (toxic compounds that harm the brain and nervous system). They are best avoided as much as possible.
8. Studies have linked dairy to arthritis.
Some researchers even use dairy products in animals’ feed to produce joint inflammation consistent with arthritis.
9. Dairy contains strong hormones.
Drinking milk or eating dairy products exposes us to the hormones routinely given to plump up cows and increase milk production. Our hormonal balance is delicate and easily thrown off by dairy products with stronger hormones than our own.
While the probiotics found in dairy yogurt can offer many health benefits, they don’t offset all the problems with dairy or its commercial production processes. Fortunately, there are many excellent plant-based yogurt options, including rice, oat, coconut and possibly others.
About the writer → Michelle Schoffro Cook is an internationally bestselling author. She is a certified herbalist, a board-certified doctor of natural medicine, and one of the world’s most popular natural health bloggers. She holds advanced degrees in health, nutrition, orthomolecular nutrition, and acupuncture. Visit drmichellecook.com.