I was a little worried about giving up dairy. I LOVED cheese. Yogurt and cheese sticks were a staple for Matthew. What the heck was he going to eat?! And how would we ever enjoy a slice of pizza again with gluten gone and now dairy?
I knew it had to be done, though. Gluten and casein are molecularly similar. Plus, dairy comes from animals. Animals that are given an abundance of hormones, and even those that claim to have “no-added hormones” still have their own naturally occurring hormones.
That influx of hormones introduced to the gut is warfare to the digestive system. On top of that, there is an introduction of bad bacteria resulting in the release of toxic proteins into our body. Fermentation of these proteins, like casein and whey, result in the release of toxic compounds which promote the production of tumors, increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, lead to liver disease, and, when the proteins of animal foods like meat, eggs, and dairy are metabolized, they get absorbed into the body and release a metabolite that has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
When the fat from animal foods are absorbed, mostly in the small intestine, they inhibit the growth of good bacteria, allowing the bad bacteria to take over. Even pasteurized milk contains microorganisms. Pasteurization does not completely eliminate food-borne pathogens, which of course erodes the lining in our gut, creating permeability.
As if that wasn’t enough, the antibiotics given to cows makes its way into the milk, too, and then, in turn, into us. A diet high in dairy is a diet high in antibiotics. Even if you haven’t been prescribed an antibiotic, when you consume dairy products then you are continually on a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics seek and destroy all bacteria, not just the bad bacteria.
Dairy and Bone Health
We have been told that to get calcium and build strong bones we must consume dairy. Who wants us to believe that? The dairy industry. The truth is, the more dairy you consume, the more at risk you are for osteoporosis. Dairy is very acidic. The body works hard to bring the body back into balance by pulling calcium from the bones to deal with the acidity in the dairy. Cows don’t make calcium. They eat it, by eating plants. That calcium makes its way into their milk. We don’t need cows for calcium, we need plants. Some plant foods high in calcium include: broccoli, brussels sprouts, black beans, rice milk, figs, and white beans.
Dairy and Fat
Dairy products – ice cream, yogurt, butter, cheese, milk – contribute immensely to the fat consumption in the human diet. This significantly raises cholesterol and increases risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is the saturated fat in the diet that causes diabetes. When our cells are full of fat, there is no room for the sugar to get into the cell. Sugar is what our body runs on. Sugar is what our body needs – and I don’t mean processed/refined white sugar, I mean sugar from plant foods – for energy. When the sugar can’t get into the cell then it stays in the blood. With all that sugar swimming around, the pancreas releases more insulin. But it won’t work, the sugar still can’t get in as long as fat is in the way. The phytochemicals in plants dissolve the gumming up of the cells, allowing the glucose into the cell. As humans, we do need fat. We need the fat present in plant foods. Unsaturated fat. As long as you are eating a wide range of plant foods, you are getting all the fat your body needs.
Dairy and Cancer
Dairy consumption is also highly linked to certain cancers, especially cancers of the reproductive system. This connection is likely due to the increase of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) which is found in cow’s milk. Consumption of milk/dairy products increases the amount of IGF-1 circulating in the body. The higher the levels of IGF-1, the higher the risk of cancer especially in the breast, ovaries, and prostate.
What’s in Your Glass of Milk
- 135 million pus cells
- 20 painkillers, antibiotics, and growth hormone
- Bacteria & pathogens
- IGF-1 – which contributes to diabetes, hormonal imbalance, immune system damage, early puberty, and cancer
- Acidic protein which leaches calcium from bones
- Casein, a milk protein, which is linked to breast cancer, kidney disease, arthritis, MS, crohn’s disease, IBS, and asthma
There are many ways to enjoy a dairy free meal, while still enjoying the foods you are used to.
Replace cow’s milk with non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or oat milk.
Cooking without Dairy/Cheese
You can make dairy-free. I have a delicious macaroni and cheese recipe that is just as creamy and delicious as dairy filled macaroni and cheese – it tastes better, actually. Those alternatives include making a cashew cheese sauce as used in my mac & cheese recipe. You can even make vegan parmesan cheese by grinding up cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt in a food processor. I have dairy-free pizza recipes you will enjoy, and not even miss the cheese. It is possible to eat amazing food and still take care of your health.
Baking/Cooking without Dairy
How can you bake a cake or muffin or cookies without butter? Easy! Make healthy substitutions and you’ll be enjoying the occasional treat, dairy-free! When baking, you can substitute the oils and/or butter with bananas, applesauce, or nut butters. Cookies are amazing even without butter! When sautéing vegetables, instead of using butter to keep veggies from sticking to the pan, you can use either a splash of water or a splash of vegetable broth.
With the elimination of dairy from your diet, you’ll enjoy better digestion and the end of stomach pain and bloating, you’ll have stronger bones, and you’ll have less acne. You will no longer be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer. If you already have those conditions, you could possibly even reverse it by going dairy-free. Knowing you will no longer be contributing to the destruction of your gut leading to such chronic, debilitating and even deadly conditions is a wonderfully empowering feeling. No need to rely solely on doctors and their prescription pads.