Up to the age of 19, I used to eat a yoghurt for lunch and dinner everyday, and cheese every other day maybe! I even used to mix oats with yoghurt for breakfast. I absolutely LOVED dairy to the point you would have called me a dairy-junkie.
Until I learnt it was actually harming my body. This day, I didn’t make excuses or doubt it for a second, and I cut it overnight. As difficult as I thought it would be, I actually didn’t miss it that much: I replaced this so-called source of calcium by others like lots of nuts and seeds, and also green veggies.
Today, a lot of people don’t understand why I don’t eat dairy. They say it’s paramount for our bone health, that I must be calcium-deficient, that it’s ludicrous and unresponsible. As the question raised so many times, I thought I’d let you know why I don’t eat dairy here on my blog. Putting it into words might enable me to give a more thorough response.
We’ve been told so many times that calcium is essential for our health. Yes it is, that’s totally accurate! We need to get calcium and plenty other minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc, copper… from our food. They are paramount indeed: up to 95 % or our metabolism depends on them. However dairy is not the best source of calcium, not to mention that it can harm our bodies. Let me explain.
1)Milk is for babies
Just observe how mammals work: from the day they were born to the day they’ve grown enough, they drink their mother’s milk from the breast. They need that milk to grow from tiny and weak infant to young beings at a very fast pace. When they don’t need it anymore, they just stop drinking it: the calves, lambs and young goats would then eat grass. Our bodies know that for a fact, as they lose the enzyme able to digest milk (lactase) at the age of 3. That’s when we don’t need to drink the milk from our mother’s breasts and that’s why lots of adults get belly discomfort when they eat dairy.
2)Cow milk is for calves
When a cow delivers a calf, it produces milk designed to nourish the calf to its specific requirements. A calf is indeed made to put on several kilos in just a few months. Imagine what it can do the human body!
An acidic food intake will acidify our blood: that condition is called ‘acidosis’. Because our blood and tissue pH should always be around 7,365 (a little bit alkaline), the body needs to fight against any increase in acidity and restore it’s normal range mild alkalinity. Minerals are what will help the body do that. It will then collect minerals from our own stock – bones, tissues and organs – therefore weakening those components of our bodies, which will be deprived of all these precious minerals. If we eat acidic food on a daily basis, our bodies will just keep on loosing more and more minerals, until our bones become very poor in calcium density, which can lead to osteoporosis for instance. However, milk and dairy products in general are very acidic so when we eat them, we will not only have to collect minerals (including calcium) from our own body to fight against this sudden attack of acidity, but we won’t be able to absorb the calcium contained in dairy. That’s what I call a loose-loose.
These are the reasons why I don’t buy dairy anymore. However, if I go out or eat at a friend’s, I don’t forbid myself to eat a little portion (especially if it’s goat-milk based, which is more gentle on the body than cow’s milk) from time to time: it’s okay, I won’t die 🙂 However I try to stick as much as I can to other sources of non-dairy foods that contain lots of calcium, such as:
- seeds like sesame seeds (which contain about 3 to 4 times as much absorbable calcium as dairy does!)
- green veggies like brocoli or spinach
- nuts like walnuts, almonds, etc.
- water (yes, water!)
And if you miss those foods with dairy in it, here are two alternative dairy-free recipes:
- nice-cream instead of ice-cream: blend one or 2 frozen bananas alone or add anything you like in the blend (other fruits, nut butters, seeds… anything!) and you’ll get an amazing ice-cream texture plus the comforting taste of banana. Yum!
- cashew cheese instead of traditional cheese: soak cashews in water overnight, then blend them with salt, pepper and a little bit of water until you get a cheese-like & creamy consistency.
Just before I go, one last thing. If you’re used to drinking milk, please bear in mind that industrials put a lot of nasties is the food they feed the cows with, plus they inject lots of hormones in them so that they keep on producing milk until they die. All this bad stuff is going to the milk that you find in your local supermarket. So I suggest considering getting organic whole milk from grass-fed cows which will be much better for you 🙂
Hope that was somehow interesting to you! See you next time.