The dairy council has done an amazing snow-job promoting the myth that you need dairy for calcium. I remember all those food pyramid posters in grade school that told us we needed milk and cheese for calcium and protein. Living on a dairy farm, “Milk builds strong bones” was an axiom that went unquestioned. If calcium is the key and milk is such a great source, why are there still ten million Americans with osteoporosis? Many U.S. physicians now warn that the dangers of drinking milk exceed the health benefits, yet consumers seem to be convinced that milk truly “does the body good”. The truth is that the Dairy Council’s own studies show just the opposite. The digestion process of animal proteins like dairy products take more calcium out of your body than they provide. The dairy for calcium myth is this weeks reading from Becoming Slender For Life.
The dairy for calcium myth
Members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recommend that you minimize or eliminate dairy products, including milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs.
All are loaded with fat and cholesterol. Cow’s milk contains 50 percent more fat than mother’s milk. No other species still drinks milk after the young offspring phase, and there is no other species which drinks the milk of a different species other than domesticated cats and dogs, which have been made accustomed to this. Even low-fat dairy products are not recommended because of potential health hazards including allergies, childhood diabetes, arthritis and lactose intolerance. Unfortunately, dairy industry advertisements do not reveal the unwanted side-effects, which include increased risk of prostrate and ovarian cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Use small amounts of low fat soy milk or rice milk as alternatives.
No Milk? Where do I get my calcium? Have you ever seen “Milk Builds Strong Bones” on a milk carton? No—and you won’t. FDA regulations do not permit false advertising. Milk does not protect the bones.
Most of us grew up with nutritional posters on our elementary school walls that were funded by the Dairy Council. We were taught in school that milk builds strong bones and that milk was good for us. I even grew up on a dairy farm where milk was sold.
Today we know that the Dairy Council’s own studies show that dairy actually takes calcium out of the body. And we know from Dr. John McDougall, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and others, that dairy foods are unhealthy and can contribute to obesity and other illnesses. In spite of the evidence to not eat dairy products, most Americans will not hear of it. They will not even look at the facts. Most Americans continue to eat cheese and feed their children milk.
Experience around the world fails to support benefits claimed by the dairy industry. Countries with the highest traditional consumption of dairy products (United States, Sweden, Israel, Finland and the United Kingdom) also have the highest rates of osteoporosis-related hip fractures. Places in the world with a traditionally low intake of dairy (Hong Kong, Singapore, countries in rural Africa) have the lowest incidence of osteoporosis. Finland has both the highest milk and milk product consumption rate and the highest diabetes rate worldwide. Spain has one of the lowest milk consumption rates and has one of the lowest diabetes rates.
If calcium is the key and milk is such a great source, why are there still ten million Americans with osteoporosis? Long-standing recommendations to increase calcium intakes have had little or no effect on the prevalence of osteoporosis or fractures in the United States. Worldwide, the incidence of osteoporosis correlates directly and strongly with animal protein intake.
Calcium is a mineral, and like all minerals, it comes from the ground. There are many good sources of calcium. Kale, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables contain calcium that is readily absorbed by the body. A report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that calcium absorbability was actually higher for kale than for milk, and concluded that “greens such as kale can be considered to be at least as good as milk in terms of their calcium absorbability.” Beans are also rich in calcium. Dairy products are not required for good nutrition.
Calcium Absorption Rates
- Brussels sprouts 63.8 percent
- Mustard greens 57.8 percent
- Broccoli 52.6 percent
- Turnip greens 51.6 percent
- Kale 50 percent
- Cow’s milk 32 percent
Green leafy vegetables and beans are rich in calcium, without the disadvantages of dairy products. While there is somewhat less calcium in broccoli than in milk, the absorption fraction—the percentage your body can actually use—is higher from broccoli and nearly all other greens than from milk. If you are looking for calcium for whatever reason, you will find more than you need in fortified juices and soy milks.
The key in maintaining calcium balance, however, is not only to have an adequate intake, but to minimize calcium losses. That means avoiding animal protein, limiting sodium (salt) in your diet, getting adequate exercise and enough sunlight for vitamin D generation in your body.
Several times each week Seattle hypnosis and Bainbridge Island hypnosis clients tell me that their indigestion is gone, their cough is gone, their swelling and inflammation is reduced or even gone now that they have given up dairy products. Most of these folks didn’t believe that they could so easily give up cheese, ice cream, butter and yogurt – that is until they tried hypnosis. If you are ready to learn hypnosis to improve your health, let me know.
Read Dairy Death
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I love getting my calcium by eating green vegetables.
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