Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dairy Myth Buster

Growing up you may have been told how important it is to drink milk. If your mom didn't tell you, the dairy industry certainly did. Especially in more recent years, it seems there is an incredible amount of celebrities and athletes asking us if we are 'getting enough milk'. These people are probably told that they are saving the world by promoting milk consumption. After all, milk is a source of calcium and that is what we need for healthy bones! The message is pretty clear: Your crazy not to drink milk, if you are not drinking milk you should probably be really worried about your bones and if you are drinking it then you should still be worried and probably drink more!

That we should drink milk and generally consume lots of dairy for the entirety of our lives to be healthy is a myth! Let me lay out some facts. 90% of Asians, 70 of Blacks and Native Americans, and 50% of Hispanics are lactose intolerant and those people aren't all crippled by rickets and wasting away. The whole notion that a certain amount of dairy is 'enough' is probably based on the amount of calcium present in milk and in reference to the recommended daily intake of calcium. To begin with, milk isn't even as good a source of calcium as it's made out to be. In fact vegetables, especially alkalizing ones, are a much better source of calcium than milk. Arugula, for example, provides over 5 times more calcium per 100 calories than milk. See, if you come pair milk with vegetables in terms of calories, milk comes in near the bottom of the list. Now, if you argue that you would have to eat rediculous amounts of arugula in order to meet the required amount of calories (and calcium), consider the fact that people who eat a plant based diet eat the same amount of calories as a person who consumes dairy products. Also, a cup of broccoli has the same amount of calcium as a cup of milk.

In order to digest milk our bodies produce acids. These acids have to be buffered with calcium, which is taken from the bones. So even though milk provides the body with some calcium, it is cancelled out by the loss due to acid production. You see, osteoporosis is not a result of 'not getting enough' calcium. It is the result of loosing it.

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