Many Americans, including some vegetarians, continue to consume considerable amounts of dairy products, but there are several compelling reasons to do so.
Milk has long been hailed as a “weapon” in the fight against osteoporosis, but new research suggests that milk is linked to a higher risk of fracture and that dairy calcium has no protective impact on bone. Increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables and beans, as well as exercise, to help strengthen and increase the density of your bones.
Dairy products are also high in fat and cholesterol, which can raise your risk of heart disease. A low-fat vegetarian diet that excludes dairy products, as well as adequate exercise, stress management, and stopping smoking, can help not only prevent but even reverse heart disease.
Dairy consumption has been associated with ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers. According to a recent study by Harvard doctor Daniel Cramer, lactose can build up in the blood and harm a woman’s ovaries when excessive dairy products are taken. The body’s enzymes cannot keep up with breaking down the lactose. Another recent study indicated that men with the highest levels of IGF-I (insulin-like growth factor), a protein contained in cow’s milk, were four times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with the lowest levels of IGF-I.
Milk may also not be a constant and trustworthy source of Vitamin D in the diet. Vitamin D levels in milk samples are variable, with some having as much as 500 times the recommended safe limit. Excess Vitamin D in the body fluid can be harmful, causing calcium deposits in the body’s soft tissues.
Milk proteins, milk sugar, fat, and saturated fat in dairy products may cause health problems in children, including obesity, diabetes, and the creation of plaques in the circulatory system, which can lead to heart disease.
You can quickly and simply meet your body’s calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin D requirements by eating a nutrient-dense, healthful diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods like cereals and juices, without the added health risks associated with dairy product consumption.