The Dark Side of Dairy: Is It Time Everyone Goes Dairy Free?


I'm A Cow Not A Number

Did you know that roughly 75% of the world’s population is intolerant to lactose? So Why aren’t more people going Dairy free?

It’s true; and while some may not even notice it, for others it’s a constant concern that can cause a lot of stress and discomfort until they go dairy free. Whether or not you’re an actively lactose intolerant person, it’s still incredible to consider that three-quarters of us can’t properly digest one of our most consumed foodstuffs. And all of this raises a question: if we can’t really digest dairy, what else could it be doing to our bodies?

Milk causes digestive problems by nature

Because of the physical make-up of milk itself, it almost always causes some form of stomach inflammation – you simply don’t feel it. Dairy is very acidic by nature, even though it does contain a lot of alkaline calcium, and it’s this acidity that causes all of the digestive discomfort you hear about. Everything from Irritable Bowel Syndrome to Acid Reflux can be exacerbated by downing a glass of milk every now and then – so you may want to think twice. Remember that cow’s milk is really designed to fulfil the bodily needs of calves, not humans, so it’s no surprise that we’re not 100% compatible!

Dairy may contribute to cancer risks


If you’re a reader of some of today’s tabloids, you’re likely sick of hearing that everything can cause cancer, but in this case we think it’s worth mentioning. The main protein that makes up milk, known as casein, is essentially one of the substances which can ‘feed’ cancerous cells. In fact, Dr Jane Plant stated in a Telegraph article that, “a vegan diet is lower in cancer-promoting molecules and higher in the binding proteins that reduce the action of these molecules”. In a nutshell, this means that if you really want to protect yourself against cancer, a vegan diet may be one way to assist in this goal.

Respiratory issues from excess mucus

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Without getting too graphic, most of us will have experienced the mucus-producing effects of pure milk. Again, this is due to the presence of casein in the dairy itself. Casein is a very viscous and gluey substance; so much so, in fact, that it’s used to make superglue. It makes sense, then, that too much casein will create an excess of mucus in our respiratory systems. This can cause problems for anyone with asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, or even the common cold. If you suffer from any of these health concerns, it’s a good idea to give milk and other dairy products a fairly wide berth.

These are just a handful of reasons that milk and dairy may not be as good for us as it seems. If you’re worried about where you’ll fill your calcium quota, don’t worry, you can find plenty of non-dairy calcium in foods like leafy green vegetables, figs, and almonds.

What’s your position on the health benefits (or risks) of milk and dairy products? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this often contentious issue.

About Jessica @ Sativa Shakes

Jessica has over ten years experience in the fitness industry, working initially as a fitness coach and personal trainer, and then moving into management for several years in health clubs around the UK. Fitness is a way of life for Jessica, spending many hours each week in the gym in order to constantly improve her fitness, strength and skills.
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