Saturday, July 11, 2020

Eliminate Dairy from Your Diet: Here’s Why

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I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss dairy, mostly for those of you who might not know all the dangers lurking in your cheese.

When I went plant based, I had an easier time understanding why dairy was so bad for me over why meat was bad for me. Likewise, the more I learned about animal cruelty, it was the dairy industry that really made me ill with how animals were being treated.

First off, dairy is void of anything nutritionally good. The only “benefit” that milk would have is calcium, but guess where the cows get the calcium? PLANTS. As in we are eating the digested plants that go through the cows system first before we consume it. Recently it was reported that dairy farms are now injecting their cows with calcium, because they were not as healthy, because they were not eating as many plants.. go figure. So if you want calcium? Go eat your plants.

And then there are the hormones. Milk has 59 different hormones in it. 59! Among these hormones is insulin (IGF-1) which is a growth hormone. No, your not growing because of all that calcium. The growth hormone is particularly bad, and is considered in medical fields to be the rapid growth hormone, that speeds the process of cancers . Our bodies do not know what to do with milk products, and it puts a lot of stress on all of the organs. I didn’t believe this till I went plant based, and was quickly off of insulin. Any time that I’ve had the smallest amount of milk, since going plant based, my sugar spikes.The only thing milk is good for? Baby calves who drink milk like we’re supposed to – when we are infants, and from our mothers utters.

Casein is the other evil of consuming dairy. Casein is another hormone that is found in all dairy products. Casein is great in breast milk, it helps with the mother/baby bond, because it’s an oppiate. This is important for infants, but unless you are in need of being connected to a cow in that way? All it forms are some really powerful addictions. People are right when they say they are addicted to cheese. And it’s not just cheese – casein is used in A LOT of processed foods. So all of those bad foods you are addicted to? You are, and it’s because you are taking a drug when consuming them. And if you have kids, you are feeding them a drug, that will cause lots of addictions as they grow up, ones that as you probably know are really difficult to break.

And then there is cheese. Cheese, in my opinion is the worst food that we can eat. That’s right, the WORST. Cheese takes 10 pounds of milk to make ONE pound of cheese. Each bite of cheese has 10 times the amount of concentrated hormones & bacteria than a glass of milk. Cheese is void of anything good for you, and is filled with bad cholesterol, hard to burn fat and calories. It’s a powerful addiction. I would say that if you are considering going vegan, not to cut out dairy last, cut it out first. You will have a much easier time with your other addictions to different foods if cheese is taken out first. It’s a hard one, but well worth it in the end.

And then there is the protein. I was recently reading “The Engine 2 diet” where the author calls dairy “liquid meat”. Along with the other proteins and hormones found in milk this causes a leaching of protein effect in our body, which in effect causes bone loss, which in turn leads to osteoporosis.  We have an alarming rate of osteoporosis in this country, and likewise countries that eat large amounts of meat and dairy. We’ve been made to believe that “milk does a body good” and that it helps our bones, when just the opposite is true. In countries where there is very little dairy and meat consumption the levels of osteoporosis are considerably lower. There have been numerous studies (pick up China Study for more info) on communities in which dairy and meat are not consumed, and how they have great bone density, higher than those who consume meat and dairy on a regular basis.

And if that is still not enough? Let’s talk about bacteria and pus. I have to admit, it’s the pus that got me when I first went plant based. In each glass of milk you drink, and in each bite of cheese you get a lot of pus, blood, and bacteria. This is completely legal, and accepted, after all, it’s only in little quantities, right? 1 cubic meter of cows milk is allowed to have 750,000 somatic cells – better known as PUS, and 20.000 live (bad) bacteria before it gets in your carton of milk or your block of cheese. Can you imagine if someone handed you a glass of milk and said “hey, before you drink this, we’ve allowed a few 1000 somatic cells and bacteria cells, but you should be fine”. How many of us would gulp the milk down?

Part of the trouble with all of this is that most of us don’t notice a huge difference when we consume milk. Or at least we don’t think we do. ALL of us are lactose intolerant, we are just not meant to consume dairy products. And like it or not, when we do it causes all sorts of trouble to our bodies. For me, as a diabetic I understand this much more, because my body does not enjoy when it’s stressed out. I consume dairy, and all of a sudden I’m putting stress on my body. It needs to figure out what to do with all those hormones and bacteria, and doesn’t have time to figure out how to use insulin, or to even do something basic like fight off infection. For most people consuming dairy just leads to things like heart burn, headaches, stomach upset, migraines, which most people just blame on something else.

Our bodies are highly efficient. But when we keep putting stress on them, time and time again? Things start to go wrong. Our bodies finally at some point go into this panic mode, and things start to shut down. There is only so much it can take, and if you already have a health problem (overweight, diabetes, heart trouble) the last thing you want is to stress your body out even more over a piece of cheddar.

On the weight loss side of things, I’ve found that eliminating dairy eliminates a lot of empty calories and fat. Now my calories and fat come from good sources, sources that don’t stress my body out. Nuts, seeds, good oils, and veggies all have good fat and calories that my body knows how to handle. Dairy has lots of fat, and lots of cholesterol – which I recently found out is something we do not need ANY of. Did you know we already make our own cholesterol? The only other source of bad cholesterol that we consume is in meat and dairy (and fake oils). Any excess cholesterol comes directly from dairy and meat (and the fake oils). Yet as a nation we keep getting prescriptions for cholesterol lowering drugs. Want to lower it for good? Eliminate meat and dairy, I can assure you that a month after your numbers will be CONSIDERABLY lower.

If you are considering switching to a plant based diet, I promise you that eliminating dairy will help in more ways than you can imagine. The first few weeks will be tough, but around week 3 your cravings will start to die down. Check ingredients! Casein is found in so many products, even some gum! The less exposed you are to it, the less you will crave cheese (and other dairy products)

Vegan dairy alternatives…

  • Try..  Soy, rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp milks.
  • I’d actually skip on the dairy free cheese, it won’t taste good to you right now, and will just remind you that you aren’t eating cheese. You can’t think of any plant based food the same as the food you are replacing. It takes a little time, but your tastes will change, I promise. Try new things, play with food and different ways of cooking things.
  • Try coconut or soy based yogurts.
  • Need a sweet fix? Try soy, rice or coconut milk based ice creams. Also, if you can find it raw ice cream is fantastic!
  • Switch to soy creamers for your coffee.. Or if you really want to help your addictions, cut down on your coffee intake all together.

So give it a try, eliminate dairy, know that at first it will be tough, but it’s well worth it in the end.

Oh – and leave a comment if you’d like a bunch of recipes that I’ve featured on the blog! You’ll need them now, especially if you are going to give up all that yucky dairy!

Also, if you have tips on how you went dairy free, please share them in the comments to help out those who are veg-curious!

25 COMMENTS

  1. vegan feet

    I really enjoyed reading this.

    Usually, when people show the truth on dairy it’s usually just one area that’s focused on — the cholesterol and sat. + trans. fats ; the casein ; the pus and other gunk — but the way that this one rounded them all up, in my opinion, makes it really effective!

    As a vegan who lives in a dairy-heavy environment, THIS article will definately be my one-stop-shop for remembering the death that is dairy.

    Thanks a bunch; it’s the best thing I’ve read for a loooong time!

  2. Brea

    You know, I think that the easiest way to stop eating dairy is to go completely cold turkey. Avoid cheese substitutes…as you pointed out, they don’t taste quite the same. I just started adding them back in (very sparingly). I didn’t miss them after the first coulple days! If you’re worried about wasting food, ask your friends if they’ll take donations 🙂

  3. maya

    ok, now i’ve read the whole post. i’d never thought about it before, but i completely agree that dairy is addictive – and especially cheese.

    i love almond milk! it’s so good. i think it’s much better than soy. yum yum.

    soy creamer wasn’t for me. i’m still thinking about that one…

    thanks for a great read. i knew most of this, but it’s helpful to read it again.

  4. Megan

    I would love a copy! You rock Natala, you say it all so well, you don’t step around the issues but get it out there which is what people need to hear and see!

  5. Leigh

    Quick question about organic dairy products: same issues? Only slightly reduced due to organic standards? It would be helpful to know, esp. since organic products are often touted as being superior…

  6. Jack

    Great post!

    One comment regarding soy based yogurts, ‘soy cheeze’, and other milk-solids substitutes – some of them do contain casein!

    Read your labels to be sure.

  7. Jenny

    I held onto dairy for a looooong time! But once I went off of it, it was only a few weeks before I didn’t want to kill someone for eating pizza in front of me.
    It does get easier, Natala is right! And it’s really worth it! I had about 15 pounds to lose, and was working out a lot, eating healthy. When I dropped dairy the weight just melted off, and I didn’t change anything else, and I didn’t have to spend 2 hours a day on a treadmill! I still work out, but it seems I don’t have to work out as much to get my body burning calories.

    I’d also say going “cold turkey” is best, but if that seems really hard, maybe try doing all vegan days like 2-3 times per week. Or even once a week.

    And I’d love recipes!

  8. Mary

    Dairy is the hardest one for me. I know that it is not good for me, and that it just causes trouble, but I am so hooked on it. I feel completely helpless when it comes to cheese, which just sounds so pathetic! I really want to not rely on it so much to make me happy about eating.
    I’m definitely looking forward to getting some recipes! I used to think that I could just have cheese in moderation, but now I know that I can’t do that, it just makes me want it more!

  9. Peter

    Just want to add my vegan cheer leading section for those that are thinking about going vegan. You have to really believe in yourself that you are stronger than your addictions! Addictions make us weak, I was a smoker for 16 years, and realized that I relied so much on smoking that it made me a weak person. It made me someone that *needed* something to get through the day.
    Also, try saving your cheese money! I did this with smoking! For every pack I didn’t buy, I would put aside the money in a savings fund. I had enough to go on a vacation in a few months! It was much better to be soaking up some sun in Cancun than it was to be smoking another cigarette!
    Hang in there!

  10. Jan

    Include me on the list of cheese addicts! I had a mild heart attack a few months ago, and I’m just 48! My doctor told me that I had to give up meat and cheese if I wanted to get healthier. I find myself craving it all the time! But I didn’t know that the hormones could be in another things. Maybe this is why I still crave it?
    I need to just quit the excuses and give it up. I didn’t even know I was that unhealthy! I have about 40 pounds to lose, but always thought I was pretty healthy. And then back in January I was playing with my kids and all of sudden the next thing I know I’m in the ER because I felt so bad, and they tell me that I had a cardiac episode! All with my kids waiting in an ER waiting room!
    As hard as it is, I know it’s not worth it, and I never want my kids to have to go through that again!

  11. HC

    I didn’t have any health problems, or any reason to really be vegan for health. I am at a good weight, an athlete, and have always had great numbers for health.
    I gave up cheese for ethical reasons about a year ago. I did not know how badly the animals were treated, which is what got me interested in being vegan.

    Oddly enough though, even though I didn’t become vegan out of health concerns, my health became even better. I was able to do much more effective work outs, my running times decreases a lot, I felt more and more energy, I hardly catch colds anymore, and I just feel more focused now.

    You’ve got nothing to lose for trying! And I would recommend picking up “Skinny Bitch” if you want to learn more about dairy and where it comes from.

  12. alex

    I am vegan and happy and hooray for this post!

    I’d love somebody to write on the fact that organic doesn’t make meat or dairy better for your health and explain why.
    Also I would love to find articles that don’t just focus on the North American food industry but also on the European one. Cause you know, Europeans are a little quick to say that everything is 10 times worth in the states (especially French… I am French, so I know 🙂 ).

    Thanks for writing such a thorough article Natala, I can tell you have put a lot of work into it 🙂

    xxx

    Alex

  13. Anonymous

    Hooray for vegans! 😉

    And I find it really upsetting that this organic meat/dairy push has been so big. Granted, I will give them that they aren’t pumping animals full of AS MUCH crap – but in the end it’s still slaughtering an animal, it’s still animal meat or animal product, and our body still can’t process it.

  14. yes to veganism!

    I actually follow you on twitter per the recommendation of someone else on twitter. I’m in the process of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle… for me the most difficult part has been the food transition.. most clothes and other products were already vegan friendly.

    Your blog has helped a tremendous amount! And as a newbie, Please, please forward me a copy of recipes. I can CERTAINLY use all the help I can get!!

    @Jenny Great idea! I may give that a try instead of trying to plan out entire weeks and becoming overwhelmed, just 2-3 days for “vegan days” until I get the hang of things! Awesome. I love when simple ideas end up being the best ideas!!

  15. kate

    Thanks so much for the great info.!
    Just starting out on a vegan lifestyle, so anything I can get my hands on to help me is welcome.
    I would love a copy of the recipes, if possible!
    Thank you!!! 🙂

  16. Linz

    As always I love this article! I gave up dairy a year and a half ago and it was hard at first. I don’t crave it any more and I actually enjoy some of the vegan “cheese”. I would love a copy of your recipes. Thanks for your encouragement! And for anyone thinking of going vegan try it for 30 days and see how you feel. It’s easier to think 30 days than life time and at the end of the 30 days re-evaluate. This was my meat loving brothers idea and it really helped me stay the course in the beginning!

  17. leslie

    Vegan cream cheese and sour creams aren’t all that healthy, but I would highly recommend them for transitioning away from dairy. Getting faux sour cream on a baked potato or soup, and cream cheeze on bagels or in dessert recipes can do a lot of good in encouraging you to stick with vegan living!! It can also do a world of work towards convincing those around you that vegan eating can still be really indulgent and fun…without the dairy!

  18. Fiona

    Thank you for setting the record straight on dairy products. Cow’s milk is meant for baby cows, not baby or adult humans. I will admit that dairy was the most challenging food to give up, when I first went vegan. But there are so many wonderful substitutes available now, there’s really no reason to miss dairy at all. (Regarding cheese, they are coming out with better substitutes all the time, but I think you’re right. Avoid the substitutes at first, and after you no longer crave cheese, they’ll actually taste pretty good to you, especially when using them in recipes like enchiladas or pizza.)

    My favorite dairy alternatives:

    Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese Alternative
    Follow Your Heart Sour Cream Alternative
    So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverages (especially vanilla!)
    So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt (especially chocolate!)
    Earth Balance Buttery Spread (now available in soy-free, too!)
    Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk Ice Cream (especially Mint-Chip and Vanilla!)

  19. Beth

    This is such a good article. I refrain from all animal products out of a religious reason. I’m a Christian, and believe that our bodies are temples and that God has given us our bodies to take care of. And I believe that we are not to do harm and kill other creatures for our enjoyment.
    My health has only benefited, as well as my closeness to my creator. I believe that consuming animals aids to the destruction of the Earth, our bodies, and of course to living creatures.

    We have gone overboard in this country with indulgence and we will do that at any cost, even at the cost of our how health and the health of our children.

    While I know you and I don’t share the same religious views, I also see great hope and love in the message that you are sharing. You care so deeply and you can see in your writing that you do so out of concern for the well beings of others. May God bless you!

  20. Kc

    I want to thank you for your willingness to share your knowledge and your journey.

    This post about dairy is really one of those that helps get one over the hump. Please keep ‘em coming!

    On a side note….your post has given me a spark of an idea…..certainly there must be a way to sue the Diary Council for mislabeling or deceptive advertising or something. They managed to get “soy milk” de-milked. Perhaps the time is right for a little table turning.

  21. katie

    Thank you for posting this…. I will be printing off a copy to show to my friends and family!! They always ask me what’s so unhealthy about dairy, and I never have a good answer. This should do the trick! 😉

    I recently found you on twitter, and am just exploring your blog.. I love it! I’ve been vegan for a month now and find blogs like yours so useful!! So, thank you!

    Being a newbie vegan, I’d especially love a doc. of all the recipes you’ve posted!!

    Thanks!

  22. rebecca

    I love the post! I have been trying “quit” cheese for a long time now. Reading this makes me want to get over my last hurdle on the way to veganism. Please send me recipes when you get a chance! Thanks

  23. little veg

    Over a year ago, I found out that my baby boy was allergic to dairy and eggs. I was told by his allergist that I needed to eliminate all dairy and egg products from my own diet if I was to keep breast feeding. I will admit that I still have occasional cookies, but for the most part I have been dairy free for a year! I did this for my kid, but I feel so much better as well. I no longer have intestinal troubles after too much cheese. I have also discovered that many restaurants try to cover up bad food with cheese and other dairy products. On the rare occasion that I have cheated to eat a little cheese, I am always sorry with how bad the cheese now tastes and with how I feel after eating it.

    Who would have guessed that an overwhelming condition like an allergy would lead to a whole family being healthier?

  24. Vegan

    Great post, and I wish more people knew the truth about dairy.
    I would love to get a copy of your recipes when you get a chance!
    Thanks

  25. Gry

    Very interesting. I didnt know alot of these things. i went lactose intolerant at 25, and cause im e diabetic too, they tetsted my dna-strings.

    The test showed that i have been lactoseintolerant from my 4th living year, but it first showed itself many years later.

    now im trying to live a life without dairy prods. and its hard! But i found that ricemilk with vanila and calcium is actually more tasting than milk ever was!

    Now im playing with different recepies for milkshake and fruit/soyayoghurt i make myself on my foodprocessor, and i love them!

Nat
I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on nat@cleanseplan.com

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