Over the years, I’ve had bouts of lactose intolerance, which really isn’t surprising given that I also have Crohn’s Disease, a condition where my immune system attacks my digestive tract. I’ve found that limiting the amount of milk and other dairy products in my diet helps me to control those pesky gastro-intestinal symptoms that come with lactose intolerance: bloating, gas, diarrhea and vomiting.
The well-known Mayo Clinic actually recommends limiting or eliminating dairy products from your diet if you are lactose intolerant. The real reason why I am giving up milk and other dairy products however isn’t just about controlling my symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Reasons to Give Up Milk and Dairy
It’s expensive. A gallon of milk costs more than a gallon of gasoline and the price of milk and other dairy products reflects this. I can grow kale and other green leafy vegetables in my backyard garden to replace the calcium that I would get in a glass of milk. Unless I want to buy a farm and raise dairy cows, I have no real way to lower the cost of milk and dairy products.
It’s full of sodium and fat and I don’t like the taste of the low fat versions. I can get more calcium in those leafy greens without all of the calories as well.
Milk and dairy may not be as healthy as we’ve been led to believe. According to a news report by CNN dairy cows tend to be injected with unhealthy chemicals such as Bovine Growth Hormone. Medical journals have even found that the residue of antibiotics is frequently found in milk supplies all over the world.
There are now great non-dairy alternatives to milk and related products. While many of my friends rave about the soy substitutes, I tend to stay away from them as well as many soy products found in the U.S. may be made from GMO seeds. There are great tasting alternatives however to both dairy and soy, such as milk and other products that are made from coconut and almonds.
Put together, all of these are great reasons for me to give up drinking milk and other dairy products, whether or not I happen to be lactose intolerant at the moment.
Be certain to let me know in the comments section below how you feel about giving up dairy. What are your favorite non-dairy substitutes? Do you have any great recipes that use dairy substitutes? Please share!