Milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream. Everywhere you look there are food options based around dairy. We are told it is essential to maintain strong bones and health however it may in fact have the opposite result. Our bodies reaction to lactose in exceeding quantities can often be averse.
Our Bodies Reaction to Lactose and Milk Protein
Let’s start with the basics of milk. Milk is what cows produce to nurse their baby calf’s. Its purpose is only for this however us as human have adopted it as a staple food group. We drink it for its calcium content to give us strong bones and the protein content. The bad news here is that the protein in milk as well as the lactose cause inflammation in our bodies as our digestive systems were not designed to digest this foreign food. This inflammation is present in our blood and takes on an acidic form. In order to combat this acid and inflammation our body resorts to its calcium stores which are inherently basic by nature. But where are these calcium stores located? In our bones of course! Therefore we must use our calcium stores to combat the dairy produced inflammation and in the end we have less calcium in our bones than we started with. Therefore, milk does not improve bone strength, it actually weakens them!
Alternatives to Dairy
There are many substitutes available to replace dairy’s role in your diet. Your options include soy based products such as soy milk, almond based products, or rice based products. Personally I am not a fan of soy milk due to its estronogenic effects however it is a good source of protein, which can not be said about almond and rice milk. The good news is no matter which alternative you choose it is usuaklky enhanced with calcium and this you will be making you bones stronger without the added inflammation. Almond milk is my personal favorite out of the alternatives for taste and overall nutrition.
Dairy is so intertwined in our diets these days that it is not realistic to cut it out completely, nor is it necessary. We can digest lactose in small quantities and it does not become a problem until we overdo it. Just being aware of dairy’s effects on the human body is the first step to improved health!