For as long as I can remember I’ve had what some people would call a ‘nervous stomach’. On good days I get this twitchy feeling in the pit of my stomach after drinking milk that is not unlike the feeling you get when you go on a first date. Other days are worse, ranging from an uncomfortable feeling in my gut to constipation, and at times even short stabs of shooting pain. I feel sluggish a lot of the times and my joints are so stiff I creak like an old lady when I walk up and down the stairs.
After my daughter was diagnosed with several allergies in her late teens, including being lactose intolerant, she started a dairy free diet. I can hardly believe the difference it has made in her life. Her skin has cleared up, no more stomach aches and she sleeps much better. I am ready to follow her lead to a dairy free life.
Here are 5 more reasons why I am finally giving up on dairy:
- Being Lactose Intolerant is very common. I didn’t know this! This fact was pointed out in the ‘Health Concerns about Dairy Products’ article on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website. It states that 74% of Native Americans are affected by being lactose intolerant. The article continues by saying “Symptoms, which include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and flatulence, occur because these individuals do not have the enzyme lactose to digest the milk sugar lactose.”
- Dairy causes constipation. There is no fiber in milk and cheese so it makes it very hard for your stomach to digest. It is easy to replace the nutrients like calcium, that you would get from drinking milk, with vegetables, fruits and grains.
- A dairy rich diet increases heart disease. Eating a lot of dairy products adds a ton of cholesterol and saturated fat to my diet. The same article I read above also mentions that “Diets high in fat and especially in saturated fat. Like milk, can increase the risk of heart disease and can cause other serious health problems.”
- Dairy is fattening. We all know that there is a lot of fat in regular milk. Unfortunately low fat or skim milk isn’t a whole lot better. In an article by Kathy Freston, Health Activist and Author, she mentions a Harvard study of 12,829 children. It showed that the milk sugar in skim milk may make you fatter than whole milk. She writes “That wouldn’t surprise farmers; when they want to fatten up a pig, they feed it skim milk.”
- I like the new alternatives to dairy. There have never been so many good tasting milk alternatives on the market as there are right now. You can find cow milk alternatives like soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk and other blended non-dairy milk. Commercially made non-dairy cheeses are widely available and, of course, there are delicious non-dairy yogurts and ice creams.
After forty years of dealing with stomach issues I am more than ready to give up on cow milk and go with a non-dairy lifestyle.