For some reason I hesitate to write this blog although it is the number one thing I get emailed about and the first thing I tell people to eliminate. Why I hesitate to write is that it is such a huge controversy to speak against milk. We have been told since we were little, and our mothers before us, that we need 3 servings a day. Ad campaigns are everywhere , we can loose weight with milk, get strong bones, get a great milk mustache. But, who are the people telling us this? Hmmmmm, the American Dairy Council. Who are they? One of the big companies of America out to not make you healthy, but to take your money. So, why listen to them? Listen to the people that know what milk actually does to a body. One of my favorite famous Dr.'s is Andrew Weil, he is a big advocate of eliminating dairy, google his website and read up on any great topic. Dr. Spock , who was once a huge advocate for Milk has since withdrawn his support. The list goes on. So, why? Why not milk? What will happen if we don't drink milk? What will happen if we do?
First of all, we are not baby cows. All other mammals in life are weaned from their mothers in infancy and not supplemented with milk later on. Milk has a very high protein content, one that is too high for people, especially children. Cow's milk is hard on the intestinal tract and can lead to microscopic blood loss in infants which may lead to iron deficiency. People who once never had a problem with milk may develop an intolerance for milk later in life as we stop producing the enzyme to process lactose. I, myself am one of those.
But, the real problems is for the little ones. More than 50% of Americans are allergic to milk , and many who aren't develop that allergy later on. If your child has a constant runny nose and ear infections, chances are that they have a problem with dairy. It will start to lay in the stomach, corroded and make the child feel sick and miserable. Worse yet, it will start to trigger many other allergies if not removed along with asthma, eczema and illnesses. If it is removed, or better yet, never given to children, you can prevent and cure many ailments to come.
For me, I have never given my little ones milk after being weaned. They go right to a fortified rice milk which no one is really allergic to. It has just as much calcium. My little ones, after I found this out from my first one didn't have diaper rashes, runny noses and ear infections ( My last one had some ear infections due to other allergies). They never missed it. This doesn't mean that I don't have any dairy. Since my baby has a true allergy to milk, he doesn't ever touch any of it, but my others have some cheeses, occasional ice cream and I cook with it. But, no fluid milk. There is a difference. When people used to drink Raw milk, it was more digestible. Now that it is pasteurized, it is much harder. Milk that is left to cure is broken down into easier to digest proteins. For instance, hard block cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan, monterey jack and swiss are cured over 60 days. Also, homemade yogurt that is left to cure for 24 hours are better to digest and beneficial to the body.
What about calcium? Calcium is in many other foods, in fact, the calcium in milk is often hard to absorb as it is tangled up with the high protein content. Foods such as almonds, broccoli, spinach and carrots all contain calcium along with whole grains. This is why smoothies are so great to sneak in the spinach. So many studies have been conducted on people who drink milk and those who don't and calcium and bone density. There wasn't a difference. None of my children have had a broken bone. My little one who never has a bit of dairy has calcium tests and he is perfectly fine.
If I could give any advice, first, if you have a baby, never start them on milk. Second, if you have older children, stop letting them drink it. Enjoy the cheeses in moderation and occasional ice cream but no more drinking it. No more cold cereal, or at least in moderation. If you have children with runny noses , asthma and ear infections, this is critical to remove. Milk creates mucus. You will see huge improvements rapidly. Asthmatics should never drink milk. Ever.
There are great articles out there. This is not nutrition according to Shari. The top nutritional Docs are on board. Google it out. Read for yourselves. One article I like can be read here. It talks about the other concerns of milk.
I am not a fanatic. I just had a half a glass of a milk shake the other night, I felt really yucky afterwards but it tasted so good going down. I am old enough to be past the ear infections and diaper rashes, I most likely won't develop allergies from drinking it, your little ones might not be so fortunate. If you can keep the milk away from them now, most likely they won't have an allergy to it later on in life and a good chance you can keep them from developing many other allergies. Allergies are contagious. Once the stomach is inflamed from one allergy, it kicks out the response to start being inflamed and allergic to many other foods. Then you have a much bigger problem on your hands. Trust me, I am there with my little guy.
Please read up, find out what is best for your family. You are the mom. Be educated and don't trust just anyone to tell you what to do , especially the ad companies.