Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Got Milk? Maybe you shouldn't.

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 Spock , who was once a huge advocate for Milk has since withdrawn his support.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.


Banks Family said...

Shari, I was excited to find your blog. You have so much wonderful information. I would really like to change the way my family eats, it feels like you just get into a rutt. Davis has a severe Nut allergy and the rest of my boys have severe eczema so I need to study up on some of your advice and lay off the Ellidel!! Thanks for your insight. Tarrah Banks

Nichole said...

I went and watched how they pasturize milk at a dairy farm like 20 years ago. We saw it from the raw stage to being put in the bottles. We watched the milk go through on these big machines. I couldnt believe all the disgusting stuff that was in it. I have never drank a glass of milk since. I guess it is a good thing that I have never pushed it since my kids have major asthma and allergies. You can get calcium and protein so many other ways just like you said.

Melissa said...

I have always limited milk. Even when my kids were little I never let them just drink it and I never, ever, put it in their bottles or sippy cups. I am happy to say that none of them ever suffered from allergies or chronic ear infections. We do use milk though, but very minimal. I am glad to hear that the rest of the world is catching on.

briansarahannah said...

I could never picture giving my baby cows milk, just because I hate it so much, so I'm glad there are alternatives. Milk doesn't make me sick, it just disgusts me, has since I was a kid. But I do love other dairy products and I guess I need to work on using them more sparingly.

Laurie said...

Neither of my girls ever took to milk. It's a rare event they ever ask for milk - usually when they see other kids drinking it. But I totally agree. There are many other (and better) ways to get calcium. Ruby has never had any problems with calcium deficiency and she never drinks milk, and hates cheese.

Megan said...

Took Jake off milk today....was so proud of myself when I went to good earth and bought a ton of what I thought was rice milk. I was even more proud when he LOVED it and wanted more. Then I discovered it was soy milk. BAHHHHHHHHHH! I will try again tomorrow. I hope he takes the rice milk. Keeping fingers crossed......hoping this will rid his eczema and ear infections!

The Gibbs said...

I was so excited to find your blog, you have a lot of useful information. My twin boys have been on soy milk since they were 4 months (they just turned two this month). Is there something wrong with soymilk? You can email me at

Steph said...

LOVED this post. Thanks for posting it. My sister sent me your blog. I have a 2 year old who has had a very sensitive stomach since he was born. About 6 months ago, he started getting bad diharea. I finally figured it out. It was dairy products (cheese, yogurt etc.). Anytime he eats them, he gets the big D. The Drs haven't confimed if its a milk alergy but being a mom.. I know that its the milk. Thanks again for the good post!