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Milk & Dairy: We don’t need you

Growing up in the states, I’ve been brainwashed into thinking milk is a must to be strong and healthy. We’ve seen many well known figures don the famous white milk mustache, the slogan “Got Milk?” echoes from all the media outlets and USDA Food Pyramid tell us we should be drinking 3 glasses of milk everyday for strong teeth and bones. The problem I have is that the people who came up with this pyramid have a very good relationship with the dairy industry as well as the agricultural industry, but that’s another topic of it’s own.

Milk contains plenty of calcium, that stuff your bones and teeth are made of. So it sounds logical that consuming more milk gives you stronger teeth and bones. However in countries where dairy is not part of the diet such as is Africa and Asia, fracture rates and osteoporosis is actually less common! Your body will produce stronger bones with load-bearing exercises without the consumption of dairy.

About 75% of the population is lactose intolerant and can’t properly digest milk and dairy. Maybe it’s time to realize that humans were not meant to be drinking milk from animals. Milk is not the only source of calcium out there. Dark leafy greens are a great source of calcium and don’t contain all the fat and sugar found in milk. It is also contains many nutrients and fiber not found in milk and dairy naturally without having to be fortified. Some of you reading this may not want to give up dairy and that’s fine. My main point is that if you are forcing yourself to consume milk and dairy because you think you need it, STOP! If you love cheese and can tolerate it, go ahead, just know it’s not doing much to keep your bones and teeth strong.