The Dangers of Conventional Dairy Plus the Important Facts About Raw Dairy
Dairy is a hot topic, and for those of you who follow a Paleo diet, chances are you have eliminated dairy from your diet already, however understanding why dairy can be damaging to health is an important step in living a healthy lifestyle.
For years, modern television would broadcast commercials promoting the health benefits of milk, encouraging children to consume milk to build strong bones. Some commercials even went as far as having professional athletes advertise the benefits of milk. Many of these commercials are still run today. The USDA food pyramid also portrays milk as a healthy food.
However, is milk really that healthy? Why is it that so many people are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products?
For one, nearly 75% of the world’s population is actually unable to digest milk along with other dairy products. (1) Not only that, but there are many misconceptions about the fact that milk is the best way to get calcium into your diet.
Many people believe that they must consume dairy in order to build strong bones, but that’s not what research is showing. According to a Nurses’ Health Study, drinking milk and consuming dairy doesn’t reduce fracture risk, in fact, it may increase the risk.
Pretty shocking, right? This is just another example as to how certain foods can be marketed as “healthy” when in reality there is a lot more we need to learn about them.
Let’s dive in. I am going to share some of the dangers of consuming conventional dairy products, and some alternative ways to get calcium into your diet.
The Dangers of Conventional Dairy
When I talk about conventional milk, I am talking about most of the dairy products you will find at your grocery store.
Conventional dairy is filled with antibiotics, hormones, and steroids all of which can cause significant harm to your health.
Here are some of the dangers of consuming conventional milk and dairy products:
- Hormone Exposure: Many dairy products are filled with hormones including pituitary, steroid, hypothalamic, and thyroid hormones. (2) When you consume milk that’s been pumped with hormones, you risk throwing your own hormonal balance off.
- rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone): You have likely seen rBGH printed on dairy milk products and many products are now striving to be rBGH-free, but not all products This is a hormone that is injected into cows in order to increase their milk production. The problem with this hormone is that it’s genetically engineered and has been linked to various cancers including breast, and colon cancer.
- Antibiotics: This has become a very common concern when it comes to conventional dairy products. Antibiotics, in general, can be extremely damaging to gut health and when you consume antibiotics via dairy products on a regular, or maybe even daily basis you risk compromising many aspects of your health. Cows are given antibiotics because many of the conventionally fed cows are so sick they have to be pumped with drugs in order to keep producing milk. These drugs then wind up in your daily glass of milk.
While many people may decide to eliminate dairy from their diet altogether, especially if they cannot tolerate it, there is an alternative option, and this is to include raw dairy products into your diet.
Raw dairy and full-fat dairy products have proven to contain some powerful health benefits, and don’t contain all of the harmful additives like conventional dairy products do.
The first reason why raw milk is a much better option is the fact that these cows are fed what they would naturally eat in the wild. They eat grass, not grains! Since these cows are grazing on grass, they have higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) as well as essential fatty acids in their raw milk products. (3)
Choosing raw milk ensures that you are not consuming milk from a cow that’s been fed food so far removed from what their bodies could naturally tolerate. This eliminates the need for antibiotics, steroids, as well as other drugs.
Here are some of the other health benefits of consuming raw milk:
- Tolerance: Many people who have a hard time digesting conventional dairy products do better with raw dairy. While the reason behind this is not entirely clear, The Weston A. Price Foundation found that 80% of 700 families who had been dealing with lactose intolerance no longer had any issues with dairy when they switched to raw milk.
- The Benefits for Children: Many studies in Europe have found that introducing raw milk during childhood could have impressive health benefits in the protection against asthma, and allergies. Again, the exact reason behind this is unknown; speculation is that one reason could be the higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids found in raw full-fat milk as well as antimicrobial benefits not present in conventional milk options.
- Higher Levels of Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Another surprising benefit of raw milk is its concentration of fat-soluble vitamins, which are important for both heart health as well as cancer prevention. Fat-soluble vitamins also help to balance hormones naturally.
- Excellent Source of Butyrate: Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid which has been shown to help assist in conditions related to inflammation, and metabolism. Not only that, but the CLA levels in raw milk have been shown to help reduce body fat as well as lower high cholesterol levels. (4)
Getting Enough Calcium
Getting enough calcium is essential to health, and not just bone health. We also need calcium for heart health, nerve signaling as well as muscle contractions.
The great news is that if you choose to keep raw dairy out of your diet, as well as the toxic conventional milk products, there are ways you can get that 600 mg of calcium into your daily diet.
Here are some great sources of calcium that don’t include dairy:
- Bone-in fish
- Bone broth
- Dark leafy greens
- Blackstrap molasses
- Sesame seeds
If you are suffering from weight gain, fatigue, hair loss and more, click here to schedule a phone call with me, so I can find out where you’ve been, where you want to get to, and how I can help you get there.
I know exactly where you are because I’ve been there myself…I remember being so tired that I could barely function. I gained 30 pounds out of nowhere and had a severe case of brain fog. I also started to get severe anxiety and panic attacks. I was driven and motivated…until I wasn’t. I didn’t know what was happening to me. All I wanted was to get my life back…
Finally, I learned about functional medicine and found a practitioner that I hoped could help me. They ran specialized tests that were far different than I had ever had before. When I got the results back, it turned out I had candida, parasites, high cortisol, the Epstein Bar Virus and many food intolerances. I also had an issue with my thyroid that no one found before because they were using the conventional medicine lab ranges which are way too broad….which I now know is one of the leading causes of hypothyroid misdiagnosis.
I went through treatment of all of these things and it completely changed my life. I immediately lost the 30 pounds I had gained plus more, I had a lot more energy, and my brain fog was gone. I felt amazing and knew that I wanted to help people find the underlying causes of their symptoms and disease.
Dr. Hyman. Dairy: 6 Reasons You Should Avoid It at all Costs.
Global Healing Center. (2009) The Dangers of Drinking Cow’s Milk.
Chris Kresser. (2012) Raw Milk Reality: Benefits of Raw Milk.
Dr. Axe. Raw Milk Benefits Skin, Allergies and Immunity.