It’s funny how what may seem to be a major problem or crisis can actually turn out to be the best thing that could have happened. We certainly grow as individuals and gain much. When I discovered that I had a sensitivity to dairy, I was gutted; all my favourite creamy cakes, desserts and cheese were suddenly off the menu. Major changes to the way I view and ate food were on the way, and looking back now, I am so thankful as it has not only helped me to feel so much better health wise, but it’s also revolutionised my way of thinking and opened up a whole new adventure – The Sensitive Foodie Kitchen.
All my life I was told, and am still told, that dairy is good for me, and a vital part of a healthy diet. People are still aghast that I have eradicated it from my diet – how do I manage? Dairy is an integral part of our societal psyche – it’s hard to break free from the norms. So really, that is why I am grateful for my sensitivity; it’s enabled me to make a massive change for the better and been my excuse for being different. And when it’s hard to resist a slice of gorgeous looking creamy chocolate cake, I no longer feel deprived knowing that it will make me feel so ill it’s not worth it. Plus I know how to make a great alternative myself!
There has been lots of research about the dangers of dairy in our diets, how it contributes towards obesity, diabetes, allergies, osteoporosis, cancer – the list goes on. But even when the research is on a huge scale, some how the health and food industry manage to dispute or deny it, and so milk is still promoted as healthy product that should be consumed in large amounts.
The latest piece of research published last month in the British Medical Journal* seems to be finally bringing the message home – a study in Northern Europe that involved over 115,000 people concluded that those who consumed large amounts of milk (about a pint a day) had an increased risk of bone fractures and death. Women in particular, who are encouraged to consume more milk for healthy bones, have a 60% increased risk of hip fractures. For every glass of milk consumed, the risk of dying from heart disease increased by 15% and cancer by 7% and those who had 3 glasses a day or more, compared with just one glass, had a whopping 93% increased risk of dying. That’s huge! So who says milk is good for you now?
The truth is we just don’t need dairy in our diet – cow’s milk is for calves, goats milk for kids (not human ones!) and human breast milk for babies. It’s packed full of all the nutrients, protein and growth factors that a baby animal needs to do the fastest growth and development it’s ever going to have to do
in it’s life. If we were supposed to consume milk as adults, we would have evolved differently – maybe more like David Walliams character Harvey who wants ‘bitty’…….?
No-one in my house drinks dairy now – not that I’ve forced them to either! My son’s life long eczema and asthma have practically gone since eradicating dairy from his diet (plus teenage acne is much better!); my daughter’s joint pains have massively improved (dairy is inflammatory) and finally my husband continues to lose weight dairy free and plant based.
Change is hard, but good things are worth making the effort for. And the more people who go dairy free, to more it becomes mainstream. So why not give it a go, and give your body a break – it will thank you for it in the long run! And if you’re not sure where to start, The Sensitive Foodie Kitchen is here to help. Come along to a dairy free cooking demo, or look out for my on-line support course coming soon.
*Michaëlsson K, Wolk A, Langenskiöld S, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. BMJ. 2014;349:g6015.