One of the most successful cons out there is that dairy does a body good.
I used to consume copious amounts of it, mistakenly believing I was preventing osteoporosis in later life, that it was good for my overall health.
Dairy products are marketed as high calcium foods that assist in strengthening bones.
However the most ideal foods for bone health are foods that are not only high in calcium, but reduce calcium loss in the body. Namely… fruit and veg. Fruit and veg also contain boron, which assists in reducing calcium loss.
Dairy is an acidic food, along with meat, white flour and sugar. Studies show consumption of an acid-producing diet will lead to four times more bone fractures.
Acidic foods age and degenerate your skin. Eeps! Those expensive miracle creams are wasted if your diet is highly acidic.
Have you ever wondered when you’re feeling under the weather, why the doc tells you to up your liquids (clear soups, herbal teas, water) and steer clear of dairy?
In order for our bodies to digest lactose (lactose is the sugar found in dairy), we need an enzyme called lactase. From when we are 18 months to 4 years old, up to 95% of this enzyme is lost. So put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Undigested lactose + acidic nature of milk = breeding ground for intestinal bad bacteria = higher cancer risk
Dairy products produce mucus, and the body’s natural self-defense mechanism is to develop a cold or an ‘allergy’.
Dairy does not deter osteoporosis. Its high protein content leaches calcium from the body by sucking calcium sources from the bones to balance the pH in our blood. Foods even lower in calcium such as meat and eggs cause even greater losses. This explains why blood tests show you have adequate amounts of calcium if your diet is based around dairy and meat. It is no coincidence the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis (USA, Sweden, Finland) are the biggest consumers of meat, milk and other animal foods.
A host of other problems have been linked to the consumption of dairy: acne, anaemia, anxiety, arthritis, ADHD, autism, cancers of the breast, prostate and ovaries, fibromyglia, heartburn, indigestion, IBS, joint pain, colic, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and Crohn’s disease.
It’s not all doom or gloom though, folks. The good news is there are plenty of alternatives. It’s all about substitution!
I thought I would feel deprived until I discovered the joys of milk alternatives such as almond milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk… even mung bean milk! Same story with cream and condensed milk – swap over to coconut, nut or tofu based substitutes.
When it comes to yogurt, I am about to experiment with making my own. If you can’t be bothered then COYO is delish, found in many health food stores and some IGAs.
Cheese – There are plenty of ready-made alternatives out there whether you want. Brands such as Notzarella, Vegusto and Tofutti are pretty tasty.
As for icecream, buy sorbet or get creative by making your own. There’s so many recipes out there, with most of them being comprised of some sort of non-dairy milk, tofu, or frozen bananas. Coco Luscious makes a range of ready-made non-dairy ice creams which are *to die for*
Below are some tried and tested recipes for dairy alternatives.
Basic Almond Milk
1 c raw almonds (soaked overnight in filtered water)
3 c filtered water
optional: agave or stevia, vanilla extract, cinnamon
Discard soaking water and rinse nuts. Place nuts in blender and add filtered water. Blitz until smooth. Add sweetener to taste (optional).
Place a bowl on kitchen counter. Slowly pour milk into a nut milk bag and catch liquid in bowl. Squeeze nut milk bag gently until no liquid remains. What’s leftover in the bag is almond meal you can use for crackers, cakes, cookies, replacing flour etc. Leftover almond meal can be frozen for later use.
Pour strained milk into glass mason jars and store in the fridge. Keeps for 3-4 days.
Tip: A favourite of mine is using hazelnuts. Smells rich and chocolatey. Add cacao powder and 1 tsp vanilla essence to make chocolate milk.
Raw Cashew Cheeze
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked)
1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons water
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice or vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Drain nuts and place them food processor or blender. Add 1/4 cup water and the rest of the ingredients, and mix until thoroughly puréed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl every so often.
Add a little more water if necessary and blend again to adjust the consistency; the cheese will get a little more solid as it sets.
Transfer to a bowl, cover, and let stand somewhere cool for 24 hours before placing in the fridge, keeps for 5 days.
Rawmesan (Parmesan alternative)
1 cup almonds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Blitz almonds in food processor until crumbly and resembling grated parmesan. Add in nutritional yeast and sea salt to taste.
Sprinkle on top of pastas, pizza, salads… Refrigerate unused rawmesan in airtight container.
Raw Pistachio Icecream
1 ripe avocado
4 chopped frozen ripe bananas
2 tablespoons agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup pistachios
Throw everything in a food processor with the ‘S’ blade. Process until smooth. Scoff!
Happy experimenting 🙂