I looooove cheese, cream and other forms of dairy, but excessive amounts can weaken our immune system and make us sick. But not all dairy is bad. Dairy should be eaten in moderation for many reasons which we will cover in this article, however if you can find organic fermented varieties, some great health benefits can be gained.
Let me just put this out there for you to ponder. When we were infants, we drank breast milk from our mother for the first several months of life. Everything we needed to grow fast and develop was in our human mothers breast milk and when we were able to move to solids, we stopped breastfeeding.
However, we are the only animal on the planet which:
1. Drinks the breast milk of another species and
2. Continues to drink breast milk as a fully developed adult.
Somehow this practice became "normal". Kinda strange when you think of it like that huh?
Then we have been heavily marketed to, to drink milk as a health drink, a drink that is designed to help baby cows and goats grow fast.
So what's my beef with dairy?
The first reason mainstream dairy can be harmful, (especially to cancer patients) is due to the fact that both beef and dairy cows, unless organically farmed, are fed growth hormone (GH) to speed up growth and maximise production. The artificial GH then gets passed into the milk, which we then drink.
For anyone that has cancer, or anyone wanting to lose weight for that matter, the last thing you want to be consuming is anything that contains growth hormone. GH will speed up the growth of everything in your body, including cancer cells and tumours.
Whilst organic dairy farmers do not give their cattle growth hormone, dairy in itself is designed by nature to help baby cows grow fast and therefore both traditionally farmed and organically farmed dairy, contains a certain amount of naturally occurring growth hormone. Bovine somatotropin (BST) or bovine growth hormone (BGH) is a naturally-occurring hormone in cows which helps them produce milk and stimulate growth. For those reasons, we recommend that if you have cancer, consume only organic and fermented dairy in moderation, until you are in remission. Once in remission, consuming cheese or cream a few times per week is OK.
Then there’s the antibiotics cows are given so that they can be milked for many weeks longer than they should be, without the risk of developing mastitis. Mastitis is where the udders get infected and pus is transferred to the milk. Organic dairy farmers however do not follow the same processes and therefore is ok in moderation.
Although we are told that these amounts of antibiotics transferred to the dairy is small and is ok in moderation, if we are drinking half a litre of milk per day, a serving of yogurt and some cheese, it all mounts up. Over time, this repeated ingestion of antibiotics, causes imbalances in our gut flora and weakens our immune system, making us more prone to disease and resistant to antibiotics when we genuinely need them.
Finally, there is the sugars found in dairy which can fuel cancer cells and tumours. In 100mls of skim milk, there can be up to 8g of sugar. Thats two teaspoons of sugar! But you wont see sugar listed on the label. You however see lactose, which is a form of sugar and just like sugar, will raise blood sugar levels. At 8g of sugar per 100mls, milk contains almost as much sugar as cola. Then add some flavouring and other sugars and a lot of flavoured milks (which are a staple at many schools) can have up to twice the amount of sugar as cola! Wherever you see "ose" on the end of an ingredient, it is often a sugar. Think Glucose, Sucrose. Lactose is a sugar too.
We love coffee, but in a medium size cafe bought coffee, there is around 50mls of water and 200-300mls of milk in just one cup. Thats 16-24g of sugar in one cup and its easy enough to have three cups per day or more. Try making your own coffee and using organic coconut milk or Soy or Almond milk instead in smaller quantities.
So thats all the bad stuff, here is the good stuff.
When dairy is fermented with a culture, a host of beneficial probiotic bacteria is created which can aid digestion and increase the good bacteria in our gut which has been proven to boost our immune system, helping our bodies naturally fight cancerous cells from within.
Fermented milk products are created when milk ferments with specific kinds of bacteria called Lactobacilli or Bifidobacteria. This makes the milk products easier to digest, especially for people who have milk allergies, are lactose-intolerant or have pancreatic, colon or stomach cancer.
Organic kefir is a tangy, but tasty drink which provides you will all the health benefits of fermented dairy. Another source of fermented dairy is yoghurt; however, you need to be careful as many yoghurts have a tonne of added sugar. So always check the label and if there is more than 5g of total carbohydrates per 100g, put it back on the shelf. Usually the fruit or flavoured varieties contain the most sugar.
Some probiotic drinks such as Yukult, contain almost 50% more sugar than Colas! Again, ALWAYS check labels. Even if it says it's organic, sugar can be organic and just as toxic as non-organic brands.
Dairy is a good source of calcium which can aid in the retention of bone mass and density, especially important for cancer patients undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
Try adding a little kefir to your smoothies once or twice a week or enjoy half a glass with breakfast.
Again, only consume organic fermented dairy. Instead of traditional milk in your tea, try an organic almond, soy or coconut milk. Instead of cream, use coconut cream. Instead of cheese, try avocado or homemade cashew cheese.