After the first 2-5 years of life, most children have insufficient lactose
enzymes to digest the milk sugars called lactose. A lactose intolerance
can cause bloating, diarrhoea and excessive wind, leading to malabsorption
of nutrients. Adults tend to consume far too much dairy. The milk proteins
can also be very hard to digest and many people can be sensitive
without realising it. Conditions related to the consumption of diary are:
asthma, eczema, polycystic ovaries, obesity and diabetes.
Milk proteins are also very hard to digest and are consumed in excessive
amounts (milky coffees, milk on cereal, milk in tea, milk in sauces, soups
and many foods throughout the day) which is actually what most people
consider normal. It can cause an acidic environment in the body which
in turn causes excess mucus to be produced. Excess mucus during a cold
can be helped by removing, or replacing cow’s milk with goat’s milk or
fortified oat milk. Replacing cow’s milk cows milk from my children’s
diet when they were young and replaced with goats milk on their cereal
and very small amounts of goats cheese and butter every now and then.
They have never had a ‘snotty nose’ since doing this. Goat’s milk has far
less lactose in in and is easier to digest.
In today’s Western diet so much of our food contains dairy and it is
very helpful to remove dairy even if it is for a short time (a few months)
to see how you feel, and give your digestion a break.
Many years ago when milk was not over produced, when there
were no antibiotics, pasteurisation or added hormones to force
cows to mass produce milk, it was a health giving food.
Now it is produced in ways that is damaging to health and the environment.
Dairy is far too abundant and relied upon as a staple food in the Western diet.
Treating cheese and dairy products as a treat rather than a staple part
of your diet, can have many health benefits to some people.
For example Claire had 2 months to go to her wedding day. She had
suffered for years with eczema on her hands and fingers, she was
determined to get rid of this so that she could wear her wedding ring,
it was the goal that motivated her at last to take dairy from her diet.
This included all milk, cows butters, cheese,cream, milk chocolate, yogurt
and any foods that contained dairy. She was truly suprised that within a week
the eczema had almost disappeared – and this is the absolute truth
as she is my sister. It didn’t take double blind controlled studies to prove to
her that removing dairy worked.
Goats milk can have less of an effect than cow’s milk and could be worth
trying as a substitute.
Non-Diary Calcium Sources
We can still obtain the daily requirements of calcium from other food sources:
brazil nuts, chickpeas, dried seaweeds, figs, greens, shellfish, whitebait,
black strap molasses, salmon, sesame butter, kale, broccoli, turnip greens,
collard greens, bok choy, spinach, dandelion greens, quinoa, mackerel,
sardines, shrimp, oysters, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts,
almonds, sesame seeds (whole, unhulled and Tahini), walnuts, sunflower seeds,
dried figs, pulses, seeds, almonds.
Note: Green leagy vegetables like spinach, and brown rice are a great source of
calcium, however eaten in excessive amounts can cause non-absorption of
calcium due to the phytic acid content that binds to minerals.
Variety is the key.
Including all of these foods in your diet gives you an incredible variety
and many more nutrients than just drinking milk.
Some of the best sources of calcium are:
– Tinned red salmon with bones
– Boiled chicken on the bone stock used in soups and sauces.
– Black strap molasses.
Foods to avoid
Milk and its derivatives, cream, cheese, yogurt, fromage frais,
high dairy chocolate, crème fraiche, skimmed milk powder, whey sugar and
products that contain high amounts of dairy like quiches made with cheese and cream.
Oat milk, Rice milk, Almond milk, Quinoa milk, Hemp milk,
Coconut butter, water and milk (in moderation), Avocado butter,
Ghee (Clarified butter) Soya milk if you have found you respond well, but soya
can cause problems to sensitive people.
You can get Dairy free products even chocolate. It is also easy to make
your own dairy free treats.
Yoghurt – Organic yoghurt can be healthy for some as the lactose has been
broken down and it is easier to digest. Some people however are sensitive to
the milk proteins and should try introducing yoghurt back into the diet after a period
of not consuming it, to see if it does have a effect on digestion.
Once your body has had a break from dairy, it is possible to re introduce it but in
moderate amounts. Be aware of how you feel after eating it, if skin problems return,
or your bowel movements change or any other symptom returns, it may be that
dairy is not for you.
Some cheeses may be easier to digest in moderation – Buffalo Mozzarella, Feta Cheese,
cottage cheese, goats cheese.
The body needs Vitamin D to be able to lay down bone (along with Magnesium,
boron and other nutrients) If you are not getting any sun then it is advisable to take
a Vitamin D supplement. You can ask your GP for a Vitamin D test to see
whether you are deficient.