Milk; Does a Body No Good?

Being vegan, many people ask where I get my calcium if I don't eat dairy foods (among other nutrients).

For years, I've studied the available research on milk and other dairy products and have always believed that milk, especially in it's current form, is not an essential part of a healthy diet that I would recommend, and can actually be harmful to your health.

Case in point. Some years ago I was speaking with a mother that complained about how many reoccuring ear infections her daughter had and that she was constantly on antibiotics. She also suffered from colds and was sick more often than what she would consider normal. After asking some questions about the girls diet, I found that she drank milk more than several times a day, and consumed other dairy foods and foods containing dairy by-products. I recommended she cut out all dairy products and substitute unsweetened soy or rice milk, fresh vegetables and when she had a craving for something sweet, a non-dairy frozen dessert (made with soy or rice milk).

In less than a month, the mother reported that her daughter hadn't been sick at all during that time, and over the next two years, she had only been sick once or twice with a minor cough or cold. This was a major relief for the mother and a blessing for the girl since she not only felt better, but felt good not having to take medicine all the time.

Now comes evidence that the calcium benefit the dairy industry claims is vital to growing children... well, really isn't. In one of the most comprehensive review of over 27 studies looking into the benefits of calcium from milk sources found that only three out of the 27 studies found any benefit, and very little benefit at that. Read an article detailing the studies here.

Some of the existing research notes that fruit and vegetable sources of calcium are better absorped by our bodies, and that after milk is pasturized and fortified, the calcium is no longer in a form that is easy for us to assimilate and thus not much of a benefit. Studies note that getting out, staying active and exercising will do more for strong bones than drinking milk, a powerful statement that the dairy industry doesn't want you to hear.

Dairy products have been know to cause excess mucus, carry growth hormones (in almost all non-organic milk and dairy products) and cause allergic reactions to a large portion of humans that can't digest or are in some way allergic to dairy products (dairy allergies are one of the top allergies we may have - but most don't know it).

The way I look at it, why go through all the problems associated with dairy products when you can get plentiful calcium in other fruits and vegetables, bio-available vitamin supplements and get stronger bones by exercising and staying active?

Peace.

Mark
http://vegandiet.blogspot.com

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Traveling on the Raw Food Diet?

Posted on July 9th, 2009 in raw diet,raw food,raw vegan diet,travel,traveling,trip,vegan diet by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 8 Comments »

One of the things many talk about when transitioning to a raw food diet is 'how do I travel when eating raw?'.

Some look at it as a challenge, some as an obstacle, some as the natural thing to do.

On The Raw Road

Posted on August 6th, 2007 in children,driving,eating,raw,snacks,summer,traveling,trip by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on On The Raw Road

I've just returned from a 9 day vacation with my daughter... a road trip from Arizona to the mid west and back. It was her first driving trip and we both had a ball enjoying the scenery, time together and visiting family.

I noticed much about our society along the way as well as how easy it is to eat a healthy diet on the road while traveling.

First I noticed how unhealthy most people we ran across looked. It's no wonder with the type of food available at highway stops... fast foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, tacos, ice cream and the like. In fact we joked (kindly) that many people looked just like the fast food they were eating (think big and super-sized). We made good use of McDonalds and Taco Bell's along the way... they had clean and mostly empty restrooms! While visiting a McDonalds for a restroom break we decided to walk into the restaurant to see the highway below (a great view) and noticed most folks eating there overweight and weren't very happy. Interesting.

We decided to stop at Whole Foods before leaving and packing a large cooler with freezer packs and food for 2-3 days of meals. My daughter does eat some cooked food and we brought some pre-made soups for quick meals for her along with plenty of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I brought my Vita-Mix blender (won't leave home without it!) and we started each day with a fresh blended fruit smoothie, more fruit throughout the day, a soup for my daughter and a larger salad for me and a smoothie for dessert.

There were 2 Whole Foods Markets along the way not far from the highways we were traveling on, and we stopped at both on the way there and back to stock up and sit down for a fresh and healthy meal. We noticed each store had different locally grown fruits and vegetables and made sure to try them all.

We both felt great throughout our trip, had nice picnics in scenic areas off the highway and thoroughly enjoyed our fresh and organic meals. Fun!

I believe one of the important parts of getting back to a natural diet and lifestyle is to spend time with our children, families and loved ones. Away from televisions and many of the modern technologies we have grown accustomed to in our society today. Time in nature, noticing the flowers, mountains, creeks, fresh breeze and beautiful sunsets. We experienced all that and more on this trip, and it was priceless.

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