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Eat Yourself Healthy

Why you should give cow’s dairy the flick

Why you should give cow's dairy the flick

 

If there’s one food I get asked about from a health perspective more than any other its cows dairy, (closely followed by gluten and wheat).  So I want to help clear the confusion surrounding this topic because I get the sense there is actually a lot of fear when it comes to deciding whether to avoid the cow juice – milk!

Naturally this fear stems from the understanding we have around the links with maintaining healthy calcium levels and preventing conditions like osteoporosis, tooth decay and rickets.

This I understand, however consider this, cow’s dairy is not a traditional dietary staple for many  cultures around the world – (like Japan – traditionally one of the healthiest and longest living populations in the world), and if you look at the statistics, these non cow’s milk drinking cultures don’t measure up with our rates of calcium deficient conditions like osteoporosis and yet we’re the ones drinking all the cow’s milk?

Furthermore, the country’s who rank as the largest consumers of commercially produced cow’s dairy, also take out the prize for the highest rate of heart disease!

So are we overlooking some pretty critical facts when it comes to our intake of cow’s milk, heart disease and the fact that we’re still in trouble when it comes to calcium deficiency related diseases?

The cow’s milk we consume as part of our staple western diet is not the same as the cow’s milk from the ‘good old days’.   There are several reason for this:

1. Because we have banned raw milk (deemed hygienically unsafe) – that’s milk as mother nature intended it -un-tampered and left in its complete and natural state, after we developed some fancy production methods such as homogenisation and pasteurisation.

Homogenisation  is the process used to stop the cream or fat component separating from the milk however this process denatures the natural fat in milk.  So why did we decide to homogenize milk?  Because we humans like everything to look pretty and perfect  – aka purely for aesthetic reasons.  The process of homogenization uses extreme pressure to force the milk through tiny holes to break up the normally large fat molecules into tiny ones, altering the structure of the milk fat by denaturing it. Why is this an issue I hear you ask? Well unfortunately, this unnatural (denatured) fat, is easily absorbed directly into the blood stream, carrying with it a protein known as xanthine oxidase.  The debate over links with the absorption of this protein and cardiovascular disease caused by hardening of the arteries is yet to be resolved. But until then I say ‘when in doubt stay out’!

Pasteurization is a process used to sanitize or ‘clean’ the milk you could say, by heating it to a temperature high enough to kill pathogens – bacteria, followed by rapid cooling.  Quite frankly if you heat the bigeezus out of anything ‘live’ you’re going to kill off more than just bacteria, namely the preexisting nutritional properties in milk  – like pro biotic cultures, vitamins and minerals.  So if pasteurization kills off the naturally occurring good stuff then what is the point of consuming a form of milk that is nutrient deficient and has links to heart disease?

2.     Now days the bulk of our commercially produced milk comes from Friesian cow which produce milk containing a protein known as beta casein A1But before we switched to producing milk from the Friesian cow, milk was consumed from the Jersey and Guernsey cow, which produce milk containing a protein known as beta casein A2.  

The difference between the A1 and A2  proteins lies in their chemical structure, which it turns out constitutes a difference in their physiological impact on our health.  Research has found mounting evidence of an increase in heart disease and the regular consumption of commercially produced A1 milk.  The links with A1 milk and an increase in CVD, stems from the A1 protein acting as a catalyst for causing oxidation of LDL-cholesterol- the ‘bad’ cholesterol, linked to thickening of the arteries, resulting stroke and heart attack.

So whilst A1 and A2 milk both contain the protein beta casein, the A2 milk is at least ahead of the game in respect to the associated inflammatory responses associated with A1 milk.

3. Which brings me to my next argument against the consumption of regular A1cow’s dairy.  As mentioned the A1 protein in commercial milk, has been strongly associated as a catalyst for inflammation.  Aside from the links with increased risk of heart disease, it can also cause irritation of the gut or intestine.  This irritation can then present in the form of  excess mucous production  – the reason behind why so many of us suffer sinus and hay fever, not to mention irritable bowel syndrome.  IBS is rampantly on the rise and conventional medicine is yet to explain why.  Could it be the foods we are putting into our body and our ever increasing stress levels?  That’s a topic for another day but it seems there some serious conditions we should be concerned about when it comes to washing down our morning bowl of cereal and multiple cups of coffee with commercially produced A1 milk each day.

So what about maintaining those calcium levels I hear you say? Well the fact is, when it comes to bone and tooth decay, you’re actually at higher risk for these if your vitamin D deficient.   Many of you who have seen me for a consultation will know that I test each and every patients vitamin D level and I am yet to see a single result meet the target range.  So if do yourself a favour and head to your GP to get your levels checked and while you’re at it, grab some more sunshine – the natural source for Vitamin D. I’ll be writing a post on vitamin D and the worldwide epidemic deficiency we are witnessing real soon.

In addition to maintaining healthy vitamin D levels to regulate your calcium levels, here are my recommended alternatives to the commercially produced cow’s milk

Nut milks – such as almond – many brands contain added cane sugar, so be sure to read your labels for this one or better still make your own  – I’ll be posting a recipe for this next week.

Goats Milk – although a little strong on the palette , goats milk makes a great high calcium alternative to A1 cows milk. It also contains the healthier A2 protein, so if your switching your bub from the boob to the bottle, try the goats milk  / formula’s instead of the A1cows milk.  I’m yet to find an A2 cow’s milk baby formula, so if you find one let me know!

Rice milk – whilst not the highest source of calcium, it is a tasty dairy free alternative to cow’s milk.  Just be sure to avoid being too heavy handed with your pouring as it is high in naturally occurring sugar, but a little in your tea, in protein smoothies or gluten free muesli won’t hurt you.

A2 cow’s milk – Now more readily available in Australian than ever before, you can find A2 milk in your supermarkets, but before you go reaching for it, remember to test your tolerance of this compared to nut or rice milks.

And don’t forget to include plenty of fresh green vegetables, fish and raw, unsalted,  preferably soaked nuts and seeds in your diet and you won’t be without enough dietary calcium.

So hopefully now that you have the facts straight on cow’s dairy so you can feel confident and inspired to give the A1 cow juice a miss.

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47 Comments
  1. Because almonds are naturally very nutritious, almond milk doesn’t need to be fortified. You can make almond milk yourself at home, and it will have the same nutritional value as the almond milk available commercially.

  2. Because almonds are naturally very nutritious, almond milk doesn’t need to be fortified. You can make almond milk yourself at home, and it will have the same nutritional value as the almond milk available commercially.

  3. Hi Daniel, I am aware that Freedom Foods produce A2 milk, but to my knowledge Dairy Farmers don’t. Glad you enjoyed teh article!

  4. Hi Daniel, I am aware that Freedom Foods produce A2 milk, but to my knowledge Dairy Farmers don’t. Glad you enjoyed teh article!

  5. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for your informative article on cows milk.
    Our family regularly drinks (N.S.W) Dairy Farmers milk, do you know if this company uses A1 or A2 cows?

    Regards
    Dan

  6. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for your informative article on cows milk.
    Our family regularly drinks (N.S.W) Dairy Farmers milk, do you know if this company uses A1 or A2 cows?

    Regards
    Dan

  7. Hi Riana

    I recommend to any of my patients suffering a chronic health condition to avoid cow’s dairy and moderate your intake of goat and sheep’s dairy and replace cow’s milk with nut or rice milk in moderation – even freshly made coconut milk is a tasting and healthy alternative. There are plenty of other sources of good fats to fill your diet with, that contain anti-inflammatory properties including unrefined, virgin coconut oil (probably my favourite), chia and flax seed oil, organic eggs, fish and fish oil – ensure it is mercury free, organic nuts and seeds and avocado. The advice you have been given in regards to reducing dairy and reducing the F2 Alpha Prostaglandin synthesis – put simply – the pro-inflammatory hormones, is spot on. It is also just as important to avoid sugar in its many forms as this increases insulin production which will subsequently increase pro inflammatory hormone production and imbalance oestrogen production, impacting on the growth and severity of endometriosis and subsequent pain. I also recommend incorporating a natural supplement containing a plant compound that acts to down regulate the ‘bad’ oestrogen that drives the growth of endometriosis and reduce oestrogen dominance. You can further information about this product through this link
    http://www.sallyjoseph.com.au/cart/product-details.php?g_ProductID=555

    It is also critical to maintain healthy liver function to reduce toxins – which increase acidity within the body and inflammation. The function liver also needs to be kept up to scratch in order to metabolise hormones such as oestrogen. I recommend this product to improve liver detoxification and oestrogen metabolism.
    http://www.sallyjoseph.com.au/cart/product-details.php?g_ProductID=685

    Let me know how you go

    Sally

  8. Hi Riana

    I recommend to any of my patients suffering a chronic health condition to avoid cow’s dairy and moderate your intake of goat and sheep’s dairy and replace cow’s milk with nut or rice milk in moderation – even freshly made coconut milk is a tasting and healthy alternative. There are plenty of other sources of good fats to fill your diet with, that contain anti-inflammatory properties including unrefined, virgin coconut oil (probably my favourite), chia and flax seed oil, organic eggs, fish and fish oil – ensure it is mercury free, organic nuts and seeds and avocado. The advice you have been given in regards to reducing dairy and reducing the F2 Alpha Prostaglandin synthesis – put simply – the pro-inflammatory hormones, is spot on. It is also just as important to avoid sugar in its many forms as this increases insulin production which will subsequently increase pro inflammatory hormone production and imbalance oestrogen production, impacting on the growth and severity of endometriosis and subsequent pain. I also recommend incorporating a natural supplement containing a plant compound that acts to down regulate the ‘bad’ oestrogen that drives the growth of endometriosis and reduce oestrogen dominance. You can further information about this product through this link
    http://www.sallyjoseph.com.au/cart/product-details.php?g_ProductID=555

    It is also critical to maintain healthy liver function to reduce toxins – which increase acidity within the body and inflammation. The function liver also needs to be kept up to scratch in order to metabolise hormones such as oestrogen. I recommend this product to improve liver detoxification and oestrogen metabolism.
    http://www.sallyjoseph.com.au/cart/product-details.php?g_ProductID=685

    Let me know how you go

    Sally

  9. Hi Sally,
    What about the fat from dairy i.e organic butter, full fat A2 organic milk and cheeses…are you able to do a post on that? I have endometriosis and have been off dairy as i was told that dairy is the main dietary source of Arachidonic Acid (the fat used by your body to produce muscle-contracting F2 Alpha Prostaglandins). I was told that If i reduce dairy then I will reduce the F2 Alpha Prostaglandins which can would otherwise increase pelvic pain, cramps, and inflammation. Just wanted to know if you had any comments on this? Is there a balancing act between the right fats to reduce inflammation and those which promote pain? I really like dairy and haven’t had issues with digesting it in the past. However because I’m doing lots of other things to reduce symptoms I’m not sure how much good the “no dairy” is really doing.
    Thanks,
    Riana

  10. Hi Sally,
    What about the fat from dairy i.e organic butter, full fat A2 organic milk and cheeses…are you able to do a post on that? I have endometriosis and have been off dairy as i was told that dairy is the main dietary source of Arachidonic Acid (the fat used by your body to produce muscle-contracting F2 Alpha Prostaglandins). I was told that If i reduce dairy then I will reduce the F2 Alpha Prostaglandins which can would otherwise increase pelvic pain, cramps, and inflammation. Just wanted to know if you had any comments on this? Is there a balancing act between the right fats to reduce inflammation and those which promote pain? I really like dairy and haven’t had issues with digesting it in the past. However because I’m doing lots of other things to reduce symptoms I’m not sure how much good the “no dairy” is really doing.
    Thanks,
    Riana

  11. Hi Annie I’ll be writing a post on soy milk in a week or two so stay tuned for that but in a nut shell, soy milk is not a healthy alternative to cow’s milk, I’ll explain more on why in the upcoming post!
    I’ll also be writing on glandular fever soon and running webinars on this and other health conditions so be sure to register your interest for the upcoming webinars through the webinar button on the home page of the blog and that way you’ll receive advance notice. Take care and I’m so glad to hear your enjoying the blog Sally x

  12. Hi Annie I’ll be writing a post on soy milk in a week or two so stay tuned for that but in a nut shell, soy milk is not a healthy alternative to cow’s milk, I’ll explain more on why in the upcoming post!
    I’ll also be writing on glandular fever soon and running webinars on this and other health conditions so be sure to register your interest for the upcoming webinars through the webinar button on the home page of the blog and that way you’ll receive advance notice. Take care and I’m so glad to hear your enjoying the blog Sally x

  13. What about soy milk? I gave up cows milk a year ago when I was very ill from glandular fever. I was making almond milk but I enjoy soy better. I have looked and searched for an answer to whether or not it is good food you and I have only found conflicting answers. I would love to know your view. Thanks and I am so hooked on your blogs 🙂

  14. What about soy milk? I gave up cows milk a year ago when I was very ill from glandular fever. I was making almond milk but I enjoy soy better. I have looked and searched for an answer to whether or not it is good food you and I have only found conflicting answers. I would love to know your view. Thanks and I am so hooked on your blogs 🙂

  15. Hi Nic, I checked out the So Delicious website in the states and I could not find an ingredients list for any of their products, nor any information about their production methods , so without seeing that information, it’s difficult to give you my technical opinion. I note that they have both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, so I would definitely go for the unsweetened one! It’s so easy to make your own fresh coconut milk though, Ill post a recipe for this next week, heck I might even make a video blog demonstrating how and viewers can time me to see just how quick it is so there’s no arguments about that one! Thanks for your questions though, keep them coming!

  16. Hi Nic, I checked out the So Delicious website in the states and I could not find an ingredients list for any of their products, nor any information about their production methods , so without seeing that information, it’s difficult to give you my technical opinion. I note that they have both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, so I would definitely go for the unsweetened one! It’s so easy to make your own fresh coconut milk though, Ill post a recipe for this next week, heck I might even make a video blog demonstrating how and viewers can time me to see just how quick it is so there’s no arguments about that one! Thanks for your questions though, keep them coming!

  17. Hi Sally, what do you think of So Delicious Coconut Milk as an alternative to Cow’s Milk. You can purchase it online from bioliving.com.au. Kind Regards Nic 🙂

  18. Hi Sally, what do you think of So Delicious Coconut Milk as an alternative to Cow’s Milk. You can purchase it online from bioliving.com.au. Kind Regards Nic 🙂

  19. pleasure!

  20. pleasure!

  21. Hi Sally, Thank you so much for the response, it really answered my question and was very interesting!

  22. Hi Sally, Thank you so much for the response, it really answered my question and was very interesting!

  23. Hi Olivia
    Try Pure Harvest – which you can find in most health food stores or in the tetra pack milk section of Coles and Woolworths – at around half the price, however as mentioned be aware that most brands contain added sugar cane – such as Sanitarium! Pure Harvest almond milk at least use organic rice syrup – which although still a form of sugar, consumed in moderation, is ok as a healthy alternative to cows dair – even better make your own when you have time! Stay tuned for nexts weeks post for that recipe!
    Cheers
    Sally

  24. Hi Olivia
    Try Pure Harvest – which you can find in most health food stores or in the tetra pack milk section of Coles and Woolworths – at around half the price, however as mentioned be aware that most brands contain added sugar cane – such as Sanitarium! Pure Harvest almond milk at least use organic rice syrup – which although still a form of sugar, consumed in moderation, is ok as a healthy alternative to cows dair – even better make your own when you have time! Stay tuned for nexts weeks post for that recipe!
    Cheers
    Sally

  25. Hi Casey
    Goats milk / cheese is primarily made up of fat and protein, containing around 10 gms of fat and around 8.7gm of protein per 1 cup serve / 235ml. The naturally occurring sugar in goat milk is the same as cows – lactose, although it contains slightly less lactose than cow’s milk, which may explain why it is easier to digest. Goat’s milk also contains around 10.9 grams of carbohydrate. All carbohydrates convert to sugar – even green leafy vegetables, the difference between one source of carbohydrate and another lies in how much sugar they convert to in the blood stream. But as you can see, goats cheese / milk is a pretty well rounded balance of fat, protein and carbohydrate – making it a ‘balanced food’ and the more protein and fat in a food also containing carbohydrate or sugar – such as the lactose in goats milk/ cheese, the more slowly it converts to sugar in the blood stream and the lower the insulin producing factor or GI – glycaemic index – which is ideal to prevent weight gain and inflammation associated with excess insulin production. So I would not go worrying too much about the naturally occurring lactose sugar in goats milk / cheese as this is not an issue if you’re concerned about weight gain from sugar in goats dairy. Just remember to limit your goat’s cheese to reasonable serving sizes to avoid consuming too much saturated fat – eg: around a ¼ – ½ cup serve, should be fine, unless you have an issue with lactose intolerance.
    Now you have the facts on goats dairy!
    Cheers
    Sally

  26. Hi Casey
    Goats milk / cheese is primarily made up of fat and protein, containing around 10 gms of fat and around 8.7gm of protein per 1 cup serve / 235ml. The naturally occurring sugar in goat milk is the same as cows – lactose, although it contains slightly less lactose than cow’s milk, which may explain why it is easier to digest. Goat’s milk also contains around 10.9 grams of carbohydrate. All carbohydrates convert to sugar – even green leafy vegetables, the difference between one source of carbohydrate and another lies in how much sugar they convert to in the blood stream. But as you can see, goats cheese / milk is a pretty well rounded balance of fat, protein and carbohydrate – making it a ‘balanced food’ and the more protein and fat in a food also containing carbohydrate or sugar – such as the lactose in goats milk/ cheese, the more slowly it converts to sugar in the blood stream and the lower the insulin producing factor or GI – glycaemic index – which is ideal to prevent weight gain and inflammation associated with excess insulin production. So I would not go worrying too much about the naturally occurring lactose sugar in goats milk / cheese as this is not an issue if you’re concerned about weight gain from sugar in goats dairy. Just remember to limit your goat’s cheese to reasonable serving sizes to avoid consuming too much saturated fat – eg: around a ¼ – ½ cup serve, should be fine, unless you have an issue with lactose intolerance.
    Now you have the facts on goats dairy!
    Cheers
    Sally

  27. Hi Sally, thanks for the great info. Does goat milk/cheese turn to sugar in the body like cows dairy?

  28. Hi Sally, thanks for the great info. Does goat milk/cheese turn to sugar in the body like cows dairy?

  29. Hi Sally,

    What brand of Almond milk do you recommend? I will also try making my own when you post the receipe next week! 🙂

  30. Hi Sally,

    What brand of Almond milk do you recommend? I will also try making my own when you post the receipe next week! 🙂

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