You don’t need milk to be healthy

The title says it all, we don’t need milk to be healthy! I know it sounds controversial especially since as a society we are taught from a young age that you need milk for healthy bones and teeth. And the media seems to agree with that statement and it continues to push that message into our minds. But just because something is pushed at the general masses doesn’t mean that it is good for you or that you need it. Think of McDonald’s. You see it everywhere, it is advertised everywhere but it is not good for you!

My Nutrition Professor DOESN’T drink milk! 

The truth is that even though our society pushes the idea that “dairy is necessary” for bone health, there are other countries/cultures around the world that do not consume dairy and have healthy bones and teeth. Such countries are in the lower end of milk consumption compared to the rest of the world: South Sudan, Morocco and Jordan. You may be thinking how is this possible? This is a pretty common reaction! It is possible and very easy to get enough calcium by eating plant based foods! Ever since going dairy free I documented my nutrient intake and I found that I was getting enough calcium from my diet! The nutrition course I am taking at University of Toronto definitely inspired me to make healthy choices! I found it a little strange that my professor was advocating drinking milk to get enough calcium but a few minutes later she mentioned that she doesn’t drink milk. So out of sheer curiosity I asked her after class why she chooses not to drink milk. Her reason was  lactose intolerance and she told me about the alternative she uses. Her trick: mix almond milk with soy milk which is fortified with calcium and other vitamins.  And for the next lecture she dedicated thirty minutes talking about how getting calcium is totally possible without dairy. Isn’t that great news!

Here is some of the other foods she recommended that has high calcium levels followed by some food that I researched myself! (list below photo)

calcium rich foods

List of NON dairy foods high in Calcium:

-Broccoli( 1 cup ) 41.4mg

-Orange Juice (1 cup ) 27.3mg

-Kidney Beans(½ cup) 24.8mg

-Kale(1 cup ) 90.7mg

-Salmon with the bone(1 serving 75g) 171mg

-Almond milk(fortified) contains 330mg of calcium

-Soy nuts( 1 cup ) 175.4mg

-Soy milk 1 cup/one serving and has 306.3mg calcium

-BokChoy(1 cup) 158.1mg

How much calcium you need per day varies depending on your age gender and weight but here are some guidelines as per Health Canada…

Adults aged 19-50 need 1000 mg of calcium each day and those 51 and older take 1200mg.

Add a little bit of these calcium rich foods and you will meet your calcium requirements without dairy 🙂

Food Recall comparing meat to vegetables/grains.

The most commonly recalled foods are meat and dairy products. Unlike meat recall which happens often and is usually the result of contamination with feces(Listeria), undeclared allergies, E-Coli  and Salmonella. When vegetables are recalled it is usually because of human contamination or because of improper handling/storing procedures. From this information you are making a safer choice choosing plant based foods over dairy. It is even better when you grow your own food that what you will know for sure that it is much safer and much cheaper! Milk also contains puss, blood and hormones which most dairy companies inject in their cows to increase milk supply.

Lactose Intolerance and Dairy

About 65 percent of the world’s population, is found to be lactose intolerant and they lose their lactase enzymes after weaning. I had a nice conversation today with a long lost friend, she is now doing her masters at the University of Toronto about how genetic’s effect of lactose in populations. She told me that although not everyone is as susceptible to being lactose intolerant over 90% of Asian populations are lactose intolerant, but the numbers aren’t as high for certain european populations where only about 15% of the population is lactose intolerant. If you fall within those statistics then that is another reason to go dairy free.

Hopefully this information inspires you to make healthier and more animal friendly choices. Do your research about your options, we are lucky to live in a great society where we have a lot of food options. So choose healthy!

Next week I will have an article comparing popular milk alternatives such as soy, coconut and  almond milk!

Stay healthy and happy my Free Spirits! I love you all <3

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