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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Does Milk do a Body GOOD?

Heavy Cream
Half & Half

Nutrition is an ever changing field, and the lends no exception to the constant evolution of our food supply.  With all of the options in our grocery stores, how do we decide which options are best for our bodies?  The integrity of our dairy products has been a hot topic abundantly in the last decade. I've done the proper research and I'm here to clear some things up as well as offer my professional opinion. Here we go..


I am going to start by talking about Cow's Milk... (as we can see from the above list, milk is readily available from many animal and plant sources). 

So your Doctor and Milk ads tell you to drink lots of milk because "Milk will build strong bones!" Well this is not completely accurate.. The truth is that calcium and Vitamin D build strong bones. Are they both found in dairy? Yes. However, Calcium and Vitamin D are more abundant in most foods such as vegetables!

There may be 30% of your Calcium requirement in a dairy product but that means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING if your body is not absorbing the calcium and utilizing it to "build strong bones."

What I mean is, that the calcium found in dairy has been proven to actually cause bone loss. This is because as we digest that dairy product, our body is requiring a series of reactions that turn excess protein from milk into urea in the liver. The Urea creates a diuretic action in the kidney, which causes our body to leach minerals from our stores including calcium through the urine!!

Numerous studies have been done proving that the common American, high protein diet and calcium store losses are directly related.  There is also NO scientific evidence proving that consuming milk will increase bone density. We are being fooled by media and advertisements backed by the people who make the product-dairy farmers.

(DO NOT get me wrong.. I am 100% for agriculture and farmers is the farms that are subsidized by the government and who choose not to follow natural food production that get me goin...)

****FUN FACT****
On Pitcairn Island, in the Pacific, they tried unsuccessfully to introduce the dairy cow. 
The attempt failed because of the Island’s rough terrain. 
These people had lived their lives without dairy products, so it was no great loss.

Babies require milk from their mothers to build necessary enzymes and digestive properties. But just like every other animal on our planet, we are not meant to drink milk after infancy. Mother's milk is full of wonderful antibodies and proteins and it is not able to be reproduced by man! BREAST IS BEST! FORMULA IS NO WHERE NEAR THE NUTRIENT EQUIVALENCE OF MOTHER'S MILK.

you want strong bones? Avoid Cow's Milk..You are better off getting it from these sources!

USDA nutrition references the calcium content in mg/ 8 oz (1 cup)

Specialty foods
Carrot juice, fresh- 57mg
Fish, canned salmon eaten with bones- 440mg
Fish, canned sardines or mackerel eaten with bones- 569mg
Molasses, black strap- 2820mg (176.2 per tablespoon) !!!!!!
Molasses, unsulphured- 672mg, 42 per tablespoon
Sesame butter (unhulled sesame seeds)- 1022, (63.9 per tablespoon)
Sesame butter/ tahini from hulled or decorticated seeds- 315.2mg (19.7 per tablespoon)
Soy beverage, unfortified-9.8mg
Soy beverage, calcium-fortified variable, check nutrition information; approx 200mg
Tofu, firm, prepared with calcium- 1721mg
Tofu, regular, prepared with nigari- 260mg 

Dark green leafy vegetables 
cooked turnip greens- 450mg
cooked bok choy- 330mg
cooked collards- 300mg
cooked spinach- 250mg
cooked kale- 200mg (absorbed more readily than most sources)!
parsley- 200mg
cooked mustard greens- 180mg
dandelion greens- 150mg
romaine lettuce- 40mg
head lettuce- 10mg

soy- 50mg
mung- 35mg
alfalfa- 25mg

Sea vegetables (seaweed)(dried powdered form)
nori- 1,200mg (good news for you sushi eaters)!
kombu- 2,100mg
wakame- 3,500mg
agar-agar 1,000mg (62.5 per tablespoon)

Beans and Peas (cooked, ready to eat)
navy beans- 140mg
soybeans- 130mg
pinto beans- 100mg
garbanzo beans- 95mg
lima, black beans- 60mg
lentils- 50mg
split peas- 20mg

tapioca (dried)- 300mg
brown rice, cooked- 20mg
quinoa, cooked- 80mg
corn meal, whole grain- 50mg
rye flour, dark- 40mg
oats- 40mg
tortillas, corn, calcium fortified (2)- 120mg
tortillas, flour or unfortified (2)- 23mg
whole wheat flour- 50mg

raw oysters- 240mg
shrimp- 300mg
salmon with bones- 490mg
mackerel with bones- 600mg
sardines with bones- 1,000mg

almonds- 750mg
hazelnuts (filbert)- 450mg
walnuts- 280mg
sesame seeds (whole, unhulled) 2,200mg!!!
sunflower seeds- 260mg

HERBS containing calcium
borage, lamb's quarter, wild lettuce, nettles, burdock, yellow dock

1. Heaney RP, Weaver CM. Calcium absorption . Am J Clin Nutr 1990; 51:656-657. 2.

Birth to 6 months210 mg210 mg
7-12 months270 mg270 mg
1-3 years500 mg500 mg
4-8 years800 mg800 mg
9-13 years1,300 mg1,300 mg
14-18 years1,300 mg1,300 mg1,300 mg1,300 mg
19-50 years1,000 mg1,000 mg1,000 mg1,000 mg
50+ years1,200 mg1,200 mg

*****FUN FACT: Sesame seeds contains 2,200 mg. of calcium 
compared w/  280 mg. of poorly absorbed calcium in 8 oz Milk.

As always, remember that if you LOVE dairy, enjoy it! Moderation is key so just monitor your intake of dairy products, and when possible buy organic low fat milks for optimal health.

Stay Well