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While dairy products have fallen out of fashion, it’s still very common on most American dinner tables–and elsewhere around the world as well. In fact, there are many government policies and informational tools that encourage consuming dairy products. That being said, scientists over the years have been conducting research and found to be questioning the health benefits and even point out some health problems.
So is it necessary for us to be consuming dairy products?
Well, the first thing to keep in mind is to know why dairy products are being pushed so heavily by the government. The main reason is that dairy contains calcium. Calcium is an incredibly important mineral that allows our bones to be strong. The reason they need to be strong is that our body is constantly remodeling. What this means is that our body takes small portions of calcium and cycles it with new calcium. With this in mind, if we aren’t consuming calcium, our body will continue to use the calcium from our body and calcium deficiency can hamper the health of our bones.
While we do need calcium for that particular reason, it’s important to know how much calcium we need before the benefits actually stop. In this case, when we take roughly 600 milligrams every day, we’ll hit our requirement for calcium. Consuming more than that doesn’t improve bone integrity. What is also important to keep in mind is that 600 milligrams can easily be achieved without consuming dairy products or even calcium supplements if you follow an average diet. For example, foods that are high in calcium are foods like leafy greens, beans, kale and even broccoli.
What is also important to note is that some milk drinkers also drink milk to get vitamin D. The thing is that there are many sources of vitamin D outside of dairy as well. One of the best ones is natural sunlight. By getting five to 15 minutes of sunlight on arms and legs or on your face and hands will be enough for you to reach your daily requirement. Darker skin requires longer exposure, however, the amount of time is negligible. The only complication is during the winter months when the sun isn’t always out. In those cases vitamin D is found in a couple of foods, however, there is actually no dairy product that has the vitamin in it naturally. Meaning it’s processed back in.
As you can see, dairy isn’t as necessary in our lives, furthermore dairy can provide a lot of harm to us when it gets out of hand. For example, dairy has been linked to higher risks of a variety of cancers, particularly cancers to reproductive systems. In fact, dairy products have been linked to higher risks of prostate and breast cancers.
What’s even worse about dairy products, specifically milk, the process contains a range of hormones and pesticides. Of course, milk naturally contains hormones along with growth factors, milk comes from cows who produce those things. That being said, anything additional, be it positive or negative, will also be placed in the milk. This means if cows are given additional hormones or growth hormones, small amounts of it would be placed in the milk. Chances are very high of this because cows are mammals and only produce milk when they are pregnant. So in order for milk production to stay consistent, it’s common practice for the use of hormones and other drugs to be given to cows to be artificially pregnant and producing milk. What is worse is this causes a variety of problems for the cow and as a result, they are given various antibiotics to treat conditions like mastitis, and inflammation. This too goes into the milk that we drink.
So not only can we find healthier alternatives from various food, but dairy products, in particular, offer very little benefits to us. Is it necessary? Not as much as we are led to believe.