For many years, the dairy industry has encouraged people to drink milk every day in order to achieve stronger, healthier bones. But, just because this is a common health suggestion, doesn't necessarily mean that it is beneficial for your health. In fact, scientists have found that dairy consumption might increase a person's risk of cancer, so it is best to minimize dairy consumption in order to prevent cancer.
Marketing vs. Health BenefitsIf you want to achieve optimal health, then you need to decipher marketing messages from the actual health benefits that can be achieved. The dairy industry has pushed milk as a healthy food because of the calcium that is within milk. Calcium helps to strengthen the bones, which means that your risk of osteoporosis will decrease when you increase calcium consumption. But, you must choose the right source of calcium in order to achieve these benefits. The truth is that researchers have found that higher milk consumption actually leads to a higher risk of osteoporosis! Countries who consume the most dairy products, also have the highest rates of bone weakness. In this case, the messages are based on marketing... not science. If you want healthier bones, then you need to look for other sources of calcium.
So What’s the Connection Between Dairy Products and Cancer?It is true that calcium supports bone strength, and it is also true that milk is a source of calcium. So, why does milk consumption lead to osteoporosis? The answer lies in the low bioavailability of the calcium in milk. Even though there is calcium in the milk, your body has a hard time absorbing the calcium to use within the body. Another reason your bones get weaker when you are drinking milk is because it causes the body to be acidic. By consuming acidic foods like milk, cheese, meat, and junk food, your body needs to neutralize the acidic reactions that are occurring. One of the best ways to neutralize the acidity is by pulling minerals out of the bones. This reaction causes your bones to become depleted and weakened, and you actually experience a calcium deficit by increasing your consumption of dairy products. Acidity in the body has been linked with cancer growth, and one of the most effective ways to minimize the risk of cancer is by balancing the pH levels in order to maintain an alkaline environment. Because milk and other dairy products cause acidity, it is best to avoid them in order to protect your bones and prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Healthy Sources of CalciumThere are healthier sources of calcium in certain plant-based ingredients, and these sources of calcium have higher bioavailability rates compared to milk. When you eat healthy, plant ingredients your body is able to use the vitamins and minerals more effectively, because these calcium sources have higher absorption rates. Here are a few foods that you can add to your diet to get the calcium that is needed for healthy bones:
- Bok Choy
- White Beans
- Collard Greens
- Sesame Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut Milk