Putting lactose intolerance aside, another major issue with dairy is casein. Casein is the protein in milk, which is a very sticky protein which goes undigested in the body and accumulates in the soft tissue, causing sluggish circulation and slows down digestion. As a matter of fact, because casein is sticky, it has the ability to bind--it works so well that it's an ingredient in some plastic and glue products---yummy! What this means is that this protein is moving around inside a body that cannot digest it, and will pull together and eventually form fatty cysts and tumors.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell has proven, without a shadow of a doubt, how casein can literally turn cancer cells on and off by increasing casein consumption in the diet (turning cancer cells on), or eliminating casein from the diet (turning cancer cells off). This study alone, (found in the China Study, by T. Colin Campbell), should have physicians "treating" patients in a whole different mind-set. I can't for the life of me understand WHY, with scientific evidence proving the effects casein has on cancer cells, oncologists are not insisting on patients eliminating all dairy from their diets. In my mind, NO ONE should be consuming dairy.
The fat in dairy products also wreaks havoc with our body. Saturated fats (the fat from dairy foods) will accumulate in the body, causing a hardened, bulky layer over our muscles, slowing metabolism down so we get nice and fat, (think cow), and will inhibit oxygen getting to body tissue.
Fat-free dairy foods are not the answer either. Skim milk, fat-free and low-fat milk are all by-products of whole milk. All that's removed is the fat. It really doesn't improve the milk or its effect on us--it still has both casein and lactose. It actually concentrates the protein, (casein)---that's the last thing our body needs is more concentrated casein accumulating.
What about calcium?? Yes, milk is loaded with calcium--we know this because the dairy industry tells us so. However, what they don't tell us is calcium bonds to casein--since our body has so much trouble digesting casein, the amount of calcium from dairy our body absorbs is only about 12%, leaving the rest of it undigested in our body.
Did you know that most of the people in the world don't rely on dairy foods for their calcium? Americans take in twice the amount of dairy as most of the world...the dairy industry makes sure of this! Protein-rich diets actually depletes the body of essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium and potassium. The incidence of osteoporosis (thinning of bones to the point of making them brittle), is significantly higher among people who consume the greatest amounts of protein and calcium--our country has an extremely high rate of osteoporosis. In contrast, the incidence of osteoporosis in African people that live on a low-protein, low-calcium diet is almost non-existent!!
There's more--our body loves balance and will do whatever it takes to "create" balance...with or without our help. The poor digestion of casein and lactose, and the high-concentrated protein from fat-free dairy foods cause the blood to become highly acidic. Our body has to correct all this acidity---what does it do?--it takes calcium from our bones to neutralize all this acid--constantly leaching calcium from our bones day after day leaving us with weak, thinning bones.
So, where will our calcium come from? The BEST sources for usable calcium: dark leafy greens, black beans, soy, (personally I don't use much soy), whole grains and sea plants. By reducing the amount of animal protein in your diet, your need for calcium is also reduced as you will not be losing so much of it. You can get all the calcium you need from the food that you eat, if you are choosing wisely.
ITALIAN CANNELLINI SPINACH SOUP
This recipe is from The Plant-Powered Diet, by Sharon Palmer, RD. This soup makes about 1 quart...double the recipe for left-overs later in the week!
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t dried thyme
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of packed fresh spinach leaves
1 t lemon juice
- Saute the onion, garlic, celery, pepper, and thyme in a small amount of water, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the beans, broth, and water and cover the pot. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
- Transfer about three quarters of the bean-vegetable mixture into a blender--puree until smooth, adding liquid from the pot as needed.
- Pour the pureed mixture back into the pot. Add the spinach and lemon juice, cover and heat until the soups is hot and the spinach is wilted, about 10 minutes.
Note: If using homemade beans, use about 1 3/4 cups of beans. I also would cut back on the water and use more vegetable broth for a more flavorful broth.