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Does Dairy Really Do a Body Good?
Did you know that the average Canadian consumes less than a pound of dairy products per day? Yet, by the age of fifty, one in four Canadian women and one in eight Canadian men have osteoporosis. Second, the five countries in the world with the societies that consume the most dairy products also have the five highest rates of osteoporosis. Why do you think this is?
First, let’s look at how bone is formed in your body. There are two types of bone cells that are essential for proper bone growth, osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoclasts break down and destroy old, diseased and dying bone cells. They absorb the dying cells and remove them from the system. Osteoblasts, on the other hand, promote the growth of bone cells – they build new cells to replace old ones. A good balance of osteoclasts and osteoblasts is what keeps your bones strong.
Prescription drugs like Boniva or Fosamax actually kill osteoclasts, leading to an imbalance of these essential cells. As a result, resorption of dying cells does not occur and osteoblasts build new bone cells on top of an unhealthy bone matrix.
Contrary to what sources from Osteoporosis Canada, the Canadian Dairy Council and the Canada Food Guide claim, dairy products are not sufficient for your daily calcium intake. Yes, it is high in calcium. However, the body does not absorb calcium well enough to benefit from it. So why are we constantly being taught that dairy is the answer to our bone health questions?
Let’s look at the facts.
- Humans are the only mammals that choose to drink another mammal’s milk. Cow’s milk is genetically perfectly designed in fat, carbohydrate and nutrient content, not for humans, but for baby cows.
- The amount of calcium absorbed from milk is less than 10% of the amount you started with
- In 1988, the Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that increases in calcium excretion and bone loss were directly proportional to the amount of animal protein an individual consumed. Animal proteins have a very high sulfur content, so our kidneys excrete calcium from our bones and into the blood.
Part of the problem is that because of the Canadian Dairy Council’s fantastic marketing strategy and years of misinformation from the health care system, most Canadians believe that calcium is the answer to bone health. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Calcium is important, but only one piece of the puzzle.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D is vital for your health and naturally comes from the sun. However, it can be difficult to get enough sun in the winter months, so we need to supplement with vitamin D. This promotes bone health by preventing them from becoming brittle and helps the intestines absorb some of the calcium. body intake.
- Weight bearing exercise – It’s not about walking or swimming every day, it’s about building muscle and building strong bones at the same time by lifting weights. Building strength through a simple upper and lower body workout forces your osteoblasts to build new, healthy bone cells.
- Omega 3 fatty acids – These fatty acids come in the form of fish oil and flaxseed oil – not vegetable oils. Omega 3 helps build a proper bone matrix.
- Calcium – Still important, but there are much better sources than dairy. Spinach, almonds, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, salmon, and black-eyed peas are all excellent sources, and of course, they also have other nutrients that benefit your health.
- Other nutrients – Other nutrients include magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, zinc and more.
As you can see, simply saying that calcium is the answer to bone health is a step too small. A diet rich in organic and locally grown vegetables, fruits and proteins will meet your nutritional needs, and where certain nutrients are lacking, they can be supplemented. Visit your local health food store for advice on vitamin D, fish oil, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, etc.
Do you still think you want milk every morning? Let’s look at some alternatives. There are options for those who still want it in their diet – nut milks, rice milks and oat milks are all great alternatives as they can help curb dairy cravings.
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