Milk Can't Measure Up to Fruits and Vegetables

Few foods elicit such strong opinions as milk and dairy products. The dairy folks want you to believe that dairy is essential and that your bones will crumble if you don’t drink milk. The anti milk people talk about all the hormones and antibiotic residue in milk and consider it the most disease-promoting of all foods. There are exaggerations and distortions of the available research on both sides.

We can’t look at all the pros and cons of dairy here, but there are some obvious conclusions. The typical American diet that is filled with processed foods and animal products is noticeably deficient in calcium and Vitamin D unless dairy is consumed or supplemented. However, dairy is not the only source of calcium, and, once you are eating a significant amount of calcium-rich plant matter, dairy products lose their status as the main source of calcium.

As you know from the evidence in my books, all animal products, including dairy, should be curtailed significantly, and those calories should be replaced with high-micronutrient, unprocessed plant foods.

When more vegetables are consumed, you get extra calcium and a cornucopia of phytochemicals that are not found in dairy. A secondary issue is that high saturated fat intake promotes heart disease and cancer. Dairy products, such as whole-milk, butter, and cheese are the foods that contribute the most saturated fat to the American diet. Any person seeking excellent health should restrict these foods in his or her diet. Skim-milk and other non-fat dairy products can be used as part of the small amount of allowable animal products consumed weekly. They are not foods that should be consumed liberally, and they should not be seen as health foods because they are not high in micronutrients and phytochemicals.

In addition to the other problems, there is evidence that the daily use of dairy can increase the risk of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is now the single most common cancer among men in the United States. With the spread of our meat- and dairy-centered diet, it is on the rise in almost every country in the world. A meta-analysis of the best independent studies indicated that milk drinking men seem to have a 70 percent greater chance of developing cancer of the prostate.1 This evidence exists in spite of the multiple studies that show that Vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of prostate cancer. Since milk is fortified with Vitamin D, using it must have a significant negative effect that overwhelms the benefits from the added vitamin.

Overall, milk is not health food. If you enjoy some skim-milk or non-fat yogurt, I recommend you limit it, just as you would limit other animal products. If your diet is healthful, consuming little or no dairy won’t be a problem, as long as you make sure you get adequate Vitamin D from other sources.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

1. Qin LQ, Xu JY, Wang PY, et al. Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer: meta-analysis of case-control studies. Nutr Cancer. 2004;48(1):22-27.

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3 Ways Foods Like This Can Be Harmful...

Many people suffer from medical ailments because they were never taught about their bodies’ nutritional requirements. We eat entirely too many low-nutrient foods, which gives us excessive calories without enough nutrients. Our nutrient-deprived body then craves more food, and the availability of calorie-rich, low-nutrient foods enables us to eat ourselves to death. A diet based on milk, meats, cheese, pasta, bread, fried foods, and sugar-filled snacks and drinks lays the groundwork for obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders, and autoimmune illnesses.

THESE FOODS ARE HARMFUL IN THREE WAYS:
  1. They are high in disease-promoting substances that undermine our health.
  2. The more unhealthy foods we eat, the less health-promoting, plant-based foods we will eat.
  3. Consuming calories without the presence of antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals leads to a build-up of waste products in our cells because the body can’t remove normal cellular wastes without nutrients. The cells don’t have the raw materials needed for optimal or normal function. The lack in some substances and the excess in others age us prematurely and cause disease.

Foods that are refined, including chips, cookies, bread, and pasta, lose a dramatic amount of their nutrients in the refinement process. Plus, the process that browns foods and turns a grain into a baked flake or chip creates acrylamides—carcinogens that make these foods even more harmful. These processed foods are not only nutrient-poor, but they also contain elements that contribute to our health problems. They are typically high in salt, chemical food additives, trans fats, MSG, sodium nitrate, and other unhealthy ingredients.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

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Cookies and Milk and E. coli

Milk and cookies may seem harmless. It’s not. On Friday, Nestlé Toll House recalled refrigerated cookie dough products due to risk of E. coli contamination, suspected to have sickened 66 people in 28 states. Health officials say the elderly, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system should avoid the raw cookie dough. E. coli can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, resulting in kidney damage and even death; HealthDay News reports.

Yuck. I may have a cookie from time to time, but milk! No way. Our food safety is a mess. We all remember the spinach-E. coli crisis in 2006 and then this year’s melamine contaminated milk. Oh, and don’t forget. In February, a study found 20% of Japan’s chicken is tainted with salmonella.

In related news, Nestlé shut down the cookie dough plant linked to E. coli, as a result 200 workers were laid off. So far, a total of 86.4 million cookies' worth of dough has been recalled.

Via CNN.

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Teens Not Drinking Enough Milk, Really?

New findings in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior claim teenagers cut back too much on dairy products as they reach their 20s. Experts followed 1,500 people, males and females, tracking their calcium intake during high school and after high school. Results showed many consumed less than the daily recommended level of calcium, leading researchers to recommend more milk at mealtime. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman’s take on all this:

Sounds like the dairy industry put their stamp on this one. It is amazing how successful they have been at marketing their product to nutritionally ignorant Americans. It is true that a diet comprised of animal foods, soft drinks and refined grains is deficient in calcium.

But cow's milk is the appropriate source of calcium for baby cows, not human teenagers. When we choose dairy instead of fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds as our source of calcium source we help fuel a cancer epidemic.

When you get your calcium from fruits and vegetables you also get a full load of cancer-preventing phytochemicals.

Via HealthDay News.

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Obese Kids Get More Allergies

Appearing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, scientists believe a positive association exists between obesity and allergies. Research involving 4,000 children, ages 2 to 19, revealed antibodies for specific allergens, such as indoor, outdoor and food allergens, were higher in overweight or obese children. Data revealed obese kids were 26% more likely to have some kind of allergy and the rate for food allergies was 59% higher among obese children; Reuters investigates.

The CDC now claims 3 million kids have food allergies. According to Dr. Fuhrman breastfeeding is major-preventer of allergies. Antibodies derived from mother’s milk help maximize immune system function. Now, allergies are bad enough, but overweight kids, even as young as 3 years old, can start showing signs of heart disease, for real!

In related news, a study of 3,000 children found kids spending two or more hours watching television per day, were twice as likely to develop asthma as kids watching less.

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Health-Points: Friday 3.27.09

  • On the flipside, kids who get plenty of exercise have less depression. In adults, exercise releases endorphins helping people feel more upbeat, same goes for children. A study printed in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology divided overweight, sedentary kids, ages 7 to 11, into two exercise groups, one for 20 minutes a day and the other for 40 minutes, revealing as exercise increased so did the psychological benefits; via Booster Shots.
  • More love for vitamin D. New research in the Archives of Internal Medicine found daily supplements of vitamin D may reduce the risk of various bone breaks. The study, involving 42,279 adults, ages 65 and older, linked vitamin D with a 14% lower risk of non-vertebral fractures and 9% less risk of hip fractures. However, low-dose vitamin D supplements did not decrease the chance of fracture; via NutraIngredients.

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Melamine Linked to Kidney Stones

Chinese milk products tainted with melamine, a chemical used in making plastic, ignited a frenzy this fall, sickening thousands of children and contaminating foods like green beans, candy and baby formula. And now, a new study in International Journal of Clinical Chemistry and Diagnostic Laboratory Medicine claims melamine exposure alone is enough to cause kidney stones and the greater the exposure, the larger the stones. Scientists compared various urine samples from children who consumed tainted milk; via Reuters.

The hubbub over melamine prompted the FDA to open an office in Beijing, China to sure up food safety regulation and imports to the United States.

Via The New York Times.

Trillions Spent on Healthcare, Tax Soda

According to a new report, Americans spent $2.2 trillion on health-related costs in 2007, roughly $7,500 per person. Illustrated in Health Affairs, health spending accounted for 16.2% of U.S. gross domestic product in 2007. And at 6.1%, this is the slowest growth rate since 1998. Researchers attribute the broader use of cheaper generic drugs for the decline; Reuters reports.

What did you expect? More active, healthier living! Now, with healthcare expenses raging into the trillions, it’s no wonder why politicians, like New York’s Governor David Paterson, are proposing taxes on hurtful foods, like soft drinks. And in this video New York’s Health Commissioner, Richard F. Daines, MD explains how the soda tax would work. Just ignore the stuff about milk.

Raw Milk, Full of Germs...

Imagine this. Milking a cow and then gulping down a big ladle full of the stuff. Gross! Yet, some people do it. But health officials warn that raw milk, as it’s called, is a prime spreader of food-borne illnesses and that’s why the FDA has cracked down on the sale of raw milk. In fact, 26 states already prohibit the sale of raw milk for human consumption.

And now, a new study in Food Safety reveals raw milk, or unpasteurized milk, can be contaminated with germs that make people sick. Also, researchers scoff at the notion that raw milk has health benefits and cite evidence that illness from raw milk may actually be on the rise. Cows are hosts to nasty things like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria; Reuters reports.

Milk grosses me out. As a kid, if I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast, 20 minutes later I’d puke it up. Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of milk either. He says milk is for rapidly growing cows and not slow-growing humans and dairy can increase risk of Parkinson’s, heart disease and ovarian cancer.

Also, previous research has linked dairy to both prostate cancer and diabetes. So eat your veggies instead, they’re loaded with calcium. Not to mention, milk is mutant. Yucky!