(Dietary changes should be discussed with a health care provider.)
Yes you read that correctly – please don’t become a vegetarian – but first let’s talk about milk. (Let’s talk about milk, ba-by; let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that can be. Let’s talk abou-out milk.) Milk is pretty amazing stuff. It not only sustained each of our lives, mostly on its own, for a year; it gave us everything we needed to grow and develop at an amazing rate. Studies have been done to show just how great milk is. It has been concluded that milk protein is one of the best proteins out there.
How was “best” defined? What were the studies testing for? They were looking at how large proteins ultimately caused things (specifically rats) to grow and how fast things grew to that large size. These qualities do make for great milk; after all a human must triple in size (from approximately 8 to 24 pounds) in a year while on milk. So, drink up! Right?
When was the last time you grew? …in the vertical direction? I was in my 20’s, but for many that answer falls in the teen years. What exactly are we hoping to grow, to such a very large size, so very quickly?
No matter what else we are trying to grow there is one thing that responds very well to milk protein’s efficient growth enhancing abilities:
That’s right – cancer cells. Casein (pronounced kay-zeen) proteins, only naturally found in milk, are great at growing cancer cells. Now you may be thinking, but I don’t have cancer. You don’t have cancer because in the window between when a cell mutates and when a tumor forms (see: FOOD for THOUGHT: We All Have Cancer…) your body is fighting the good fight. Do you want to make that window of opportunity during which your body can win the fight against cancer shorter or longer? Casein proteins fight hard on cancer’s side to close that window.
What can we conclude? Milk is great… …for babies, and what’s more, cows milk is great… …for baby cows. Casein protein levels are much higher in cow’s milk than human milk. Cows grow 10 times their size (from approximately 80 to 800 pounds) in their first year. To look at it another way, it takes a human more than 150 days to double in size; it takes a cow less than 50 days. I don’t want my potentially tumorous cell clusters to double in size faster than they already do -- faster than my immune system can deal with them.
OK now you may be saying, but I don’t drink very much milk. Do you eat very much milk? I don’t just mean cheese. Yes, it’s time to start reading ingredients again. Just about everything is protein enriched these days. (The ironic thing is that, in this country, most people get too much protein.) Nevertheless processed foods, shakes, bars (breakfast bars, protein bars, etc.), sauces, vegan cheese, baked goods and many other items contain casein, caseinate, concentrated casein protein, added dairy protein, milk protein extract, concentrated milk protein, etc., etc. This phenomena is growing out of control. Pun intended.
Out of shear habit you may start to utter, but I use low-fat, skim, non-fat dairy products. We all understand that fat and protein are completely different things, but what your brain is fishing for is information to say that it’s OK because you eat the “healthy” dairy. Well the “healthy” dairy has more bad protein, and since it has no fat to satiate, people consume more of it.
As if that is not enough, here is the one, two, knockout punch: As we have increased our protein consumption, we have decreased our vegetable consumption. Vegetables contain the phytochemicals, micronutrients & antioxidants that keep cancer at bay. So we increase the food that grows cancerous cells and decrease the food that destroys cancerous cells and wonder why cancer rates are rising.
So why exactly did I start by advising you not to become a vegetarian when it seems that a whole lot more vegetables is exactly what we need? While the term vegetarian used to refer to someone who did eat a lot of vegetables, vegetarianism is now all about what vegetarians don’t eat. Indeed most definitions of vegetarian these days begin by stating what vegetarians don’t eat, and we all have a friend or acquaintance who is indeed one of "those vegetarians” who doesn’t eat vegetables!?!? So half the problem is that one can become a “vegetarian” and subsist on processed food or simple carbs or cheese, & little fiber with plenty of added sugar & trans fat.
The other half of the problem is that, despite the fact that vegetarians are now defined by what vegetarians give up, they have given up the wrong thing. What I mean is this: what separates vegetarians from vegans today is that vegetarians have given up meat but not dairy. If you are going to give one up completely -- rather than just reduce both responsibly -- then please choose to GIVE UP DAIRY!
CHALLENGE #20 & #21 of 50:
20. Begin the weaning process -- (better late than never :) ). First, stop buying non-dairy foods that contain casein or unidentified dairy protein – especially if it is concentrated. Please don’t eat dairy for the sake of dairy. Think of every dairy product you consume the way you would a candy bar. It’s fine for us to have one, but we don’t eat one every day or add one to the vegetables to make them healthier or even to make them more palatable – save such things for that favorite recipe, the holidays, parties, get-togethers & celebrations. (Worried about calcium? Read FOOD for THOUGHT: Calcium, Don’t Look for it All in One Place)
21. Go to a movie THIS FRIDAY for healthy eating inspiration! Right here in Westford there is a community film screening of “Forks Over Knives” on January 4th at 7:00. It’s about healthy eating to avoid/reverse disease and to maintain overall health. Stay for the post film discussion, meet people & learn more. For a discount, pre-buy tickets here.
Chapter 3 of “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD & Dr. Thomas M. Campbell II, MD
QUOTE of the WEEK:
Not* unlike curing cancer or heart disease, we already know how to beat hunger: food.
* The “not” is my addition to the quote; it’s mostly all the same cure when it comes down to it. As I am always telling my friends it really IS as SIMPLE as berries, beans, broccoli & greens!