When my husband and I decided to transition to a plant-based diet, dairy was one food group we cut to achieve the lifestyle.
So, why dairy, you ask? For a few reasons.
Prior to becoming plant-based, my husband had a sensitivity to dairy products. He would become congested after eating things like cheese. It also led him to feel the need to clear his throat, for at least an hour following his consumption. In addition to this simple annoyance, here are some reasons I found compelling (and trust me I love cheese!).
- There are hormones found in dairy products.
- Yes, even those that are labeled organic and marked ‘no hormones added’. Sure, this may mean that what you’re buying doesn’t have added hormones, but cow’s milk does contain estrogen and progesterone.
- Why is this significant? There are studies linking the risk of dairy consumption to hormone-dependent disease, think breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. Pediatricians show concern over children’s exposure to estrogens in commercial cow’s milk. This exposure can lead to early sexual maturation.
- Casein, one of the main proteins found in dairy products, has been shown to promote the growth of cancer.
- Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a hormone that supports cell growth, in both healthy and cancerous cells. This hormone has been linked to nutrition. Upon consumption of animal protein, i.e. casein, IGF-1 levels rise, risking the development of cancer growth.
- Cow’s milk protein allergy exists among children – This allergy can cause chronic constipation, enhanced eczema irritation and even wheezing.
- Milk protein has also been linked to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and acne.
That right there is reason enough for me to avoid dairy products.