Doctor’s Tip: Got milk? Don’t — it’s for calves | PostIndependent.com

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Doctor’s Tip: Got milk? Don’t — it’s for calves

Dr. Greg Feinsinger

Dr. Greg Feinsinger

This is the third column in the current series on why we should avoid certain foods for optimal health. The first column in the series was about oils, and last week’s column was about eggs. This column will discuss dairy products, which include milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, butter and ice cream.

Cows’ milk is meant for baby cows, which are weaned after several months, so even cows don’t drink milk after a certain age. There are many reasons you should avoid dairy products if you want optimal health. This is settled science even though Big Dairy does its best to sow seeds of doubt.

• All dairy products have saturated fat, which raises LDL (bad cholesterol) and inflames the endothelium that lines our arteries, resulting in increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

• Saturated fat also increases risk of obesity, insulin resistance/pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes and early death.

• Milk and cheese increase the rate of prostate cancer, probably due to IGF1 (insulin growth factor). IGF1 is important in the growth of baby mammals, but high levels in human adults stimulate cancer onset and spread.

• In his book “How Not to Die,” Dr. Michael Greger points out that all animal products contain sex steroid hormones such as estrogen, particularly now that cows are often milked throughout their pregnancies, “leading to hormone-related conditions such as acne, diminished male reproductive potential and premature puberty.”

• Your intake of toxins is increased markedly if you eat at the top of the food chain, i.e. animal products versus plants. Dr. Greger says that it is estimated that for every glass of milk you drink a day, the risk of Parkinson’s disease increases by 17 percent, due to neurotoxins.

• It may seem counterintuitive given the “Got Milk” advertising campaign, but dairy intake is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. The best way to get calcium is by eating plants such as leafy greens, beans including tofu, bok choy, broccoli, collard greens, kale and sweet potatoes.

• Dr. Frank Sacks showed in the 1970s that milk intake raises blood pressure, irrespective of weight gain.

• Dairy and other animal products cause acidic urine, resulting in an more kidney stones.

• The food industry prioritizes making profits over your health and has people hooked on salt, sugar and fat. Often sugar and salt are added to dairy products, particularly those labeled as fat-free. Check the label, see what the serving size is and how many grams of sugar is in a serving. Remember that 4 grams of sugar is a teaspoonful, so visualize teaspoons of sugar in the food you buy.

If you want optimal health, avoid dairy products. Almond, organic soy and other non-dairy milk is fine, but always buy unsweetened. Products such as non-dairy yogurt and sour cream are available, but watch for sugar, salt and other unhealthy additives. For additional information, read Dr. Greger’s book “How Not to Die” or go to his website nutritionfacts.org.

Valley View Hospital Medical Library is currently sponsoring his book and is having him speak at The Orchard in Carbondale on Feb. 9.

Dr. Feinsinger, who retired from Glenwood Medical Associates after 42 years as a family physician, now has a nonprofit Center For Prevention and Treatment of Disease Through Nutrition. He is available for free consultations about heart attack prevention and any other medical concerns. Call 970-379-5718 for an appointment. For questions about his columns, email him at gfeinsinger@comcast.net.