Doctor’s Tip: Got milk? Maybe you shouldn’t
If you want to learn more about the health benefits of plant-based, whole foods (unprocessed), low-fat nutrition from a speaker with a national reputation who is a giant in the field, hear Joel Fuhrman, M.D., at the Aspen Institute from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2. Dr. Fuhrman wrote “Eat to Live” and more recently “The End of Dieting,” and is an excellent speaker. To reserve a seat, go to www.nutritionalresearch.org and click on Aspen Institute Lectures, or call 888-511-4443.
In spite of what the dairy industry tries to make us believe through advertising, milk is not a health food (unless you’re a baby cow, and even they stop drinking it when they are no longer babies). According to Neal Barnard, M.D., founding president of Physician Committee For Responsible Medicine, here’s why:
1. Consumption of milk and other dairy products is associated with an increased risk of cancer of the prostate, lung, breast and ovary.
2. Several large studies have shown no decrease in fracture risk in people who drink milk, and some studies even show an increased risk. For example, a large study showed that women who consumed three glasses of milk a day increased their risk of hip fracture by 60 percent.
3. Increased dairy intake has been linked to development of type 2 diabetes.
4. Due their saturated fat content, milk and other dairy products are a leading cause of heart disease.
5. Sixty percent of Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning they lack lactase, the enzyme that is needed to digest lactose in milk. This leads to intermittent cramping, bloating and diarrhea.
6. Baby humans need breast milk or formula when they are infants, but do not need cow’s milk or other dairy. In this country, a high percentage of young kids have fatty streaks in their arteries, the first sign of hardening of the arteries, and most American late teens have more advanced changes.
So what to do?
1. The Harvard School of Public Health released its own “Healthy Eating Plan,” which recommends getting calcium from plant sources, such as dark leafy greens, collards, fortified soy milk and beans. Their recommendations are not tainted by industry influence, in contrast to the U.S. government recommendations that came out earlier this year, and will come out again in five years.
2. Replace cow’s milk with unsweetened soy, almond, rice, oat, hemp or other plant-based milk.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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