Got Milk? 5 Common Myths About Dairy Debunked

Got Milk? 5 Common Myths About Dairy Debunked

This is a guest post from Jessica Blanchard - a registered dietitian, Ayurvedic practitioner, and yoga teacher.

It’s time, isn’t it? 

You’re motivated. You’re ready. You’re going vegan.

But a doubt eats away at your resolve. 

Don’t you need milk? 

After all, you’ve grown up hearing that milk “does a body good.” The milk proponents drummed this mantra into your head, so you believed it.  

But the question remains — Do you need milk?

The answer is yes — if you’re a calf.

But humans can kiss dairy goodbye. 

Separate Fact From Fiction 

It’s true; you’ve always heard that you must drink milk to have healthy bones, and you need the protein in milk for growth. 

But did you know that the American dairy industry spends $180 million per year on advertising to convince us of this? 

Even the USDA, who produces our dietary guidelines, “helps America’s dairy farmers and producers efficiently market high-quality milk and a wide range of dairy products." Source

So the same agency tells us what to eat and promotes dairy products. 

Smell anything rotten? 

Let’s be honest. 

Because you deserve the truth — facts backed by science, not profits. 

It’s time to peer beyond the interests of big industry. Let’s uncover the myths about dairy and dig out the reality. 

It’s not what you expect... 

 

Myth #1 You need dairy for strong bones.

Most Americans grew up thinking that we absolutely needed milk for healthy bones.  For so long, milk and its calcium were touted as the only solution for bone health. 

The dairy industry’s heavy advertising along with the USDA’s inclusion of milk as one of the four food groups (remember this?) had everyone convinced.  

In truth, your bone health depends on a balance of factors from your diet and lifestyle. Your body needs adequate calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C to build bones. 

Calcium is a mineral in the soil that is absorbed by the roots of plants, and cows get their calcium by eating these plants. So the actual source of calcium is the earth, not cows. 

You don’t need dairy products for healthy bones and calcium. You need the right balance of nutrients for your bones. 

Plenty of plant sources give us plenty of calcium. And the same plants give us the other required nutrients like protein, vitamin K and C, potassium, and magnesium. You can get vitamin D from fortified nut milks or supplements. Or you can spend a little time outdoors so that your body can synthesize it from the sun. 

So the truth is, you don’t need dairy to protect your bones. Instead, you can simply eat a variety of the following:

Beans: black beans, great northern beans, and navy beans 

Greens: bok choy, turnip, mustard, collard, kale

Soy: tofu, tempeh, edamame, soymilk (calcium-fortified)

Seeds: sesame, tahini, almonds, almond butter

Fruits: figs, raisins, calcium-fortified juices

Fortified nut milks: soy, almond, coconut, hempseed

These bone superfoods provide all the calcium your body requires. And consuming calcium above required levels does not guarantee healthier bones. In one study, vegans that had a lower calcium intake than omnivores had the same bone health.  

By eating a vegan diet with plenty of plant-based whole foods, you’ll get plenty of bone-building nutrients plus a host of other health benefits such as lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of cancer and heart disease. In fact, getting your nutrients from plants instead of animals leads to better bone health

Raw Veganism Is Easy, Clean and Effective + Sample Grocery List & Meal Plan

Since I am still learning a lot about what it looks like to be a raw vegan, I reached out to DeChantell Lloyd who enjoys a lot of raw meals and owns a juice bar in upstate NY. Follow DeChantell on Facebook

Below are her tips and a sample grocery list.

You can download and print all of her tips and sample grocery list by clicking here 

My journey into raw veganism was hard mentally to begin because I freaked about not preparing hot food! What am I going to eat?  

Let me tell you to Get Over That

The rule of thumb for going raw is a cooking temperature should not exceed 118* F.  
Once I started to mentally plan for the process I found it very easy to process that rule and rewarding because my kitchen, food and mind was so clean.  I was being guided on this journey by a sound heart and that feeling is amazing.  To help assist with your challenge below I documented a few steps I took to get started.  

 

Know what being raw is about and do independent research  

I was ignorant about what I could have raw and I only focused on the fact my food was no longer cooked.   There are plenty of support groups and recipe sites dedicated to raw living on social media. You have to do independent research, You have to find support and You have to be mentally prepared.  Your taste and journey should be specific to your needs. 

 

Shopping list and household must have

Now that you have a feel for recipes build a shopping list. I’ll share a few must have items below but go hard on veggies. Also, you must have a food processor.  I did survive without a food processor on my first challenge but I also had a Vitamix. Let me say the food processor made my life amazing ;-)  Recipes were on point and easy!

Here's are some simple ingredients to add to your grocery list:

Spinach – Smoothies and Salad

Romaine – Wraps and Salads

Banana –  Overnight oatmeal (here's a recipe - use Google for more suggestions), Snack and Ice Cream (here's a recipe)

Apples – Overnight Oatmeal, Juice, Salads

Ginger – Juice, Salads, Salad Dressings, Smoothies

Nuts – Snack, Salads, Raw Desserts

Oils – Cold-pressed Coconut oil and Olive oil are must haves

Bell Peppers – Will give any salad a nice color and crunch

Others – Cucumbers, Carrots, Onions, Oranges, Melons, etc... 

 

Meal Planning is essential

Your mind will trick you because everything raw can be prepared in about 10 minutes! Heck, it’s easy to pick up a banana and run. However, you need more than 1 banana when you’re out here in these streets all day. I’ve done it and trust me I’ve become unable to talk too until I got to food in my system. My typical raw day planned...

Breakfast – Overnight Oatmeal with Chia seeds and your favorite topping!

Snack –  Sweet Banana (2)

Lunch – Banging Salad

Snack – Nuts and Celery

Dinner – Raw Wrap

These are just a few lessons I’ve learned to get you started. Remember being raw is more than not cooking your food - it’s preparing it in a way that helps your mind, body and spirit work more effectively for you.

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