Posts Tagged ‘8 Weeks to Real Foods’
This week was the launch of the 8 Weeks to Real Foods series; on Monday, the first email hit thousands of inboxes! (If you’re not signed up for this FREE program, you can do so here.) The minute the email launched, the questions came pouring in: “Why not milk?” “What if we drink raw milk?” “Don’t kids need calcium?” and of course “What will we put on our cereal?” So I’m going to take a minute to elaborate on that one aspect of the program from this week.
To begin, no, we’re not anti-milk. Yes, children (and us grown ups too) need calcium. NO, we definitely do not recommend soy milk as an alternative. Milk was included in the elimination list for a couple of reasons:
1. Most milk consumed in this country is heavily processed. It’s been obtained from cows fed antibiotics and growth hormones. It’s been pasteurized and homogenized. It’s been skimmed and fortified. It’s been through a lot before it reaches your table. It’s not nearly as natural as we’ve been taught.
2. The vast majority of individuals do not have the ability to digest liquid milk. With an exception for a few adults of European descent, most people simply don’t digest it well. And many of us have come to accept the symptoms of these sensitivities as normal. Recurring ear infections in children, eczema in all populations, digestive complaints – these are all symptoms of milk sensitivities.
3. Milk does not provide any nutrients that we can’t get elsewhere. It’s not the only source of calcium and it’s not the best source of calcium. And many argue that it’s not even a good source of calcium. Calcium can come form leafy greens (and is more bioavailable that way) and from nuts such as almonds.
What about other dairy products? Fermented milks such as kefir, yogurt and cheeses are great additions to the diet and have been processed naturally by microbes to be more easily digested and more nutrient dense due to increased bioavailability. We’ll talk about other healthier dairy products in future weeks.
What about raw milk? Many families are drinking raw milk obtained from their own cows or cows they own through a cow share. In this situation, much of the above information is not applicable, but the use of raw milk was not discussed in the series because raw milk is rarely available in a local grocery store.
Finally – what to put on your cereal? We recommend using a fermented dairy product such as yogurt or kefir with some whole grain granola or similar foods. However, keep in mind that each week’s info is written with the intention that you will customize it as suits your family best. If you don’t want to give up that morning cereal yet, try using some organic goat milk, which is nutritionally superior and less processed, or some almond milk. We don’t recommend using soy milk or other refined milks.
Want to read up more on this subject? Here’s what the Harvard School of Public Health recently said about the real need for milk in the diet.