CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories


Has The Dairy Industry Brainwashed America?

I'm reading Joel Fuhrman's book "Eat To Live" and I thought I'd share some of what he says about dairy. My health has significantly improved since cutting most of it out and I was determined to find out why. Here are some notes from what I am reading:

Dr Mehmet Oz- "I do not consider milk a real food"
(Dr Oz wrote the foreward to this book btw)

-Most people consider a diet without dairy unhealthy, and are convinced that dairy is the best source of calcium for our bones.

-In fact, hip fractures and osteoporosis are much more common in populations with high dairy comsumption. American women consume 32 times the amount of cows milk as women in New Guinea, but suffer 47 times the number of broken hips

-This does not necessarily suggest drinking milk *causes* osteoporosis, but does call into question the relentless advertising from the dairy industry.

-Studies do prove however, that high levels of fruits and veggies are protective against osteoporosis

-In China, osteoporosis is virtually non-existent, yet Chinese consume less than half the amount of calcium than Americans. The Chinese's primary source of calcium is vegetables.

-A diet heavy in animal proteins is highly acidic, and the body releases calcium from the bones to help neutralize the acid. Refined sugar, caffiene, salt, alcohol also are also highly acidic, resulting in calcium loss. (I read in another book that drinking one Coke has a devastating effect on your body's calcium levels)

-Eskimos have the highest hip fracture rate in the world--their primary protien source comes from fish.

-Bottom line is that the calcium your body takes in from veggies is absorbed at a higher rate, and not excreted- meaning your body retains it.

-The only reason cows milk is considered such an important source of calcium is that the American diet is centered on animal foods, refined grains and sugar- all of which are devoid of calcium

-Green veggies are the best because they have so many nutrients in addition to calcium

Here is Fuhrman's bottom line:

"Dairy is best kept to a minimum. There are many reasons not to consume dairy. For example, there is a strong association between dairy lactose and ischemic heart disease. There is also a clear association between dairy products and cancer. There is also a clear association between milk consumption and testicular cancer. Dairy fat is also loaded with toxins and is the primary source of our nation's high exposure to dioxin....Cheese is also a powerful inducer of acid load, which increases calcium loss further."


Sun. Feb 4, 10:59am

Add comment  
comparing apples and atom bombs

Mostly what the above points out is that calcium is only one thing you need to prevent osteoporosis.

The other thing is weight-bearing exercise, and lots of it. Bone is a living tissue, and it remodels as you place stress on it. Constant remodeling keeps it dense. This is why walking, running, weightlifting, etc. are great types of exercise for preventing osteoporosis, and swimming is not. While one must have calcium available for the remodeling to take place, exercise comes first.

So, it's a bit deceptive to compare, say, the US to China in this regard. On average, Americans are much more sedentary. It would be more instructive were they to compare Chinese to Maasai, or some other group that relies on dairy for protein & calcium in addition to being on average very physically active.

Sunday, February 04, 2007, 1:41 PM

Add comment
Yeah, that info seems to be geared towards "shock value".

I don't like comparing China to the US because on average, our life expectancy is 8 years longer. Now think about how old most people who break hips are.

And by the way, the RDA takes into account how much of a vitamin or mineral is absorbed v. consumed based on their dietary guidelines. I think we only need 600-700mg calcium a day, but to absorb that much we need to consume 1000mg (sorry I can't cite my source - I learned this at a healthy eating seminar conducted by a nutritionist who was not trying to sell anything).

Sunday, February 04, 2007, 3:38 PM

Add comment
I think the responders here thus far are proving the doctors point. We are not only trained to accept that dairy is good for us, we are also prepared to reject any suggestion to the contrary. We don't live longer because we eat better, we eat better because we have a vastly superior economy and health system. And as the Chinese get wealthier, they are adopting western eating habits- and gettiing fat.

If you eat the typical American diet with out a critical thought, you'll be fat. If you drink milk, eat typical bread and pasta, and don't eat fruits and veggies, you'll be fat. And even if you keep eating low-fat versions of junk, you'll be struggling to stay thin. The bottom line is that if you eat properly, you will not be able to keep excess weight on.

Sunday, February 04, 2007, 3:46 PM

Add comment
I completely agree about certain consumer boards/industries brainwashing the public. "Sugar gives you energy." Gimme a break. Sure it does, but so does anything else you put in your mouth (that has calories). Sugar makes you fat - in excess. I don't believe that dairy is bad for you in small amounts, but the whole drink-a-glass-a-day thing is purely the result of marketing.

Sunday, February 04, 2007, 4:44 PM

Add comment
It's easy to be brainwashed when you're relatively ignorant.

For instance: Eskimos have the highest hip fracture rate in the world--their primary protien source comes from fish.

If the above book cited this factoid as evidence of anything other than vitamin D and calcium deficiency, the authors are taking you for a ride!

The Inuit ("Eskimo" is generally considered a derogatory term.) traditionally lived at high latitudes, don't get a lot of sun half the year, and keep their skin mostly covered the other half. Vitamin D, which is necessary for creating new bone (along with calcium and exercise, as noted) is mostly created by the skin when the skin is exposed to sunlight.

In addition, Inuit children eating traditional diets get only 20 mg of calcium per day, when the RDA for other children is 800 mg. One would wonder how they grow bones at all, except...

As an interesting sideline (see link), one genotype predominant among the Inuit and also in Chinese and Thai people allows more efficient uptake of dietary calcium -- although it seems to work differently in the Inuit -- which just means that some people need a lot less dietary calcium than others.

So it's indeed pretty nonscientific to make those comparisons across populations.


Sunday, February 04, 2007, 5:29 PM

Add comment
It's pretty amazing what happens when you challenge commonly held views. I cut out dairy many years ago, and then gradually brought things back in like French Cheese, a little cream on pie etc. I eat much healthier overall and made many changes, cutting out dairy etc. I'm convinced it had a very positive effect. Any "whole" food will help you be healtier, period.

Sunday, February 04, 2007, 5:48 PM

Add comment
This thread is turning into the conspiracy theorists v. the "brainwashed". Oh fun fun!

I'm still waiting to hear from the anti-dairy member who loves to bang on about how "cow's milk is for baby cows"....

Sunday, February 04, 2007, 8:19 PM

Add comment
Re: the Chinese, there's a lot of calcium in tofu, as well. I'm not sure if every kind of tofu has a lot of it and am too lazy to check right now, but the traditional kind is made with nigari, which, although I can't remember what that is, has a lot of calcium in it.

Monday, February 05, 2007, 10:34 AM

Add comment
Dr. Fuhrman was citing this example from the "China Study." The China study did compare office workers in China vs. office workers in the US so they did try to match up activity levels. It's a fascinating book that I'd highly recommend no matter what side of the fence you are on. I switched from being vegetarian to vegan after reading it. I read Dr. Furhman afterwards.

I've done my research, compared theories but that means nothing when it comes down to how I feel. Since I stopped eating dairy no morning breath, no stomach pains, no colds, less allergy problems..I can go on. I'm not saying it's for everyone but for me, it's been an amazing change of health since I gave up dairy.

I am vegan and I do believe that cow's milk is for baby cows but I'm not going to shove that in anyone's face. Choice is a personal matter. What's right for me might not be for you. I don't really care about being right, I just want to be healthy and do what I know is the right choice for me.

There's a team for McDougall/Eat to Live folks if anyone is curious and wants to join.

Monday, February 05, 2007, 10:45 AM

Add comment
If you consider the Inuit and Caucasian statistics and compare them to New Guinea, one thing can easily be concluded: sunlight vs. lack of sunlight. Vitamin D plays a huge role in calcium absorption.

If you are worried about not getting enough calcium, turn to green leafy veggies and exercise. If you can, go outside for at least 30 minutes to get your vitamin D - it'll probably cheer you up, too!

But to each their own. If you're worried about dairy, give it up for a week or so and see how you feel.

Monday, February 05, 2007, 11:41 AM

Add comment

Explore Related Articles
Weight Loss Motivation   Sustainable Weight Loss
Weight Lifting    Hypnosis and Weight Loss
Emotional Eating   Help Losing Weight
Free Weight Loss Program   Weight Watchers Points  NutriSystem
How To Change Anything

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge