Lactose Intolerance: Is it Time to Go Dairy-Free?

If the mere thought of dairy makes your stomach hurt, you probably know a thing or two about lactose intolerance. Reducing or eliminating dairy completely may be a great goal, but if you have a sweet tooth, the idea of giving up scrumptious desserts like cheesecake and other diary-rich desserts for a lactose free ice cream may seem like absolute torture. Many of those who suffer from lactose intolerance admit to eating dairy-filled foods, even though they know they’ll suffer because of it later. At Roots Frozen Desserts, we don’t want anyone to have to miss out on the rich, creamy goodness that is ice cream. Our 100% plant-based ice cream is luscious, decadent and dairy-free. With flavors ranging from Chocolate and Vanilla to Mango Berry and Matcha Green Tea, we have pints to please even the most particular of palates. Having a bowl of delicious, plant-based ice cream will make you forget all about those stomach-ache-inducing, dairy-filled treats!  

Are you lactose intolerant and following a dairy-free lifestyle? Or are you considering taking the dairy-free plunge? In this article, we’ll take a look at dairy consumption as well as a few facts about lactose intolerance.

Is dairy good for us?

Many of us grew up with the “Got Milk” commercials on TV. Celebrities, actors, athletes, and even politicians wore milk mustaches and led us to believe that in order to be healthy, we had to drink cow’s milk. The question of whether or not dairy is actually good for us is often debated. One common argument against dairy products is that it’s unnatural to consume them. Think about it: Not only are humans (and companion animals who are fed by humans) the only species that consumes milk in adulthood, we’re also the only ones to drink the milk of other animals. Biologically, cow’s milk is nature’s perfect food – but only if you’re a calf. Calves have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months – sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they’re 2 years old. But unlike humans, once calves are weaned, they never drink milk again.

Another argument against dairy consumption is weight gain. Despite dairy industry claims that drinking milk can help you lose weight, a study conducted by Harvard Medical School of more than 12,000 children nationwide found that the more milk they drank, the more weight they gained. Kids who drank the recommended three glasses of milk a day, or more, were 35% more likely to become overweight than those who drank one or two.

Cow’s milk is not designed to suit the nutritional needs of humans, so it’s no surprise that consuming it and its derivatives causes us so many problems. Our bodies just weren’t made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it’s better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods – dark green leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.

A glass of milk with a side of hormones.

Today, many dairy cows are in such a state of mistreatment and disease that they are continually injected with antibiotic medicines and rubbed down with chemical-laden ointments to deal with their chronic infections. Most milking cows are also injected with a synthetic, genetically engineered form of bovine growth hormone, rBGH, which is used to increase milk production. Unfortunately, rBGH also increases blood levels of the insulin-growth factor, IGF-1, in those who drink it. Higher levels of IGF-1 are linked to several cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.   

You are not alone.

If you have lactose intolerance, it means that you can’t digest lactose – the main sugar in milk and other dairy products.  As an infant, your body produced a digestive enzyme called lactase, which broke down lactose from your mother’s milk. However, studies show that about 75% of the world’s population loses the ability to break down lactose at some point, meaning that many naturally become lactose intolerance over time.  In the U.S., the condition affects around 30 million adults to some degree by age 20, according to the National Institute of Health.

Sources:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jay-gordon/milk-makes-children-fat_b_2244.html

https://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/

https://www.the-scientist.com/uncategorized/whats-in-your-milk-46819

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-cows-milk/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14616060

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3401057/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000276.htm