Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why milk might not be that great for women

Those of us who grew up on the USDA food pyramid learned that dairy products were an essential part of everyone's diet, right? In my family, my brother and I LOVED to drink milk, while my sister turned her nose up at it. Now she's lactose intolerant; I wonder if her tastebuds were trying to tell her something back then.

I don't drink cold milk very often nowadays...unless I'm eating a brownie or chocolate chip cookie. Typically I drink milk in my coffee or tea, or occasionally I have steamed milk with vanilla or almond extract. Beyond these drinks and eating it on my cereal, I also like plain yogurt with fruit. So I'm probably drinking the equivalent of 1 to 2 cups a day, like the average American.

According to this article in More, experts are now questioning the value of dairy products for women...because of the hormone levels they tend to carry. Several kinds of non-organic milk have 11 different types of estrogen, which can contribute to breast and ovarian cancers. The article says that dairy products are the main source of estrogen in our food (60 to 70 percent). Cows have an extraordinarily high amount of estrogen because they are milked 9 out of 10 months per year and loaded with the high hormones of pregnancy.

More also provides some options for safer dairy choices, including a switch to organic milk (which doesn't contain recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic growth hormone). We switched to organic milk when Chris was a baby, after a friend told me about hormones in milk could lead to earlier puberty in girls. So we're already covered on that front. Bottom line is that if you are consuming a great deal of non-organic dairy products, it's well worth considering a switch to organic, sheep, or goat's milk.

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