Until fairly recently, many of us thought dairy products like milk and cheese were an essential part of a healthy diet. After all, we were told as kids to drink milk for strong bones and a hearty dose of calcium. But, as researchers have discovered, milk is overrated.
Far from being the staple of a healthy diet, dairy is responsible for many forms of cancer and high cholesterol, and may even put us at risk of early death.
But there's no need to stress, as ditching dairy today is easier than ever. With the number of delicious alternatives out there, it's a little wonder even milk drinkers report cutting their intake. Now, 50% of dairy consumers in the US report buying non-dairy milk as part of their weekly shop.
So, if like millions of others, you're considering going dairy-free in 2021, read on for some amazing health benefits waiting for you in the new year.
1. You'll get stronger bones.
Cow's milk is rich in calcium, but it won't make our bones strong. In fact, dairy milk drinkers suffer significantly more bone fractures than non-dairy milk drinkers. This is because the animal proteins in cow's milk produce an acid while breaking down in our digestive system, which our bodies quickly neutralize with calcium from the recently consumed drink. But that's not all. The process even sucks additional calcium from our bones, which can cause some pretty severe long term damage such as osteoporosis. On the other hand, calcium found in pea milk gets stored in the right places to keep bones tough.
2. You'll find a new life of peas
Yes, milk can be made from peas, and it tastes great. Despite being enjoyed for thousands of years, pea milk is a fairly new product to hit supermarket shelves in many countries. But as we all know, the greatest guests always turn up to the party fashionably late. First off, pea milk is packed with protein, as it's made from one of the best sources of plant-based protein out there. Also, one glass of pea milk offers a whopping 50% more calcium than cow's milk and contains 50% less sugar. But that's not all, pea milk has a thicker, more velvety texture than most other plant-based milk, making it ideal for dairy-free dieters who sometimes miss the creamy sensation of traditional milk.
3. You'll develop a healthy glow
If flawless skin is what you seek, try ditching dairy. Dairy causes an array of skin issues due to high levels of hormones and sugars. That's why most people who say ciao to the cow report seeing their skin tone and texture improve in as little as three weeks. Even the most obvious skin issues such as acne can be curbed by moving away from milk, as sugars found in dairy products cause a higher glycemic index, triggering flare-ups and an uneven complexion. But most dairy alternatives won't cause these issues, and deliver a generous dose of skin-boosting nutrients like vitamin D.
4. You'll keep your heart healthy
Milk, butter and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fat in the American diet, so reducing dairy does a lot to keep the circulatory system flowing nicely. Saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol in the blood, which can clog up the arteries, leading to heart attacks, strokes and even sudden cardiac death. Even healthy adults with high cholesterol are more likely to die prematurely.
Ok, that’s the bad news out of the way. Here’s some good news. Simply eating right is an excellent way to prevent disaster. Bad LDL cholesterol can be cut down with dairy alternatives such as soy and almond milk, and even reversed by green tea, oats and many other healthy foods.
5. You'll make mother nature happy
The dairy industry is not kind to old mother nature. First off, it's a drain on natural resources, producing one litre of cow's milk requires 628 litres of fresh drinking water. Then there's the problem of poop from around 270 million dairy cows. This messy issue alone contributes to 14% of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced by livestock. What's more, poor handling of manure and fertilizers can pollute water supplies, putting humans and other animals in danger. But fewer people consuming dairy means less pollution and less need for resources.
Today it's believed that if the world stopped consuming meat and dairy, the space needed for global farmland would reduce by 75%. To put that in perspective, that's an area the size of the US, China, the European Union and Australia combined.
So if you're thinking of making 2021 a dairy-free year, check out our store. It's a one-stop-shop for tasty, healthy alternatives to make saying ciao to the cow easier and more enjoyable than ever.