Collage of many X-rays in very good quality.

Dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese) – Why Immigrants Need to be Careful

When you walk into a typical Canadian supermarket, you will notice that there’s a lot of dairy products – milk, yoghurt, cheese, ice cream, etc. Immigrants will hear that milk is healthy and so they will start buying more milk products than they used to do before immigrating. Their diets change but, unfortunately, so does their health – many years later they develop common ‘Canadian’ health problems: heart disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is when your bones are weak and can break easily. An estimated 1.5 million (10%) of Canadians age 40 and older reported having been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Yet, Canadians eat more yoghurt and cheese and drink more milk than people in many other countries! Milk contains calcium, so Canadians should have very strong bones – but they don’t. Why? The problem is that milk and all the milk products create a highly acidic environment inside the human body. In order to get rid of that acidity, your body will draw the calcium OUT of your bones. A little bit of non-sweet yoghurt sometimes is good for your body. But be careful: too much yoghurt, milk and cheese will make your bones brittle.

If you live in Canada already, you can see the advertisement and commercials on TV and in the magazines and newspapers about ‘Canadian milk’. You need to know that in Canada, farmers are subsidised by the government (the governments gives them a lot of money – billions of dollars). So, the government wants you to buy Canadian milk, yoghurt and cheese, and will tell you that it is healthy.

It is true that milk products contain calcium but if you want to absorb calcium that you eat, you MUST get enough vitamin D3 and vitamin K2. Most Canadians don’t get enough vitamin D because they use sunscreen in summer, so they get osteoporosis. While many Canadian now take vitamin D, most of them don’t know about the importance of vitamin K2.

Some Canadians don’t know that many vegetables contain calcium. Unfortunately, Canadians often don’t like to eat vegetables or don’t know the facts, for example the fact that one cup of cooked kale (green leafy vegetable) contains almost the same amount of calcium as one cup of milk (245mg vs. 300mg). And if you eat beans, tofu, almonds or canned fish, you already have enough calcium in your diet – you don’t even need milk or yoghurt!

Milk industry is a business and its goal is to make money. On large North American cows don’t eat grass – they are fed protein and grains. That makes cows unhealthy. So, to keep them healthier, a lot of antibiotics are given to them. Those antibiotics are then passed into the cows’ milk. And when people drink that antibiotic saturated milk, they develop antibioitic resistance. This is a problem for people because, when they get sick and need antibiotics, the antibiotics suddenly don’t work! Also, antibiotics from milk products kill the good bacteria inside your stomach and you start having digestion problems.

Also, when you drink milk and eat yoghurt and cheese, you consume growth hormones – natural cows’ hormones and synthetic growth hormones given to cows in their food. Too much of these growth hormones in human body means all kinds of things can start growing there, including cancer. A synthetic growth hormone that is usually given to cows is called ‘Insulin Growth Factor’ or IGF. It is given to cows to produce more milk, but in people it results in breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Finally, to digest milk, your body needs an enzime called lactase. Humans have this enzime till the age of 2-5 years old. So, children can digest milk but many adults have upset stomach if they try to eat more dairy. If you still want to consume milk, choose organic milk for your children and organic non-sweet yoghurt for yourself. And if you come from a country where you used to eat none or little dairy products, don’t change your eating habits – don’t start eating the ‘Canadian way’!