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Dairy plays an important role in Indian society in several ways, including cuisine, religion, culture and economy. India is among the top few leading producers & consumers of milk worldwide. Our country has the world's largest dairy herd with over 300 million cattle, producing over 187 million tonnes of milk. The majority of the milk produced in India comes from buffalo, followed by cows and eventually goats.
Dairy production in this sub-continent has historical roots that go back to the Vedic period. It was only in the mid-to-late 20th century that Operation Flood changed the face of the dairy industry. In recent times, most of the milk is domestically consumed, while a small fraction is exported. The North Indian cuisine features dairy products like paneer & curd, while the South Indian cuisine uses more yoghurt and milk.
It is a common belief that the consumption of dairy products is good for the human body but do you know how accurate this belief system is! There are several reasons to give up dairy. Let us try to understand these one by one, in detail, and become aware of the dark truth of white dairy products.
The majority of the commercial milk available today is adulterated with harmful chemicals in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for milk. The term "synthetic milk" is used for this impure milk - a mixture of urea, detergents, boric acid, caustic soda, vegetable oil, salt, and water. Also, adulteration of ghee, sweets etc., with lard and animal fats is common in many parts of India, especially during festive seasons. This is why, today, there are several disadvantages of drinking milk.
Do you often suffer from gas, bloating, acidity, stomach cramps or diarrhoea? If you frequently experience these symptoms, then you might be lactose intolerant!!
Lactose intolerance means your body cannot digest "lactose", the primary sugar present in milk and other dairy products. The undigested lactose sits in the gut & gets broken down by the bacteria causing gas, bloating, diarrhoea etc.
Sooner or later, almost all of us develop lactose intolerance & it usually appears in adulthood. The symptoms may vary in each person and depend on how many dairy items the person consumes but the majority of us face the disadvantages of drinking milk in one way or the other.
Yes, consumption of dairy leads to the weakening of bones!
Confused?? But it's true..!!
Animal milk contains specific proteins that produce acid, when broken down, inside our bodies. Calcium, being an excellent acid neutralizer, helps flush out this acid.
But do you know what's the irony here?
Our body rarely absorbs the calcium present in animal milk. Instead, it is leached out from our bones to neutralize the acidic effect of protein in animal milk. So, each time you consume milk, the same calcium that we need for strong bones is now utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk!
Many scientific studies have shown that milk and dairy consumption robs our bones of calcium, and people who have a higher intake of dairy products have higher fracture rates. It is also one of the main reasons for diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, etc.
Switch to plant-based milk such as coconut milk for a few days and experience the miraculous improvement in your health yourself..!
Now, you must be wondering that there are so many disadvantages of dairy products, why were we told since childhood that "Animal milk is good for strong bones"? Just a slight hint for you. This began when the dairy industry came into existence! Think about it :)
You must be thinking, how can dairy be linked to acne? Let's understand.
Growth hormones present in milk & dairy products stimulate the production of sebum (an oily secretion) in our body, whose excess secretion blocks the pores & causes acne breakouts and other skin problems.
Want to spot whether it's dairy triggering your acne breakouts?
Try to eliminate all dairy items from your diet for at least 21 days and experience the magic..!!
It might seem very daunting at first, but it can be made much easier with many healthy dairy alternatives like coconut milk, almond butter, peanut curd, & much more!
Still not convinced about the disadvantages of dairy products?
Wait! Here are three more reasons to give up dairy.
Cows at dairy farms are usually artificially inseminated, tortured & abused very badly, and their calves, especially males, are starved to death to meet our ever increasing demand for milk. When these poor animals can no longer produce milk, many of them are killed in slaughterhouses. Our country, where cows are worshipped, is ironically one of the largest exporters of Beef in the world! This is just because we believe we need to consume dairy products to be healthy. No religion in the world favours violence. If we cannot give life to anyone, we also don't have the right to take it from any being. This is one of the major reasons not to eat dairy products.
Additionally, due to horrific & inhumane treatment, these innocent creatures develop toxic feelings of fear, hatred, pain & helplessness. As a result, products obtained from them carry negative vibrations and are therefore tamasik in nature. Consumption of such negative food, in turn, affects our mental well-being leading to an increase in mental health issues like anxiety, restlessness and depression.
According to the laws of nature, the milk of an organism is only suitable for the health of its child and not for any other living being. Cow milk contains a high quantity of growth hormones and is designed for a calf weighing 90 pounds at birth and 2000 pounds at age two. On the contrary, a human baby weighs only 6 to 8 pounds at birth & 100 to 200 pounds by 18 years of age and hence does not require such a huge amount of growth hormone.
Moreover, to be appropriately digested, milk should be split as soon as it enters our system. For this purpose, our bodies release an enzyme called renin which is produced in copious amounts in children while reducing significantly in adults. As a result, milk does not split upon entering our bodies and is not digested. This undigested milk puts unnecessary pressure on our digestive system, and our vital force gets wasted. This is another significant reason not to eat dairy
This is why, even if we have access to pure cow milk, we should not consume it as it is too difficult to digest for adults, especially while living a sedentary lifestyle.
Usage of natural resources like food, land and water used to raise animals for meat and dairy is much greater than resources needed for growing plants. Moreover, raising livestock causes enhanced emission of greenhouse gases like methane, which trap heat and may lead to severe ecological imbalance by contributing to global warming. Also, huge quantities of animal waste generated by livestock pollute local water resources.
In May 2020, the National Green Tribunal had directed the Central Pollution Control Board to issue guidelines that would allow pollution control authorities to monitor the environmental impact of dairy farming in India. It was reported that if appropriate measures are not taken, dairy farming can result in the loss of ecologically important areas like forests, wetlands, etc.
Keeping in mind all these points that have been discussed above, every individual must make a sensible choice and completely avoid consuming dairy items such as milk, butter, ghee, curd, lassi, ice cream etc. and switch to healthy, plant-based alternatives. The Earth comprises 70% water and 30% land. Similarly, our ideal diet should also be 70% alkaline and 30% acidic. The pH value of our blood should range from 7.36 to 7.40. As discussed above, the intake of dairy products makes our body acidic and gives rise to multiple health issues. It is neither good for us, nor the animals & the environment. In contrast, the proteins and calcium present in a plant-based diet are much healthier, easier to digest, and enough to meet the body's requirements.
Choose wisely and switch from dairy products to healthy dairy substitutes!
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