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Dairy - Is it really that good for you?

Hi Everyone!

As promised in my last newsletter, I want to talk about dairy another very debated subject: Is dairy good for you or not? First a fun fact about dairy: humans are the only species that drink milk from another species – I find that peculiar… why do we do that? It just doesn’t seem natural.

First, let’s start with some of the impacts dairy can have on your health:

  • The dairy proteins, casein and whey, can have a similar effect on your body as gluten because they are gluten cross-reactants (molecule that your immune system mistakes for another that you are sensitive too).
  • The sugar in milk, called lactose, can be difficult to digest for people who are lactose intolerant (when you don’t have the enzyme necessary to break down lactose).
  • Dairy today is highly processed and denatured which can cause inflammation in your body. You could have unpasteurized, full fat, raw milk from grass-fed cows instead, but that is hard to find these days, unless you live on a dairy farm!

Knowing this, I typically tell patients to avoid dairy. When I do, the #1 question I get is: how will I get my calcium? Calcium is abundantly available in more food sources than just dairy. In order to absorb calcium and build strong bones we need more than just calcium.  We also need magnesium to absorb calcium into our bodies and we use vitamins A, D, and K to help direct it into various tissues once it’s absorbed. It’s best to get these vitamins and minerals from whole, unprocessed food sources like home made bone broth, sesame seeds, and dark green leafy vegetables.

So what’s the answer?  Eat whole foods, and avoid modern, processed, and refined foods. You can also substitute milk with a few alternatives depending on your food sensitivities:

  1. Coconut milk: I love coconut milk and now I use it exclusively even though I do not like the taste or texture of coconuts! Surprisingly enough coconut milk does not have the same texture as coconuts and is extremely creamy. You can find it a any grocery stores usually in a can close to Thai foods
  2. Almond milk: My daughter is allergic to nuts, so almond milk is not an option for me
  3. Rice milk: I choose not to use rice milk because it also can be a cross reactant and inflammatory
  4. Soy milk: You all know how I feel about soy from my previous newsletter, so soy milk is definitely out for me.

Here’s a quick and simple recipe you can use at your upcoming holiday celebration – my holiday gift to all of you!

Whipped Coconut Cream (Dairy free)

Dairy Free Coconut Whipped Cream and Berries Desert

Ingredients (makes about 1.5 cups)

  • 1 can chilled coconut milk
  • 1 T. coconut crystals (optional)
  • 1 t. vanilla (optional)


  • Combine coconut milk solids (avoid adding any of the coconut water in the can by not shaking the can before opening and taking a spoon to take the solids) with coconut crystals and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Use as topping on fruit of your choice.

Full recipe can be found on this site

Yours in health,
Dr. Michelle

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