Dairy products are at the top of most people’s favorite foods list. Here are some tips on how to choose the right products and enhance your health in the process:
- Choose full-fat dairy products. Avoid skim milk, 2% milk and the like. These products have unhealthy additives such as powdered milk and thickeners to help make them look like fresh milk.
- Try to buy your dairy items from a source that uses pasture-fed cows. For good health, clean raw and/or fermented products, such as raw milk, whole yogurt, kefir, cultured butter, whole raw cheeses, and fresh and sour cream are best.
- Find a local source for clean, raw milk, cream, and cheese from grass-fed dairy cattle.
Raw milk and cream from grass-fed cows is one of nature’s finest health-supporting foods. If you don’t have access to clean, raw milk, at least buy organic milk from grass-fed cows. Both Organic Valley and Natural by Nature brand organic milk is from cows which have access to grass.
- Avoid commercial milk from cows injected with rBGH. Some commercial milk comes from factory-farmed cows treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to boost milk production. The hormone works, but it also shortens the cow’s life by half and increases the incidence of disease by 40%, including infections of the udder. rBGH has been implicated in an increased risk of human breast cancer. I don’t know of any studies done, but there are many anecdotal reports of very young girls having breast pain and premature periods associated with drinking commercial milk tainted with rBGH. Fortunately, many grocery store chains have pledged not to sell milk from cows injected with rBGH. You can get a list of non-rBGH brands of milk on page 4 of this shopping guide.
Most people eat lots of dairy products, so choosing clean, organic products is important. Making the time and effort to add them to your diet pays off in better health.