The pH miracle diet attempts to control many different conditions in the body, including obesity, through the omission of acidifying foods and behaviors. One of the most surprising inclusions on the list, at least to Westerners, is milk. Dairy products, although a mainstay of the Western diet, are not included in the diets of most of the populations around the world. So what does the rest of the world know that we don’t? Dairy is not necessary for health; from a pH perspective, it is actually harmful to the body.
Many people believe that dairy and milk are essential for bone density and for overall health. However, dairy products have large amounts of protein and fat, which are both acid forming elements. Cow’s milk and products made from cow’s milk produce acid. Goat and sheep milk and cheeses, which have less fat and protein, produce less acid. The only dairy exception is clarified butter that is alkalizing due to the short chain fats within it.
In 2003, the Harvard School of Public Health released an alternative pyramid to the FDA recommendations based on imbalances that the members saw in the original pyramid. Although it did not mention acid and alkaline foods specifically, the pyramid shows a tendency toward alkaline foods. One of the most striking differences between the FDA pyramid and the Harvard pyramid is the inclusion of a dairy serving or calcium supplement 1 time daily. The FDA recommends 2 to 3 servings per day, in addition to dietary supplements.
Dr. Meir Stampfer, a professor in the departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, points out in an explanation of the Harvard pyramid that Americans should be eating less dairy products. The body needs calcium, but not at the levels present in the two to three servings recommended by the FDA. Calcium is necessary for normal bone development and maintenance; yet the average adult can get enough calcium from a supplement. The levels of calcium present in 2 to 3 servings of dairy per day can actually be harmful to health. Excess calcium intake may increase the risk for certain cancers and there have been no links between massive amounts of calcium and osteoporosis prevention.
In addition, dairy is far from being a pure food. The dairy industry has worked hard to proliferate the image of cow’s milk being essential and harmless. Consider, however, that fifty years ago the average cow produces 2,000 pounds of milk per year and today cows average 50,000 pounds per year. Drugs, antibiotics, hormones, specialized breeding and forced feeding all up milk production so dairy farmers can produce in mass quantities. All of these additives are part of the milk that people drink everyday.
A growing number of Americans, including those who follow the pH miracle diet, are eliminating dairy from their diet and having fantastic results. In recent studies, milk has been linked to intestinal colic, intestinal irritation, anemia and allergic reactions in infants and children. In children, the main problems were allergy, ear and tonsil infection, asthma, colic and childhood diabetes. The studies showed that adults suffered from heart disease, arthritis, allergy and sinusitis as a result of conventionally produced milk.
Just a quick search on the dangers of dairy can really open your eyes about this “safe” food. Reading the research and seeing the acidic effects of milk and other dairy products make it clear why it is excluded on the pH miracle diet.
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