Deciding to move toward a plant-based lifestyle brings you one step closer to your wellness goal.
We invite you to see how dairy affects health and performance, and to get to know the doctors advising our campaign.
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Health and Performance
Dairy for brittle bones?
Advertisements push dairy for strong bones, but research begs to differ. Drinking 2+ glasses of milk per day increased women's risk of hip fracture by 45%. Those getting the recommended 3+ glasses per day had a 60% greater hip fracture rate. For truly strong bones, shift your focus to fruits and vegetables: women eating twice the fruit had 5% denser bones.
The connection between dairy and ovarian cancer.
Which food was most closely connected to ovarian cancer (the #1 cause of gynecologic cancer deaths) in women from 40 countries across five continents? Milk. Women who drank just 1+ glass of whole milk per day were at three times greater risk for ovarian cancer, though even skim milk has been tied to this deadly disease. While dairy can increase risk, vegetables can reduce it. Eating 3+ servings of vegetables per day dropped the risk of ovarian cancer by 39%.
Milk and male health
Our sons have a 1 in 9 chance of developing prostate cancer throughout their lifetimes. By drinking milk each day during adolescence, they increase their risk of advanced prostate cancer at least threefold. When explored across 42 countries, milk was the food most closely linked to both developing prostate cancer and dying from it. On the other hand, men who bypass dairy and eat a plant-based diet cut their risk of prostate cancer by 35%.
Pre-workout birth control hormones
Milk and dairy products supply 60-80% of the estrogen in our diets. In fact, in just 30-60 minutes after drinking milk, estrogen levels can increase by 26%! Pomegranate juice, on the other hand, promotes more desirable estrogen levels. Compared to drinking a placebo, pomegranate juice can increase Olympic weightlifting performance by 8%, decrease how hard training felt by 4%, and decrease muscle soreness by 13%. Which sounds like a healthier, more productive drink to you?
Hormones found in milk boost belly fat
You may have heard of cortisol, a stress hormone consistently found in milk. High cortisol levels cause us to store belly fat and are linked to lower muscle mass and bone density. Dairy-laden meals have been shown to increase cortisol, but barley soup and a vegetable stir-fry with rice lowered levels of this stress hormone. Which type of meal would you choose for a toned, high-performance physique?
Trans fats in milk block blood flow to muscles and inflame our bodies
More than 2% of dairy calories come from trans fats, the most harmful fat in our food supply. Trans fats are so destructive that our nation’s most prestigious group of scientists declared they should be completely omitted from our diet. Trans fats cripple arteries, cutting blood flow to our muscles by 29% compared to saturated fat, another destructive fat in dairy. Trans fats also promote inflammation while plant foods do the opposite. Berries, for example, boost artery function and soothe inflammation. If better blood flow and less inflammation mean superior performance and faster recovery, the scale tips away from dairy.
Our Health Advisors
Dr. Milton Mills
Dr. Milton Mills is the Associate Director of Preventive Medicine with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and co-author of PCRM’s report on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Dr. Mills serves as the Race & Nutrition Specialist and Board Adviser for A Well Fed World. Whether internist Dr. Mills is practicing at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia or at free clinics in Washington, D.C., his prescription for patients is likely to include some dietary advice: go vegetarian. “Medical research shows conclusively that a plant-based diet reduces chronic disease risk, so that’s something I absolutely encourage my patients to move toward,” says Dr. Mills, a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Mills doesn’t limit his message to his patients. He takes it to audiences around the country as well, speaking at hospitals, churches, and community centers.
Dr. James F. Loomis
James F. Loomis Jr., M.D. is the medical director of the Physicians Committee’sBarnard Medical Center, where nutrition is just one of the tools he and his team use to help patients get healthy and stay healthy. Dr. Loomis used Physicians Committee nutrition resources during his transition to a plant-based diet in 2011. Now—after losing more than 60 pounds and improving his cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure—he advocates for others to do the same!
Formerly the director of prevention and wellness at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Loomis was also the team internist for the St. Louis Rams football team, the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, and the tour physician for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Loomis received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and graduated with honors. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He is board certified in internal medicine and was on the clinical faculty of the Department of Internal Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Loomis also received an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.