Lessons from Jon Barron
Jon's Overall Thoughts On Dairy
In this week's excerpt from Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, Jon Barron concludes his thoughts on dairy.
"The Bottom Line on Dairy:
Milk is great food—if your goal is to grow up and become a 1,200-pound cow. Clearly, commercial milk is not a health food. Is drinking milk a better option than getting your calories from donuts and soda? Of course, but that doesn't make it a healthy food. If you must drink milk, drink raw, unpasteurized, organic milk, if possible. Absolutely avoid milk that has added growth hormones and antibiotics, and, if possible, avoid homogenized milk. An even better choice, though, is goat's milk, if you can tolerate the taste. It is much closer to human milk in composition. You also have the option of a number of grain-, nut-, and rice-based milk alternatives—in moderation because they tend to be high glycemic. I do not recommend soy milk.
Fermented soy is a 'reasonable' part of the diet when used in 'reasonable' amounts. Soy becomes a problem food when used as the main protein or as a large-scale dairy replacement in the diet. Too much of a good thing is bad. And too much of any single dietary component is bad: no matter how healthy a food is, if you overindulge in it, disease will result, not health. In large amounts, the high levels of phytoestrogens in soy become problematic. Also, soybeans have the highest levels of phytic acid of any grain or legume. Phytic acid is a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals (calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and especially zinc) in the intestinal tract. Phytic acid is neutralized in fermented soy, such as tempeh and miso, but not in soy milk or tofu. Soy also contains goitrogens, which are substances that depress thyroid function. These are not a problem in small amounts, but a significant problem when consumed in larger amounts.
Soy is especially not appropriate for children, particularly as a major component of their diets. I'm not a big fan of soy milk for children of any age, but especially for infants. The phytoestrogens are really more than their bodies were designed to handle. Fermented soy products, however, can provide lifelong breast cancer protection when served in moderation to girls between the ages of five and nine.
While I don't endorse soy or whey as protein mainstays, eggs (organic from free-range chickens) are a great source of useable protein, but they top the charts when it comes to food allergies. Eggs are one of the most common food allergens in infants, young children, and adults. The most allergenic proteins in egg whites are ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, and lysozyme. As for egg yolks, they contain three highly allergenic proteins: apovitellenins I and VI and phosvitin. What's left as a protein alternative? Actually, quite a lot in addition to any small amounts of beef, chicken, or fish you might consume. Sprouts and sprouted (or soaked) seeds and nuts are certainly options, but the big five I recommend when it comes to protein supplements are:
- Rice protein
- Yellow pea protein
- Hemp protein
They are all highly bioavailable proteins, easily beating meat and coming in just behind eggs and whey. But they offer one huge advantage: they are hypoallergenic."