(updated version of a 2008 post that got lost in the migration to WordPress)
As any good French man I must admit that thinking if living without dairy, cheese in particular, seems really unnatural.
That being said when I heard one of the co-authors of "lait, mensonge et propagande" (Milk, lies and propaganda) on the French radio in fall 2007 and I became really intrigued. His book is however only available in French:
Lait, mensonges et propagande: Professeur Henri Joyeux,Thierry Souccar: Livres
In this book, the authors explain how recent studies (and attempt by the dairy industries on both sides of the pond to minimize them) show that dairies are not as good as one may think.
In a nutshell:
- We don’t need the extra calcium from the dairies, and dairies actually increase the chances of osteoporosis rather than decreasing them!
- Lactose (present in most dairies but Cheese) increase chances to get prostate or breast cancer
- Milk don’t help you lose weight
- Dairy protein (aka whey) is not as good for health than "regular" proteins from vegetables or meat
- And a few other points.
The authors refer to many studies in France but also here in US (Harvard!) and other parts of the world.
Here are a few links, in English, if you want to learn more and understand why, even if I’m still eating some (preferably stinky ) cheese, I have cut off most of my other dairy intakes since early 2008: milk, cream, butter…
For instance, the china study, by Colin Campbell, was mentioned in the book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study
Other interesting articles are:
Enjoy and decide for yourself…
July 2012 update: A recent article by a New-York Times journalists adds yet another data point to the story: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/07/got-milk-you-dont-need-it