Why Most Everything We Were Told About Dairy Is Wrong

Episode 131 1h 5m
Topics Overview


There are so many myths when it comes to nutrition and health. One of the most prominent, that is still being supported by our government policies today, is that we need three servings of dairy a day to get enough calcium and achieve optimal wellness. We now have plenty of research to show us this just isn’t the case. Not to mention, upwards of 65% of the world’s population are lactose intolerant after infancy! Cow’s milk is not nature’s perfect food for human adults, despite what the lobbying efforts of the dairy industry say. On this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I was excited to sit down with Dr. David Ludwig, whose research I’ve followed for the past 20 years and has helped shape the way I practice medicine. Many years ago, Dr. Ludwig’s work gave me the profound realization that all calories are not created equal. Now, his review of more than 100 studies disproves the myth that dairy products are necessary for optimal calcium intake. We dive into his latest work on milk, which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and see that milk recommendations from the government are not based on evidence. The belief has been that adults need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day and that by drinking milk as children we build up a calcium bank that helps us avoid osteoporosis and fracture later in life. Dr. Ludwig’s research shows us that’s actually not the case, and that there may even be some risks of too much calcium or dairy, and we discuss how a balanced diet of things like kale, chia seeds, tahini, and even sardines can easily get us to a reasonable level of calcium. Unfortunately, the current government recommendations on dairy have actually made it so that all school lunches must contain milk products. The astounding thing is that unsweetened whole milk is not allowed, but sugary flavored non-fat milk is. We discuss the systemic issues in our food system that have led to this, and so much more, in this week’s episode. This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market and Tushy. Right now, Thrive is offering all Doctor's Farmacy listeners an amazing deal. Select a free gift from Thrive Market when you sign up for a 1 year membership. And, any time you spend more than $49 you’ll get free carbon-neutral shipping. Just head over to thrivemarket.com/Hyman. The Tushy bidet is a sleek attachment that clips onto your existing toilet and connects to the water supply behind your toilet to spray you with clean, fresh water. And it’s really affordable, starting at only $79. Right now Tushy is offering Doctor’s Farmacy listeners 10% off, too, so it’s a better time than ever to make the switch to a bidet. Just go to hellotushy.com/HYMAN.

Topics Covered

  • Examining the potential impact of people following the US dietary guidelines for drinking milk, and how these guidelines originated

    (7:23 - 10:59)

  • Debunking the “Got Milk?” campaign

    (11:04 - 14:40)

  • The importance of considering the impact of milk in the context of its interaction with overall diet quality

    (13:43 - 17:19)

  • Do you really need to drink milk to get enough calcium, and for healthy bones?

    (16:18 - 19:54)

  • How industrial agriculture results in higher amounts of naturally occurring hormones in milk

    (27:55 - 30:13)

  • The misguided school lunch requirements for milk

    (32:17 - 34:35)

  • Whole milk vs skim milk

    (34:22 - 36:40)

  • Butter and saturated fat from dairy

    (37:44 - 40:02)

  • How is the quality of the dairy we consume today different than it was 100 years ago?

    (47:25 - 49:43)

  • Summary of Dr. Ludwig’s findings on dairy consumption

    (56:20 - 58:38)

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Ep. 131 - Why Most Everything We Were Told About Dairy Is Wrong