The Dairy Debate

Of all the major food groups, I think it’s dairy that’s the most misunderstood, and perhaps, misleading. We’re told from a very early age to gulp as much cow’s milk as possible to keep our bones strong and healthy, yet are rarely told of the pasturisation process or high levels of estrogen and progesterone that are in all that creamy white liquid. Nor are we told that calcium can also be gained from seeds, nuts, carrots, cabbage, and even molasses, so if that milk you’re gulping makes your tummy churn, there are most definitely other ways to get strong, healthy bones.

But I’m not here to tell you to not drink milk. I, personally, don’t drink cow’s milk because I prefer the taste of oat, almond, rice, soy, and coconut milk, as well as the fact that my morning muesli is packed with antioxidants and dairy is known to block the absorption of antioxidants – so, it would seem a little counter-productive to have all that goodness and then ruin it with milk. Right? Too right.

That said, it would be almost criminal to not enjoy the irresistible taste of natural organic yoghurt, a gorgeous slab of fetta cheese, or a scoop of your favourite ice cream every now and again. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that (unless you have a lactose intolerance, in which case, I’d recommend listening to your body and steering clear of the cow), however, I would recommend one simple tip that may very well change your life…


In cave man days, there really wasn’t any dairy in their diet at all after they stopped breastfeeding. Today, however, dairy is everywhere in Western culture, despite more and more people becoming lactose intolerant due to a lack of lactase – the enzyme used to breakdown lactose in the body.

By eating high quality organic dairy, you’re eliminating any of the unwanted added ‘ingredients’ and by eating dairy on its own, you’re not restricting the absorption of vital minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Plus, I find my body finds it much easier to digest dairy on its own – there’s no interference from proteins, or starches, which require totally different tools to breakdown.

So, if you’re a lover of dairy, don’t feel the need to cut it out completely, just stick to high quality options and instead of eating a heart-stopping creamy pasta, enjoy a beautiful tub of organic yoghurt on its own. YUM!

Stay Happy,






  1. Kayla · October 10, 2011

    What sort of muesli do you eat in the morning, Yaz? And how do you stick to portion size?
    I eat a natural kind that’s packed with peanuts, amarnath, chia, coconut, dry almonds, LSA and unsweetened pineapple and dates. But I always tend to overeat and never stick to the box portion size.
    What’s the solution? Any ideas…

    Thanks. Kayla

  2. hannahfong14 · October 10, 2011

    I too enjoy the taste of rice & soy milk more than cows milk- but haven’t banned it completely! On occasion I enjoy ricotta on toast with blueberries or a scoop of gelato, yummo 🙂 x

  3. jayne · October 10, 2011

    Yaz thanks for the great post! I’m not sure how my palate would take to soy/rice milk so it is good to know that even switching to organic milk from my normal semi-skimmed stuff will have benefits and not stop the absorbtion of the valuable minerals. I may try to slowly introduce soy, there are so many great products out there now there really is no excuse! xx

  4. casey · October 11, 2011

    Hi Yaz,
    Love the dairy debate, such an interesting topic. I have grown up believing ‘you must have your three serves of dairy each day’ to the point where I was proud if I fit it all in! And just lately I discovered the truth!

    I was just wondering, when you said you should have dairy ‘solo’. When it comes to having bircher muesli soaked in organic whole natural yoghurt, does the same rule apply? and with salads, if you want a greek salad, it is ok to have feta cheese (cows milk) with the salad and probably some form of other protein? Just interested to hear your thoughts!

  5. Yaz Turker · October 11, 2011

    Answer time:

    Kayla, your muesli sounds delicious. You could even add some dried goji berries, or fresh blueberries in there to get even more antioxidants. Yum! We make our own muesli with organic raw oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, LSA, goji berries, and raw cocoa powder…gosh, I think that’s it. I remember going to a nutritionist once and she told me the amount of muesli we should have and it shocked me! It’s something like 1/3 of a cup, or maybe even a 1/4 of a cup, as the oats expand in your belly. Wowza! I think I eat more than that, maybe 1/2 a cup, but I find adding some fresh banana, or blueberries and putting it in a small bowl bulks it up a little.

    And Casey, when I’m eating muesli packed with all that goodness, or a huge big salad, I prefer not to have any dairy with it at all. That said, there’s nothing wrong with it specifically, you’re just not going to absorb all the goodness from your salad and muesli as you would without the dairy. If that makes sense. Instead, I’d save the feta for later, and have oat, rice, coconut or a non-dairy milk with your muesli instead, and enjoy your yoghurt on its own later. Or not, it’s up to you.

    Hope that helps,


  6. Laura D · October 11, 2011

    Another very important thing to note is that in order for your body to process the calcium from dairy it needs to leach the calcium from your bones in order to convert it into a form the body can absorb. Seems insane doesn’t it? You’ll get more calcium in a healthy form through eating parsley. Plus you won’t be contributing to the senseless deaths of thousands of bobby calves every year. We are the only mammals that continue to ingest dairy after babyhood. Hardly natural is it?

    • Yaz Turker · October 11, 2011

      Laura, you are absolutely SPOT ON and thank you for adding that in. There is SO MUCH to talk about in this topic, and so many factors such and the very important one you mentioned, it’s hard to keep up. Thanks for the great tip. Yx

  7. casey · October 11, 2011

    Thanks Yaz! Think I better hold off on the dairy and crack open the can of coconut milk I have in the cupboard (organic of course)!

    Take care 🙂

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