is diary good for you?

Diary has become such a controversial subject. It can be so confusing as one minute dairy is seen to be good for you and the next its so bad for your health. Diary is so comforting to so many people and seen as a healthy food, full of nutrients, full of calcium which is essential for the health of our bones.

Diary products are produced by the milk from such mammals as cows, goats etc.

Dairy products are milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter and ice cream.

Of course not all diary products are the same, they vary in quality and their quality depends on how the milk-giving animal was raised and how the dairy was processed. So it’s important if you do consume diary to try to have organic diary products and the best quality whenever possible.

So many people start their day with a milky cappuccino!! Are diary products really healthy?

Is it natural to consume diary?

Why do so many people say diary is not good for you? One argument is that it is not natural for us to consume it; we are the only species to consume milk in adulthood and the only one to drink it from other animals. We only really started consuming it after the industrial revolution. Diary is therefore not essential for optimal health but some people can digest it and are actually genetically able to consume diary.

3 out 4 are Lactose Intolerant

That’s a high number, which never really seems to be considered. The simple sugar in dairy, lactose, which is made up of glucose and galactose, causes many digestive problems for many of us. This intolerance can cause varying reactions depending on the person, such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, acne etc. As many as 65 to 75%, of the world’s adult population is actually lactose intolerant. We do though have to consider that these lactose intolerant people can sometime consume fermented diary products such as yoghurt or high fat dairy products such as butter and have no digestive problems.

Dairy pros and cons

Dairy is full of many minerals and vitamins and known for its high calcium content, it also contains many nutrients such as vitamin D, Vitamin B12, potassium and many more, as well as being a good source of protein.

Here though we must consider that there are many foods, which are not dairy, that will give us all these nutrients. Dairy is not essential to good health. Some studies have even suggested (they have not been scientifically proven) that milk can cause bones to lose calcium due to the acidic residues that will cause the body to pull alkaline minerals from the bones. Interesting to see that countries with lowest consumption of dairy and calcium (like Africa and Asia) have the lowest rate of osteoporosis.

Dairy can also stimulate the release of insulin and IGF-1 growth hormone. These IGF-1 growth hormones and increase in insulin levels, have been said to be linked to diabetes, cancer and heart problems. Diary products also can promote inflammation.

Dairy link to Acne

Dairy as stated above, stimulates the release of insulin and IGF1 (growth hormone), which may lead to the increase in acne, as this hormone stimulates the oil glands, this excess oil gets trapped inside the pores of the skin and the clogging causes inflammation.

Dairy and high sugar content

Dairy contains lactose as mentioned, which is a sugar, and if we are trying to minimize our sugar intake we need to consider this when consuming dairy.

We can get our nutrients elsewhere

The high level of calcium in milk also may cause magnesium deficiency, as these two minerals work along side each other. Consuming for instance kale, cabbage, carrots and cauliflower gives us these minerals and many more than milk.

Quality is important and organic dairy, if possible, is preferable if you do decide to keep it in your diet. I personally stay away from cow’s milk, as there are so many alternative nut milks available

I find it hard to say that a food group should be completely eliminated if it is really enjoyed, for sure it should be eliminated if you are intolerant/ allergic and if it is not optimal for your health. We must also consider that yoghurt and other ferment dairy products have benefits to our health, as they are probiotic and help with your gut health. We are all individuals and our bodies, are all so different and what is right for one person may be totally wrong for another.

There are some positives to dairy and some negatives to its consumption. So the next time you crave a cappuccino you may opt for a nut milk one instead. Anyway lets not get on to the subject of coffee and if it is good or bad for you!!

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