Should You Stop Consuming Dairy? What the Experts Say!
Food: About the time you think you’ve got it down, along comes a barrage of expert advice about something you thought was healthy. Now it’s unhealthy, over-processed, or worse – a carcinogen.
Dairy Products: What’s the Ruling?
The naysayers say that humans were not meant to eat dairy; in fact, 75% of the world’s population is lactose-intolerant. As babies, our bodies produce an enzyme to help digest milk. Many adults, lose that ability.
Other nutrition experts cite the fact that 250ml of milk contains more nutrients than most other foods. Nutritionist Andy Bellatti says, “Every nutrient in milk can be found in whole plant foods.” The problem is, not as many people eat whole plant foods as should.
A 2016 UK Public Health Report addressing overweight populations said, “Eating a diet rich in full-fat dairy – cheese, milk, and yoghurt – can lower the chance of obesity.” Here are experts’ reasons for why you should include dairy in your daily diet:
- 250ml contains:
- Calcium 28%RDA
- Vitamin D 24%RDA
- B2 26%RDA
- Potassium 10%RDA
- Phosphorous 22%RDA
- Vitamins A, B1, B6, Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium
- In some families, introducing kale, chard, figs, canned salmon – all calcium-rich foods – doesn’t sit well with youngsters; ergo, milk.
- Yoghurt’s probiotics improves digestion, overall health, and even reduces the risk of some diseases.
- Dairy foods can lower blood pressure as well as lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Does milk make our bones stronger? “There’s very little evidence that milk consumption is associated with reduced fractures,” says Walter Willett, MD,PhD. In Asian countries where little dairy is consumed, there’s no evidence of greater bone fractures. Other expert dairy detractors say:
- The levels of potassium are too high and milk is relatively high in calories.
- There’s an increased risk of prostate cancer associated with milk. The evidence is “somewhat mixed,” says Dr. Willett, but there’s a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer for women who drink 3 or more servings of milk daily. Calcium supplements – but not dairy products – may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- There’s no evidence that dairy prevents osteoporosis. “In fact, the animal protein it contains may help cause bone loss!” says Mark Hyman, MD.
- Dairy aggravates IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
The Udder Truth
You can live and eat well, including dairy in your diet. If you tolerate dairy, by all means, eat/drink it. Make your decisions wisely, based on knowledge, as to how much and which dairy products you can and should consume. If you are one of the 75% of the world’s population that suffer from lactose intolerance, you have many nutritional options. You can live and eat well, without dairy in your diet. There are delicious almond, soy, and cashew milks available. Many leafy greens and proteins include all the nutrition found in dairy.