There has recently been controversy over whether dairy products are actually good for you or not. Historically, we’ve been told that dairy can help boost our calcium intake and in turn lead to stronger bones. But how true is this? While there is a general agreement in the research community that dairy can be beneficial towards bone health, there are a few conflicting studies about the extent to which this is true. For example, it is unclear whether consistent dairy intake will go as far as to prevent bone fractures.
Another concern about dairy is saturated fats. These fats that can raise your levels of cholesterol in your blood - are also present in dairy products such as whole milk, butter, and cream. There have been strong views on both sides when it comes to whether saturated fat is truly as harmful as it seems. Data now suggest that the links between full-fat dairy and heart disease aren’t exactly clear. So, eliminating whole milk does not always lead to a healthier heart. However, there are a bunch of other ways that an individual can work on improving their heart health. These include eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, getting proper sleep, and more.
All dairy has lactose in it. Lactose is a type of sugar. Meaning if an individual has too much dairy, they will be consuming too much sugar and will have trouble losing weight. For this reason, it is best to limit dairy intake while attempting weight-loss.
Another issue that some people face is Lactose Intolerance. Intolerance to dairy occurs when someone lacks the enzyme lactase, which works with breaking down dairy in the digestive system. Symptoms of intolerance include bloating, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea. It’s obvious that consuming dairy when lactose intolerance can be quite harmful to your digestive health. For people who suffer from lactose intolerance, it’s recommended that they take dairy alternatives such as soy milk, or even think about taking lactase pills. Lactose intolerant individuals should also look for other ways to get calcium into their diets. Some other high in calcium products include beans, lentils, seeds, almonds, leafy greens, and whey protein.
If you still are having reservations over just how much dairy you should be consuming, it’s important to talk to a trusted medical professional. Everybody is different and has varying needs, so talk to them about what your own personal diet should be looking like.
Gunnars, K. (2018, November 15). Is Dairy Bad for You, or Good? The Milky, Cheesy Truth. Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-dairy-bad-or-good
Jennings, K.-A. (2018, July 27). Top 15 Calcium-Rich Foods (Many Are Non-Dairy). Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-calcium-rich-foods
Saturated Fat. (n.d.). Retrieved from American Heart Association: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats
Warwick, K. (2019, September 6). Is dairy good or bad for your health? Retrieved from Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326269