‘Free from’ is the biggest trend in food this year with many of us giving up gluten, wheat and more recently…dairy.
Ditching dairy is easier said than done (chocolate anyone?!) and doesn’t necessarily guarantee health benefits. Here at Myvitamins we look at why you might (or might not) consider dropping it from your diet.
Why Should You Ditch Dairy?
For the truly lactose intolerant, that is, people who don’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase, consuming dairy can lead to an upset stomach, or worse. Then there are the lactose avoiders, who say that milk is for baby cows and not for human consumption. So why is it that some people can consume milk products without consequence, while others struggle with bloating and irritable bowels?
In essence, it comes down to lactose, the sugar present in milk, which either gets broken down, or doesn’t, depending on a person’s capability of producing lactase. Produce enough lactase, and lactose gets broken down and digested. Fail to break down the lactose, and it passes through unfiltered, causing the problems mentioned.
Reasons FOR consuming dairy
If you can stomach it and you enjoy it, there’s relatively little harm in consuming it in moderate amounts. Consume in the right quantities and you’ll be getting a decent source of:
- Vitamins, A, E, D and K
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Healthy fats
Reasons AGAINST consuming dairy
The argument against dairy which says that milk is for baby cows, and nothing else, is valid in the most basic sense. There’s no reason for us to consume milk products if we can get all of its nutrients from other sources. It’s non-essential, and for some people, it causes digestive discomfort.
Others claim that excessive consumption of dairy is linked to certain types of cancer, notably bowel cancer, but no solid link has been made.
Cutting out the calcium could also set the stage for osteoporosis and leave you more susceptible to bone fractures.
But I’ll Lose Weight, Right?
Dump the butter, chocolate, ice cream and latte’s and you are bound to drop a dress size, right? Getting rid of butter, ice cream, and whole milk is a surefire way to slim down, right?
Well, maybe not. Dairy is the main rich source of fat and protein in most peoples diets, and it’s fat and protein which keeps you full for longer as your body digests them more slowly. Without dairy, replacing all that hunger-quelling fat and protein can be tough and you might find yourself loading up on the carbs as a replacement.