No matter what you read about dairy, there’s another article that negates it. One group says dairy is necessary for a healthy body, while another says it’s almost toxic. So, is dairy good or bad for you? Let’s start with the type of dairy you choose. Not all dairy is created equally. There are studies that show that dairy products from grass fed cows contain conjugated linoleic acid and more Omega-3 fatty acids. That’s good! Others go a step further, choosing raw milk over pasteurized, saying the pasteurization process destroys nutrients. On the other side of the coin, the USDA says the potential for diseases, including listeria, which has a thirty percent mortality rate, is far higher in raw milk. There’s also low-fat, no fat milk and proponents of no milk at all or completing your diet with milk. It’s confusing.
Can you tolerate milk?
There’s a large group of the population that simply can’t digest milk properly. They don’t have the enzyme lactose that aids in digesting milk sugar lactose. Signs of lactose intolerance include gas, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, cramping and even skin rashes and frequent colds. Theoretically, the colds can come from acid reflux it can cause. As people age, many tend to develop lactose intolerance.
Milk is high in nutrition.
Okay, so milk can make you gassy and sick, does it offer any benefits? It certainly does. It has 18 of the 22 essential nutrients. It’s higher than any food in the diet in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc and protein. It has folate, vitamins A, B-12, B-6, E, K, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, iron and selenium. It can help improve blood sugar levels and may be good for healthy bones and teeth. There are contradictory studies, such as the Nurses Health Study, that show it actually can increase the potential of fractures by as much as 50 percent. Also countries with the lowest milk consumption also have the lowest rate of osteoporosis.
Milk products may produce satiety.
It may be the fat or the protein in milk products that make you feel full. One study completed in 2013 showed that dairy products helped to make people feel full and eat less. Several studies show that drinking milk when young helped build strong bones and boosted dental health. It also helped reduce the amount of plaque in older adults.
- Cows milk, particularly from grass fed cows, provides heart healthy benefits, more healthy fat and nutrients.
- Some studies show that milk can cause eczema and other skin conditions like acne if the person drank low-fat or skim milk.
- When choosing milk, choose organic milk, free from hormones and antibiotics.
- While milk may not be as healthy for adults and more study is necessary, children benefit from the nutrition of milk for good health.