“Don’t cry over spilled milk” Whenever somebody uses this phrase, I feel like people are disrespecting the importance of milk in their lives. Of course, I am not saying you need to cry over what happened. But you must have an idea, not all dairy products are the same.
Often people find fruits and vegetables as the primary source of healthful options. But, the idea of dairy being a healthy option seems to bring a lot of conflict among different groups. For me, it was an express ticket to strength and bigger muscles. I used to drink milk like a calf often straight from the carton. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends 3 servings of dairy per day for adults. And approximately 2.5 servings per day depending on their age.
Did you know that it’s been more than a decade that USFDA advised everyone to consume milk at least one time per day? However, some health advocates believe that dairy is not a necessity for a healthy life while others feel that dairy can be a pathway for living a blissful life ahead. Amid all this confusion, experts clarify that whether dairy is good or bad, it completely depends on your latest diet trend.
So, what’s the truth behind all this? Is it good or bad? Well, experts say that dairy is not supposedly necessary for optimal health. However, it is definitely a medium to get calcium, vitamin D, and protein. That will help to keep their heart, muscles, bones functioning and healthy at the same time. But, the primary question that might be confusing a lot of people is that “Is it natural to consume dairy products?” Let’s find out.
Consuming Dairy Products- Is it Natural?
Here is what experts argue against consuming dairy products. Humans are the only species that consume milk (one of the dairy products) even when they are adults. Scientifically and biologically, that milk is meant for growing animals. Adults don’t need to grow. All this happened after the agricultural revolution. One of the reasons why dairy products, especially milk are excluded from a paleo diet.
Other than that, more than 70% of the population is lactose intolerant. Only babies who are breastfeeding are able to breakdown lactose using enzyme lactase. And that enzyme is absent in adults. Plus, some have issues with proteins present in the products. Thereby, making it an unfavorable option for a healthy bliss. But, is that all? Definitely no.
Positive Effects of Consuming Dairy Products
It’s like there are two sides to every coin. There are many positive effects associated with consuming dairy products as well. Here is how you can benefit from these “white angels”.
They are Nutritious
Dairy products are undoubtedly very rich in nutrients. A glass of milk contains calcium around 28% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake). 24% of Vitamin D, 26% of Vitamin B2. 18% of Potassium, and 22% of Phosphorus. Not only that, but it also contains vitamin A, B1, B6, and Selenium, zinc, magnesium with minimal amounts of fat. The nutrient composition also depends on the animal’s diet and treatment. Dairy fat is very complex that consists of different components. No one knows what will affect in a good way and what will affect you in a bad way. Mind you, healthy fats and vitamins are not present in low-fat or skim dairy products. So, use such products judiciously.
They Support Bone Health
Bones love calcium. As it is one of the primary minerals of human bones’ structural makeup. And as we all know dairy is a rich source of calcium. In fact, a lot of health centers recommend 2-3 servings of dairy products per day to meet the needs of calcium for your bones. Evidence indicates that dairy enhances bone density while reduces the risk of osteoporosis significantly. In addition to that, dairy products are also rich in other nutrients necessary for proper bone functioning.
They Reduce The Risk of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
If you go for full-fat dairy products, then research says it will trigger biological processes that will reduce the risk of obesity. Some evidence came up and confirmed that dairy fat is also associated with a lower risk of diabetes. In a study, those who consumed dairy fat were shown to have lower belly fat, less inflammation, lower levels of triglycerides. Along with improved insulin sensitivity.
They Enhance Heart’s Health
Dairy products are high in saturated fat. And scientists believe there is no link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease for a major percentage of people. The reasons for heart disease usually vary between different countries. And that is more likely to depend on how the animals are raised or fed. Various research studies indicate that full-fat dairy has protection abilities against both heart disease and stroke. This is because dairy contains a high content of Vitamin K2 that improves other risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure and inflammation. But, scientists are still divided on whether or not dairy products are a good choice for improving the heart’s health.
They Reduce The Risk of Different Types of Cancer
The relationship between dairy and cancer is quite complicated. For some, it will act as a lifesaver and for others, it will be like a mediator for inducing certain kinds of cancer. Studies show that dairy products increase the presence of IGL factors which are linked to some cancers. But, whether or not you will be affected by that is still under research.
Now that we understand dairy is neither a villain or a hero in our lives. Here are some tips to extract the benefits of dairy products in life. Firstly, don’t rely on dairy alone for managing your bone’s health. Include exercise and other health regimens with vitamin D supplementation for improving your bone’s health. Secondly, make sure to get calcium from your food as well. For that, you can either go for dark leafy vegetables or salmon with bones.
Thirdly, try giving up on dairy for at least two weeks to check if you feel better. Especially, if you think dairy might be the reason for all your medical issues such as headaches, IBS, etc. Once fine, start eating again to see how you feel. Fourthly, if dairy products are beneficial for you, then only go for raw or organic products. Personally, I think fermented products work way better.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking at the dairy for overall health benefits, that’s probably not a good idea at all. However, if you add some dairy to your daily diets, such as regular milk or milk poured in your breakfast cereal, or a slice of cheese on a sandwich, then you will probably get the vital nutrients that you need. But, remember that eating a balanced diet will benefit your overall health. Also, go for low-fat dairy items only as it will reduce your high saturated fats intake. Avoid any flavored versions. Still in doubt? Talking to a healthcare professional will help you understand whether or not dairy will be your support system.