What’s the deal with dairy? Last year the dairy industry took a real hard hit. Is quitting dairy a health-fad, or are the benefits for real? Today we’re sharing 6 reasons to quit dairy that may help you answer this question: should you quit dairy?
Tough on Digestion
Do you find dairy makes you bloated, or gives you irregular bowel movements? It’s actually more common than not. In adulthood, our bodies produce less of the enzyme necessary to digest lactose (lactase). Very few adults have a genetic variant that allows them to continue digesting lactose, while the rest of us would need to supplement, or simply deal with the bloating and indigestion.
Misleading Claims about Milk
Did you grow up believing that dairy was necessary for strong bones? That couldn’t be further from the truth. Nuts and seeds, white beans, and leafy greens like kale and arugula are all high in calcium. If you eat a well-rounded diet, you are probably meeting your daily requirements through other foods.
We’ve always been told that we need dairy to protect us against developing brittle bones, yet it’s been shown that countries that consume the least amount of dairy (like Africa and Asia) actually have the lowest instances of osteoporosis. Furthermore, recent research supports the importance of vitamin D over calcium for strong bones.
Dairy Contributes to Inflammation
Is dairy bad for you? For the benefits that dairy does offer (protein, probiotics), there can also be some serious drawbacks. Many nutrition professionals view dairy as an inflammatory food, because it contributes to bloating, gas, low-grade chronic pain, and acne breakouts. A lot of these symptoms have to do with the immune-response produced in the body when consuming dairy.
Dairy is Addictive
The dairy protein casein contains something called casomorphins, which is a compound similar to morphine. Casomorphins attach to the same receptors in your brain as narcotics, giving you that feel-good effect. Of course, milk is not heroin. However this does illustrate how dairy can be highly addictive. In an effort to produce that feeling again, your body will continue to crave the substance that produced it – dairy.
Endless Alternative Options
If you’ve never tried dairy-free milk, cheese, and yogurt options, I know it can be scary. But you’re truly missing out! There are so many different milk options out there, from soy to oat to almond milk. What’s more, they all offer their own unique range of nutrients. You can get amazing coconut yogurt almost anywhere now. And the cheese – don’t even get me started! Just in these past few years, the options for dairy-free cheese have exploded. I love the small artisanal ones offered locally, but I also keep store-bought shreds in the fridge at all time. You can find a lot of great homemade recipes online too.
Quitting dairy and replacing it with other plant-based options is something I’ve recommended to almost all of my clients, and the ones who really gave it a fair shot never went back. Why? They felt so much better without it. Their stomach felt better. Their elimination was normal – no more constipation and/or diarrhea. Their skin gets better too!
If you’ve been struggling with digestive issues, acne breakouts, and inflammation, getting dairy out of your diet could make a huge difference for your health.
Psssst – all of my recipes are dairy free! You can check them out here.