Is dairy bad or is it super healthy? That’s a hotly debated question. You’ll get a lot of different views on having dairy in your diet and some, more non-conventional views that identify the type of dairy like raw milk. One thing is certain, not everyone can tolerate dairy. Some people even have allergies to it. For both those groups of people, dairy can create horrendous reactions that range from gas and bloating to far more severe effects. Dairy should definitely be part of their diet.
What type of dairy is the best and which is the worst?
It’s true that not all dairy is equally good or bad for you. Some types of dairy, such as butter or milk from grass fed cows, provide more Omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid. Those are heart healthy. More recent scientific studies show that full fat milk may actually help you lose weight, while lowering the risk for diabetes! Another group advocates using raw milk and raw milk products, rather than their pasteurized counterparts that can be lower in nutrients. The USDA says that increases the potential for diseases like Listeria that has a high mortality rate.
Milk and milk products have high nutritional value.
Milk contains a plethora of nutrients that are essential to the body. In fact, of the 22 essential nutrients, it has 18 of them. It’s loaded with potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and protein. It also contains vitamins A, E, K, B-12, B-6, niacin, folate, riboflavin, iron, thiamine and selenium. While many studies, particularly those from the National Dairy Association, say milk helps make strong bones, the Nurses Health Study shows it actually may increase the potential for bone fractures up to 50 percent. Backing that conclusion is the fact that countries that drink less milk also have the lowest incidence of osteoporosis. Many studies show it helps build strong teeth in growing children, while other studies showed that milk might reduce the plaque build up on older people.
How is it possible that low fat milk is worse for weight that whole milk?
The potential for whole milk to be the most diet friendly is that satiety factor. Fat leaves you feeling fuller and satisfied longer. Milk also contains a high amount of protein that also leaves you feeling full, which is why it can help you lose weight and be less tempted to grab a candy bar or sugary treat. However, both milk and cheese have been linked to serious conditions, like prostate cancer where going dairy free can slow its progress.
- People also report issues with milk like mucous build up and studies show it can lead to skin conditions like acne or eczema, especially low or no fat milk.
- While the jury is still out, there’s enough evidence to encourage choosing organic milk that comes from hormone and antibiotic-free cows.
- Some studies show that milk may be beneficial, even necessary for growing children but when they become adults, far less healthy.
- Not all the calcium in milk may be available for the body. It contains certain proteins that actually may leach the calcium from the bone.