March 23, 2017 · Written by Foodtolive Team

Truth About Dairy Products and Health: To Eat or Not to Eat

‘Milk and cookies’ are the staple end of the day for healthy children all over America and it’s true that we’ve come to associate dairy products with health. However, as the time goes by and scientists research the foods we consume more deeply, the attitude towards these particular products changes. Although, it definitely doesn’t change fast enough if you take into account the most recent studies regarding the relationship between dairy products and health.


Busting Common Myths About Dairy Products and Health

The most well-known ‘fact’ about dairy foods is that they are great for the bones. The truth, however, indicates that calcium from milk/cheese/yogurt/etc. is extremely difficult for the body to absorb. With the other ‘disadvantages’ of these foods taken into account, it becomes obvious that dairy isn’t even at the top five best calcium-rich foods. It’s not only vegans and vegetarians who might consider taking calcium supplements as you definitely won’t get a healthy daily dose of this mineral even if you drink a few glasses of milk per day.

So, if drinking milk doesn’t improve bone health, what other benefits does it offer?

The simplest answer to this is ‘none’because there truly isn’t anything particularly remarkable about this food. Fermented dairy products, like yogurt or kefir do have extra advantages, such as providing you with a boost of ‘good’ bacteria, but there are healthier vegan sources of probiotics.


yogurt kefir

Dairy Products and Health: The Effect of Fats on Your Heart

The thing that makes one doubt the place of dairy products among healthy foods is their fat content. Of course, there are low-fat and even zero-fat dairy options available in stores today. However, you must understand that processing of these foods is so thorough that the majority of nutrients in them is destroyed along with the fats. This means their value in your diet doesn’t go much beyond adding a bunch of calories to your meal.

Numerous medical studies prove that consuming fatty foods regularly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Remember that this condition is the leading cause of death on the planet and over a half of the American nation either suffers from it or is at a high risk of developing this disease.


Cancer, Lactose Intolerance, and Contamination

Cancer, Lactose Intolerance, and Contamination

Busting the ‘pro-milk’ myths is not enough when it comes to deciding whether dairy products should have a place in your diet. You also must remember the risks and negative effects of these foods:

  • The majority of people on the planet are lactose-intolerant to some extent. The symptoms of this condition may vary from severe allergic reactions to mild indigestion. Note that while only about 15% of US Caucasians are lactose intolerant, the rate is significantly higher for other populations, with the Asian-Americans having the highest rate of 95%.
  • Although the studies on this subject are inconclusive yet, it’s believed that dairy products may contribute to the risk of developing prostate and ovarian cancers.
  • Dairy products available in stores today carry the risk of contamination that comes from the hormonal medications and other toxic elements consumed by livestock.

As you can see, the cons of dairy foods definitely outweigh the pros, so you should think very carefully about whether you really need that glass of milk or piece of cheese in your life.