Is Dairy Good For You?

Some of my personal training clients at One Love Fit Club in Chino Hills, CA, ask many questions about a healthy diet, which is important for good health. One reoccurring question is whether dairy is good for you and a healthy option. There’s a lot of controversy, which leads to one “expert” touting the benefits of dairy, while another demonizes it.

There’s many different types of dairy.

Not all dairy products are the same. Some dairy from grass-fed cows is better for you than the dairy from the factory farms. Some people tout the benefits of raw milk over pasteurized milk, while history shows that it has more potential for diseases, such as listeria, a disease that has a 30% mortality rate and found more often in raw milk. You also have low-fat, no fat and full fat options. You certainly wouldn’t class ice cream as being as healthy as plain milk, either. There’s also dairy, such as yogurt, that has added benefits.

Do you feel bloated and gassy after eating dairy?

If you bloat up like a balloon and have gas that could be weaponized, you may be lactose intolerant. Lactose is a milk sugar and it’s digested in the small intestine with an enzyme called lactase. If you don’t have enough enzymes to digest it, it goes to the large colon where it ferments and causes bloating, diarrhea, gas, cramping, nausea and in some cases frequent colds and skin rashes. According to some theories, the frequent colds come from acid reflux caused by the lactose intolerance.

Milk is a good source of nutrition.

There are also benefits of milk, particularly nutritional content. It offers 18 of the 22 essential nutrients and is high in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, selenium and zinc. It’s high in protein and contains vitamins A, B-12, B-6, E, K, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and folate. It can improve blood sugar levels and may be good for teeth and bones.

  • Lactose intolerance tends to occur as people age and is more prevalent in some races and nationalities. East Asians are between 90-100% lactose intolerant, which native Americans 80-100%, Central Asians 80%, African Americans 75%, Africans, 70-90%, Indian 70%, Southern French 65% and etc.
  • Full fat milk and milk products, such as yogurt, help make you feel full and stay full longer. That makes full fat Greek yogurt a good option for weight loss. Avoid low fat types, since they often add sugar to improve flavor.
  • One study, called the Nurses Health Study, shows it might actually increase the potential for fracture by 50% and that all countries with low rates of osteoporosis also have low milk consumption. Other studies show it helped improve bone and dental health.
  • Milk from cows that are grass fed has benefits that make it heart healthy. There’s also more healthy fat and nutrients in the milk.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

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