Dairy free diets are becoming more and more popular. But, before you convert, make sure you fully understand the positive and possibly negative impacts of going dairy-free.
There are many benefits of a dairy free diet. One benefit is that it can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Dairy products contain a substance called casein, which has been shown to promote inflammation. Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body heal and protect itself from infection. However, when inflammation occurs chronically, it can damage the body and lead to a variety of health problems. Limiting your dairy intake could decrease your chances of chronic inflammation.
A dairy free diet can also help to improve digestion and gut health. Dairy free diets can be beneficial for improving digestion and gut health for a few reasons. First, dairy products can be difficult to digest for some people due to the lactose content. Lactose is a sugar molecule that needs to be broken down by an enzyme in order to be properly digested, and some people don't have enough of this enzyme (lactase) to do so. This can lead to symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Cutting out dairy can help reduce these digestive issues. In addition, many people are actually allergic or intolerant to dairy proteins like casein and whey. These allergies can cause inflammation in the gut, which can lead to gastrointestinal distress and other health problems. Eliminating dairy can help lessen these effects. Finally, recent studies have shown that certain components of milk fat (butterfat) may promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut flora known as Firmicutes. These bacteria have been linked with obesity and other chronic diseases. Reducing your intake of butterfat by avoiding dairy products may help improve your overall gut health.
Lastly, less dairy consumption can help to reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. A growing body of research suggests that consuming less dairy may help to reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. For example, one large study found that people who ate the most dairy had a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who ate the least amount of dairy. Dairy intake was also associated with an increased risk of death from cancer. So why might consuming less diary help to reduce the risk of chronic disease? One theory is that it has to do with the high levels of saturated fat found in many types of diary products. Consuming too much saturated fat can lead to elevated cholesterol levels which are a major contributor to heart disease development. Saturated fat can also promote inflammation throughout the body which has been linked to cancer growth and progression. Additionally, many types diaries products are high in sugar which can fuel weight gain and contribute to insulin resistance – both major factors in type 2 diabetes development. Of course, it’s important to remember that not all diary products are created equal and some contain more unhealthy nutrients than others. For example, whole milk contains more saturated fat than skim milk does while yogurt generally contains less sugar than ice cream or cheese does. When it comes to reducing your chronic disease risks through diet, moderation is key – including when it comes to dairy consumption. Choose low-fat or non-fat varieties whenever possible and limit yourself to 1-2 servings per day maximum.
Dairy has its plus sides though, here’s a little bit about the positive side of dairy!
A dairy-free diet may be bad for your health because it can lead to deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products are the major source of these nutrients in the diet. Without them, you may be at risk for osteoporosis and other bone problems. Calcium makes up about 2% of our total body weight and can be found in every cell. Calcium is essential for many functions including:
Building strong bones and teeth
Regulating muscle contractions, including your heartbeat
Facilitating blood clotting
Transmitting nerve impulses
A lack of calcium can lead to health problems such as osteoporosis (brittle bones), tooth decay, high blood pressure, and muscle cramps. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium from the diet and is therefore essential for bone health. A lack of vitamin D can lead to Rickets in children (a condition characterized by softening of the bones) and Osteomalacia in adults (a condition characterized by bone pain and weakness).
Dairy products have also been shown to lower blood pressure and improve lipid profiles by reducing LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
As is the case with any diet, there are pros and cons to going dairy-free. For some people, a dairy allergy is plenty reason to go dairy free. But, if you’re simply looking for a healthier way of eating, it’s important to consider all the factors before choosing dairy-free.