Is Dairy Bad For You?
Last week I talked to you about gut health. (click here if you missed it) One of the tips I gave you was to remove certain foods or food groups for a period of time to see if you feel better without them. Diary is typically one of the most common gut irritants and one of the first foods I recommend be eliminated. But, Is Dairy Bad For YOU?
Dairy intolerance is tricky and can manifest in different ways. This is because there are several problematic ingredients in dairy products that can produce different types of reactions in different people. Some of the more obvious symptoms are abdominal pain, discomfort, and nausea. It also causes embarrassing symptoms like flatulence and diarrhea.
Other symptoms linked to dairy or other food intolerances can include muscle or joint pain, headaches, exhaustion, and even skin symptoms like rashes and eczema. And then there are others which are specific to a dairy allergy or intolerance that I’ll get into a little later in this post.
I’m going to break it down for you by pointing out some of the problematic ingredients in dairy along with the common symptoms each may cause. You can determine for yourself – Is Dairy Bad For YOU?
But first I’ll share a tip with you. Eliminating dairy from your diet may help you to see your symptoms better. You may be so accustomed to your symptoms that you don’t even notice them anymore, or attribute them to another cause. I see this often with clients. It’s only after being off dairy for a couple of weeks and then reintroducing it that you will clearly see how your body responds.
Is Dairy Bad For YOU? – You Decide
Dairy Intolerance – Milk sugar – Lactose
It’s estimated that up to 75% of adults are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the milk sugar naturally found in most dairy products. Lactose intolerance is so common you can buy lactose-free milk in your regular grocery store. You know, those silly talking cow commercials?
Lactose-free products are treated with the enzyme “lactase” that breaks down the lactose before you ingest it. It’s this lactase enzyme that is lacking in most people who are lactose intolerant.
When someone doesn’t have enough lactase enzyme undigested lactose ends up being food for the resident gut microbes that I spoke to you about last week. As the microbes break down the lactose, it creates gases that cause bloating, flatulence, pain, and sometimes diarrhea.
Fermented dairy like cheese and yogurt have less lactose. So does butter.
You must be a diligent label reader to avoid an accidental dose of lactose. Dairy is added to other foods like baked goods, soups, and sauces. And watch your medications or supplements as lactose is a common ingredient in there too.
Dairy Allergy – Milk protein- Casein & Whey
Remeber Little Miss Muffet eating her curds and whey? She likely didn’t have a dairy allergy. These are the two main proteins in milk. The solid bits are the curds made of casein, and the liquid is the dissolved whey.
Unlike lactose intolerance, casein and whey can cause an actual immune response which is considered an allergy. And this immune response can cause inflammation.
Like lactose, these allergenic milk proteins can be found in other products too. They’re not just in dairy but are often in protein powders as well. Whey based protein powders are very common.
Some of the symptoms of a milk protein allergy differ from that of lactose intolerance; things like nasal congestion and mucus (phlegm) are more common here. This is what happens to me when I eat dairy. I get a stuffy nose and phlegm in my throat. And, if I eat enough of it, my ears will fill with fluid. This is why children with chronic ear infections and other respiratory issues should be taken off of all dairy products.
Interestingly, people who have gluten intolerance are often allergic to milk proteins like whey and casein as well. These can go hand-in-hand. I can vouch for that too! Along with a dairy intolerance I am gluten sensitive. But, I can also tell you from years of experience, that it’s not the end of the world. I eat tons of delicious foods and have no problem getting all the calcium and other nutrients my body needs without dairy and wheat.
Like lactose intolerance, if you’re allergic to casein and whey keep an eye on labels so you can avoid these too. I’ve been living gluten and dairy free for many years. If you need some help figuring all this out let me know in the comments below or drop me an email.
Summing it all up…
If you get gassy, bloated, or diarrhea after eating dairy, you may have a lactose intolerance. If you often get a stuffy nose and mucus, then you may be allergic to casein and/or whey. These symptoms should help you answer the question – Is Dairy Bad For YOU?
Here’s the thing, dairy is not essential to a healthy diet. All the nutrients in dairy are available in other foods that are often easier to digest. If you experience any undesirable symptoms when you eat dairy, don’t eat dairy. You may find improved digestion and fewer gut issues. Or you may find you have less nasal congestion, or even less belly fat.
If you decide to or have already removed dairy from your diet, let me know your experience in the comments below.
Here’s a yummy dairy-free summer treat!
Dairy Free Chocolate Ice “Cream”
3 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tsp cacao powder, unsweetened
1 tbsp almond butter
Place frozen bananas in food processor and blend until smooth (a few minutes). You may have to stop a few times to scrape the sides.
Add cacao powder and almond butter and blend until mixed well.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: You can make this in advance and freeze in an airtight container.
Click Here to view the recipe as PDF or to print/save a copy of this recipe.
As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I’ve taken more than twenty-five years of client work and personal life experience to create a proven system to help you live the vibrant healthy life you desire.
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