Should I Eat Dairy Products?

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The health authorities have been sprouting the benefits of dairy for decades. But there's a shift happening, with more people shunning milk and ice cream in favor of a dairy-free diet.

While we won't try to sway you either way, this article aims to help you make a more informed choice for yourself.

Why are we advised to eat dairy?

Dairy can be an easy and fairly affordable way to get calcium and protein as your grow. Children need plenty of both to grow strong bones and teeth.

Health authorities advise drinking low-fat milk and eating low-fat dairy products as a way to stay healthy and avoid weight gain ? while still getting those essential nutrients.

But many nutritionists and health experts are walking away from those traditional prescriptions. They say having dairy products as an adult is unnecessary and could do more harm than good. One leading physician, Mark Hyman, has written a very compelling article for Huffington Post that points out the people who crafted the updated food pyramid work in the dairy industry, and so have a vested interest in promoting dairy intake. He also notes that food recommendations are rarely ever backed by science.

The nutrition world, now backed by science, argues that low-fat products actually contribute to weight gain as they contain more sugar than full-fat varieties.

Why do some people ditch dairy?

If you're considering a dairy-free diet, you may be wondering what some of the most compelling reasons are to ditch dairy.

Consider these reasons that no-dairy fans suggest:

Cow's milk is naturally produced for calves, and not for humans ? and certainly not after infancy. Some dairy sources can contain hormones and steroids that may not be good for human health. Science has proven that drinking dairy doesn't strengthen bones in fact the top-consuming dairy countries also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. One study even found dairy may increase the risk of fractures by 50 percent. Dairy can be disruptive to gut health and digestion, as around 75 percent of people are lactose intolerant

If you do decide to ditch dairy, speak to a nutritionist, dietician, or other practitioner first. They can recommend a revised dairy-free diet plan, and may propose a calcium supplement. Above all, do your research to find out what's best for your body.

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