Many people have doubts about reducing dairy consumption or going dairy-free. Indeed, consuming dairy products have a lot of health benefits but too much consumption can also cause some severe health problems. Since many of the nutrients in dairy are present in other foods also, reducing dairy is not a serious problem.
Studies have proven that going dairy-free is actually healthy and dairy products are not a necessity for our diet. Statistics are showing that there is a significant reduction in milk consumption among Americans. In the past few years, a significant increase in the consumption of plant-based milk is observed.
What Is Dairy-Free Diet?
To put it simply, a dairy-free diet is a diet plan that does not contain any milk and its derived products. That means the diet does not contain any cream, yogurt cheese, butter, kefir, sour cream, and ice cream.
If you are following a plant-based diet and buy plant foods from a supermarket, you should check the ingredients list before buying those products because many of the baked foods contain cream or butter. If you are lactose intolerant, it is very important for you to stop eating all forms of dairy products that contain lactose. Consuming dairy will cause gas, diarrhea, cramps, bloating, etc. in people with lactose intolerance.
It is important to note that dairy products provide several important nutrients such as calcium. Therefore, when you decide to reduce dairy consumption, you have to include more non-dairy calcium-rich foods in your plant-based diet to avoid calcium deficiency. Many dieticians will recommend you to add more dark green leafy vegetables to your diet to ensure regular calcium intake.
What Are The Benefits Of Reducing The Consumption Of Dairy?
There are several health benefits of reducing or completely avoiding the consumption of dairy products. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits.
Promotes Weight Loss
Most of you might not know this but many foods that you eat regularly fall under dairy. From ice cream to fat-free cottage cheese, they all are dairy, and reducing their consumption will help you to lose weight and thereby reduces the risk of many health disorders.
We all would like a slice of cheese in our foods but if you want to lose weight, cutting down its consumption is the only way. Many of the dieticians will recommend cutting down the consumption of whole-milk products and replace them with plant-based milk, such as almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc.
Completely avoiding dairy products is the preference of most people. However, those who still want some dairy in their diet ensure that they completely avoid the consumption of full-fat milk. The amount of saturated fat is very high in whole-milk and its regular consumption will increase the levels of unhealthy cholesterol.
Ensures Clear Skin
There are several studies that claim increased dairy consumption can increase the chance of developing acne in teens. Many of the anecdotal records are showing that going dairy-free is helping in promoting clear skin. However, it is still unclear how dairy is affecting the development of acne on your skin. Many experts are believing that the presence of growth hormones in milk might be a reason for acne and some others are believing that the consumption of lactose increases sugar and insulin levels and it has a link to acne development.
Improves Your Digestion
Lactose is not a friend of most people even if they do not have lactose intolerance. Some studies have shown that lactose has a link to irritable bowel syndrome. Many people who went dairy-free have revealed that their cramps and stomach bloating dropped significantly.
Living without dairy is not an option for most people and if you are one of them, try dairy products that are very low in lactose, such as aged cheese. Some food manufacturers even infuse the enzyme lactase in their products to make digestion easier.
Another important thing is that the fiber content in dairy products is too low and regular consumption of dairy products in high quantities may cause constipation. Since fiber is an important nutrient for the digestive process, you need to consume more fiber-rich plant-based foods and reduce the consumption of dairy products.
Milk May Contain Antibiotics And Growth Hormones
For producing more milk, the farmers often inject cows with growth hormones and several antibiotics. These growth hormones and antibiotics will seep into the milk these cows produce and then eventually into us when we consume that milk. Antibiotic-resistant diseases are the main side effect of consuming milk that contains growth hormones and antibiotics.
Consuming unwanted chemicals through dairy products will also cause other severe health problems. If you want to drink milk, go for organic or try plant-based milk options, like almond milk, soy milk, etc. They do not contain any growth hormones and antibiotics.