Why Go Dairy Free?
Health benefits of a Dairy Free Diet
These days, it seems like everyone is avoiding dairy, and why not? There are so many reasons why to go dairy free. If you have dairy allergies (i.e., lactose intolerance), it is a no-brainer, but there are also numerous dairy free benefits.
Dairy consumption is embedded deep into our culture. Many of us grew up embodying the saying “milk does a body good.” But how much of that is supported by science versus tradition? In nature, a newborn calf has lots to benefit from dairy, as its mother’s milk is the perfect food. After some months, the calf is weaned off and never again consumes milk. People, however, continue to drink milk (of another species) throughout their lifetime. This happens even though, for many people, dairy causes problems with the skin, digestive system, weight gain, inflammation, and numerous other ailments in the body.
Whether you have dairy allergies or not, minimizing your amount of dairy consumption will only position you to take advantage of all the dairy free benefits. So what why go dairy free? What are all the benefits of being dairy free? Here are just a few benefits:
For some people, dairy is the root cause of their acne. There is an abundant amount of case studies that show improvement in skin complexion simply by removing dairy from one’s diet. Some doctors and experts suggest that it could be a milk allergy or sensitivity that causes the inflammation. Others hypothesize that the hormones added to milk are aggregators. In either case, many dermatologists are now recommending a dairy free diet.
Avoid dairy allergies and sensitivity
Dairy continuously ranks as one of the top 8 food allergens in the United States and top 11 in Canada. The reactions range on a scale from mild to severe. Several dairy allergies have a direct impact on the digestive system, adding an extra layer of complexity for diagnosing the allergy or sensitivity.
Optimal Digestive Health
The impact of lactose intolerance on the digestive system includes cramps, bloating, flatulence, pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Over 50% of the world’s population is known to have some level of lactose intolerance. Once a child has gone through weaning, there is no longer a need for them to digest lactose present in his/her mother’s milk. The ability to digest lactose is a newer phenomenon in the history of humankind and is linked as a key trigger to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) along with many other digestive conditions.
Helping Medical Mysteries
Documented case studies as well as numerous personal accounts report success in resolving issues like:
- Daily Headaches
- Stuffy Sinus Issues
- Chronic Infections
- Arthritis Pain
Improvements have even been reported for symptom alleviation in individuals with ADHD and Autism.
Key to Skinny
There is only a tiny percentage of the population who may have an exceptionally low body weight wherein a dairy free diet might actually help them absorb nutrients and through that, potentially gain healthy weight. But for the majority of people, following a dairy free diet will result in weight loss. The fat in dairy products is not good fat and is designed to support rapid weight gain. (Remember the little calf drinking its mothers milk specifically so it can quickly double in size?). There is a direct link between adopting a nondairy diet and weight loss.
Here is another myth we must shine the truth on. Contrary to what we may have been taught as children, there is a large body of research that shows the negative impact of dairy on bone health. Consider the landmark Harvard study that was done on approximately 78,000 female nurses http://www.godairyfree.org/health-info/calcium/milk-calcium-king-or-jester. They found that women who consumed more calcium from dairy food sources were at significantly greater risk of hip fractures. There was no increase in hip fractures for those who consumed similar levels of calcium from nondairy sources. To further these studies, it has also been found that regions around the world with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the same regions with highest consumption of dairy products.
Reducing Exposure to Antibiotics and Hormones
Dairy cows are subject to receiving mass quantities of antibiotics to help prevent infection in close quarters. Dairy cows are given hormones to help stimulate unnaturally high levels of milk production, which further increases the levels of IFG-1 in humans by 10%. Higher levels of IGF-1 in humans has been linked to significant increases in the risk of colon, prostate, breast and lung cancers.
The more we educate ourselves, the more aware we become of dairy free benefits. The direct link between dairy and weight loss alone is enough reason for being dairy free since it is a battle many people have to face.
Many people are discovering dairy allergies and sensitivities, which is another reason why to go dairy free. Transitioning to being dairy free requires some active changes in one’s life, but the benefits outweigh the sacrifices. Moreover, there are numerous guides and supermarket foods available to help support you through this worthwhile transition to a dairy free diet.
About the Author
Lisa Saremi is health and wellness coach for Limitless-U and blogger for eatnuts.com. Lisa received training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program on dietary theories, practical lifestyle management and innovative coaching methods with top health and wellness experts.