Dairy: Don’t Mind if I do!

There’s a lot of very bad nutrition information out there. Like really bad. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night bad.

Usually written by people that know nothing about actual nutrition (bunch of Jon Snows). They have no degrees in the subject, no experience working with it or researching it, but what they do have is a strong personal opinion. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to an opinion but when it involves shunning an entire food group, I draw the line.

Dairy tends to take the hit because “it’s milk from a cow and we’re not baby cows.” We’ve all heard this. [*facepalm*]

We’re also not sea creatures but we can’t get enough of seaweed. Most people also think eating half a container of coconut oil is super healthy…IT’S SATURATED FAT. If you don’t have celiac disease, why do you hate gluten?! It’s literally a grain protein that gives things structure. Have you ever had a gluten-free baguette?? It’s a crime to the culinary arts.

I’ll try my best to clear dairy’s name. Let’s take a look at the 9 essential nutrients milk provides.

 

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Photo from The Dairy Alliance

 

Milk has naturally occurring nutrients that are CRUCIAL to health and especially development in young children. Also, think about low-income families that may not have a lot of money or resources for healthy foods. There is usually always milk available to children in these families which provides a significant source of their nutrition.

Plant-based “milk” fails to live up to the hype. Plus, almost all of the nutrients are added in artificially. Lactose intolerant? No problem, there are many milk brands that produce lactose-free dairy milk so you can still get those 9 essential vitamins and minerals.

Afterall, dairy is one of the food groups in The Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This would not be a guideline without years and years of nutritional epidemiology to back it up.

I know what you’re thinking, what about those that are lactose intolerant. Well, there are plenty of low lactose dairy products! Such as aged cheeses, lactose-free milk, probiotic-rich yogurts, and kefir. All of these are great options to start with. Also, to be diagnosed with lactose intolerance, you MUST get diagnosed by a physician. You can’t trust symptom checker on WebMD. Anyone else ever think they’re dying anytime they use this?

Now, what about vegans. Vegans usually have a good moral compass and reasons to be vegan. I think plant-based eating is WONDERFUL and everyone should do it more often. There is very good information out there to support plant-based eating is better for the planet and our overall health. Of course, it also protects animals and I absolutely love and adore animals. I went to 6th grade at a zoo after all. I totally get it. My typical week is mostly plant-based with locally produced cheese and eggs mixed in. I tend to eat meat once or twice a week and usually from a local place. I can live with this. I feel like I’m still being a responsible and sustainable consumer. I actually went two weeks into 2018 before realizing I had not consumed any meat product. [*pats self on back*]

Needless to say, I’m a Dietitian that supports dairy. I hope everyone can research their food and nutrition a little more to get true facts. Always choose to support your local farmers and always trust nutrition experts, AKA Dietitians.

2 Replies to “Dairy: Don’t Mind if I do!”

  1. I’m Lactose Intolerant, and I’m a fan of milk and dairy. As a pharmacist, I’m frequently recommending “Lactaid” tablets to patients who are self-diagnosing themselves. The tablets have the Lactase enzyme that I (and others) are missing. Living in Wisconsin, I love my cheese and other dairy products, and I love how taking a Lactaid periodically allows me to continue to enjoy those.

    Liked by 1 person

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