What's the Deal with Dairy?



What's the Deal with Dairy? 

If you experience some digestive and skin issues, it may be time to ditch the dairy. Dairy is a controversial topic because milk as been prized as the nutrient packed drink for all ages and in supporting growth and development of children all the way to supporting bone integrity into our later years. 

However, it may not be all what it's cracked up to be.


What is a milk allergy vs. lactose intolerance?

A lactose intolerance is when the body produces a lack of lactase, which is needed to break lactose into glucose. Some people are also sensitive to the proteins, whey or casein, found in milk which can cause inflammation and digestive upset. The hard part is that cow’s milk contains many allergens like casein that can cause symptoms which can be confused with common symptoms similar to seasonal allergens.

Milk allergies are different because they are your immune’s system response to milk products and is generally a protein reaction to whey, casein or both and histamine can be released in the body.


You may have heard that some people who are sensitive to cow's milk are able to consume goat's milk and cheese. This is because it has less lactose and contains A2 casein which is easier to digest for many. There are even some cows who don't produce A1 casein but unfortunately, those breeds are not as common in North America. 



Common side effects:

Bloating and gas are common side effects and more specifically gas in the intestines that leads to that bloating sensation.


This, of course, causes uncomfortable side effects for individuals and can be quite painful in some instances. However, what is more upsetting, but less obvious, is the impact this has on gut bacteria.


Why should you ditch the dairy?

  • for starters it has been linked to increased mucus in the respiratory tract and has been linked to aggravating asthma

  • it can clear up skin conditions such as acne

  • can improve digestive conditions – associated with gas, bloating, cramps

  • improve bone health – studies have linked diets higher in milk consumption lead to high fracture incidence in women



A Note on Eggs:

Eggs are often times grouped together with dairy but because someone has a milk allergy or lactose intolerance doesn’t mean they are going to be allergic or sensitive to eggs.

Also, if you aren’t sensitive to them, eggs can be a nutritious part of your diet. There is a lot of controversy as there were a lot of claims of them increasing cholesterol but there are a lot of health benefits to eggs. They are a good source of protein, contain carotenoids and collagen, which support eye, skin, and joint health, choline which is supportive of liver and neurological health.


There are actually benefits to cholesterol such as nutrient delivery, cell membrane support, hormone production, etc.


Alternatives to Dairy:

  • Coconut, almond, cashew, macadamia, rice, soy milk

  • Goat cheese - still dairy but easier for some to digest

  • Daiya vegan cheese

  • Homemade cashew cream cheese 

  • Canned coconut milk instead of creamer or whip cream

  • Coconut oil or ghee instead of butter

  • Dairy-free chocolate chips

  • Coconut yogurt

In good health,

xo nic


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