The Dairy Debate: Is Milk the Right Moo-ve?

Dairy has been a topic of debate in the diet world for quite some time now. Milk and other dairy products get rave reviews from one side and scathing criticism from the other. What is the truth? Most of the time, it lies in the middle. With dairy, this common thought is definitely no exception. There are compelling arguments on both sides of the feed rack. To determine whether dairy has a place in your diet and your life, check out these common arguments from both sides.

The Pros of Milk Consumption

Let’s go with the positives first. There are some great reasons to eat dairy on a daily basis. Some of the reasons might include:

  • Calcium Boost – Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium in your diet. Eating dairy every day might help protect the bones and teeth by ensuring that you are getting the proper amount of calcium.

  • Some of the Only Diet-Based Vitamin D – Most of the Vitamin D that we get is actually from the sun. Very few foods offer this important vitamin as part of its basic composition. In fact, milk is one of the only places to get a little Vitamin D. Without it, you might experience depression, aches in the bones, and other negative side effects.

  • It Offers Protein – If you buy the low fat or fat free kind of dairy, you may be getting a boost of protein without very many calories. Protein is crucial for both weight loss and muscle development, so if you want to sculpt and tone, milk might actually help.

The Cons of Gulping a Gallon

While these are great reasons to buy a little more milk, there are some complaints that make a lot of sense on the opposite side of the spectrum. Some of the more common complaints include:

  • Dairy Irritates the Intestines – If you’re lactose intolerant, then you already know that dairy can be hard on your digestive system. What is lesser known is that it can be hard on those who are not lactose intolerant as well. Our bodies may have been born with the ability to digest human milk, but another animal’s milk is a completely different story. If you find stomach troubles or bloating after dairy, your body may not appreciate this food group.

  • Today’s Dairy Contains Hormones – Once upon a time, drinking milk meant the organic kind. In today’s world, cattle and other milk producing farm animals are fed hormones to beef up production. Some believe that this trickles through the milk and into our bodies causing significant long-term harm to our health.

  • Dairy Has a Lot of Fat – A lot of dairy is fatty. In small amounts, this can be beneficial, as our bodies must have fat to operate well. The trouble is that it’s really easy to get too much, meaning weight gain or an inability to lose weight for many.

The Verdict

So, what should you do? Is milk an ultimate no-no, or is it a staple of a healthy diet? The truth is that this depends solely on your body. Milk may do wonders for one person and wreak havoc on another. Do your research and speak with a professional to determine what’s right for you. The final verdict? As the old advertising slogan goes, “Milk, it does a body good” … maybe.

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Milk splash experiment by Endre Majoros is licensed under CC BY 4.0