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Do we really need to eat dairy products to be healthier?

Sep 29, 2022

By LivGood Team

Do we really need to eat dairy products to be healthier?

In recent years, much has been said about how the consumption of dairy products may, or may not, affect our general health. If a good 15 or 20 years ago children were encouraged to drink milk every day, opinions are now divided, largely due to the research that has been on this category of the food chain.

Let's look at the facts. Milk products do indeed have benefits. Milk, yoghurt, cheese, are good sources of calcium, which means it helps keep bones strong, lower the risk of fractures and also prevent diseases like osteoporosis.

These foods are also rich in phosphorus, vitamin D, magnesium and protein and help to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prevent obesity. Fermented products such as kefir, for example, are packed with benefits such as lowering cholesterol levels, blood pressure and preventing heart disease.

In fact, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, involving over 2000 people, concluded that those who regularly consumed this type of fermented product had a significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who did not ingest these foods.

The benefits of dairy products are recognised and varied, but there are some warnings that we should pay attention to. Currently, 65% of the adult population worldwide is intolerant to lactose intolerant. How does this happen? When we consume the lactose present in these foods, we produce an enzyme called lactase which helps break down lactose. When this enzyme does not develop means that you are lactose intolerant, and your symptoms can be complicated to manage on a day-to-day basis. They are:

- Lack of energy and tiredness;
- Swollen belly;
- Abdominal cramps;
- Diarrhoea
- Constipation
- Headache
- Red spots on the skin
- Muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting

Some even argue that humans are one of the few mammals that consume milk
and that cow's milk is used to grow a calf and has a very different nutritional value to humans. However, for specialists, this is not a factor mandated factor to stop consuming milk.

Lactose ends up being the only problem pointed out, since there are more and more people who can't tolerate it. In a paper from Cornwell University, this is due to the history of migratory movements and the way animals adapted to extreme temperatures. According to study author Paul Sherman, the ancestors of adults who are tolerant of lactose tolerant adults lived in places where herds grew healthy and passed on lactose-tolerant genetic mutations.

Although lactose intolerant people are the only ones who are advised not to ingest these products, the environmental factor may make you rethink whether you want to continue to have dairy products in your home. It turns out that this industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, with estimated to account for 20% of global food production emissions (gases such as methane
gases such as methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide.

Today, alternatives to dairy products are already numerous. In the milk category, you will find many alternatives such as almond, oat, rice, peanut or soya milk. There is also margarine, butter, chocolate, cheese and lactose-free yoghurt made from tofu and other vegetable ingredients.