Humans are the only mammals who continue to drink milk (let alone another mammal’s milk) after infancy. It’s not surprising then that more than 30 million American adults over age 20 have some degree of lactose intolerance.
There are three main reasons you may need to cut dairy from your diet.
Two-thirds of the population is lactose intolerant which means your body can’t break down or digest lactose, the main sugar present in milk and dairy. If you have symptoms like chronically loose stools, abdominal bloating, nausea, gas or discomfort, this can cause nutrient malabsorption due to hyper-motility in the intestines. If you have IBD, lactose intolerance can trigger a flare. Or if you have IBS you may have flares in symptoms due to hyper fermentation of mal absorbed lactose. Adding more dark leafy greens and other vegetables to your diet is a great replacement for the calcium, magnesium and other nutrients you are trying to get from dairy.
2. Immune system
If you have asthma, seasonal allergies, and / or chronic respiratory infections, you may be susceptible to an increase in mucus production due to allergy or food sensitivity to a dairy protein. Removing dairy from your diet could reduce inflammation and give relief to your immune system. Adding other non-dairy proteins to your diet such as nuts, seeds, legumes, meat and fish, may give your body the energy it needs to thrive.
Dairy foods are substances that contain substantial levels of hormones. Cows are given artificial growth hormones to help them produce more milk. Even milk that claims to have "no added hormones” still has more than you think, as the natural estrogens that are occurring in the cow get passed to the milk.
If you have estrogen mediated cancer (ie: breast or prostate) or significant hormone imbalance, you may need to remove dairy from your diet.
And the three are not mutually exclusive. You can have multiple or various combinations of the above.
Dairy may be connected to a number of symptoms you’re experiencing – upset stomach, feeling gassy or bloated, diarrhea, skin issues and more. And according to the Phyician’s Committe for Responsible Medicine, “Milk and other dairy products are the top source of saturated fat in the American diet, contributing to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also linked dairy to an increased risk of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers.”
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