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Dairy is the word used to classify all products made from or derived from milk. That is yogurt, butter, and cream, to name just a few of the most common.
Their nutritional value and/or benefits are a very controversial topic and there is a debate about whether consuming them is good or not. This is because science has not given us a definite answer. For many followers of a natural diet, dairy is not healthy but the reality is that there are many nuances in the natural lifestyle where consuming dairy is allowed and is backed by very valid arguments about its benefits which outweigh its negative effects on the body.
The reason why people like Professor Loren Cordain argue against dairy is because it causes an insulin response that can potentially lead to insulin resistance. However, all foods generate a hormonal response in our body and there is no scientific study that shows that there is a relationship between consuming dairy and insulin resistance. In fact, this insulin response from milk is very healthy for recovering athletes.
Second, people often can’t tolerate dairy well. This is because one of the essential components of milk is lactose, that is, milk sugar. In order for lactose to be digested correctly, we need an enzyme called lactase that is produced in the small intestine and, if our body does not produce this or produces very little of it, lactose is not produced thus causing lactose intolerance.
Now, when organic dairy is consumed- cows who are grass-fed, and the dairy hasn’t been skimmed or refined, it is very healthy, rich in nutrients, and a source of soluble vitamins like- linoleic acid. All of which can help reduce the risk of suffering diseases. Also, when fermented, they are rich in probiotics – bacteria that are good for the body’s gastrointestinal health.
Within a healthy diet and especially depending on each individual’s tolerance level diary-of the highest quality can be introduced with caution. For example, butter is considered to be a high-quality, very healthy fat and a source of Omega 3 acids and vitamin K2. However, if we are lactose intolerant or suffer from an autoimmune disease, it is better to avoid it and get proper medical supervision to stop from aggravating your condition further
We suggest not drinking milk if you feel unwell, but rather to eat grass-fed butter, Greek yogurt, whole cream and sour cream, any aged cheeses such as Parmesan, fresh burrata or mozzarella and especially creamy cheeses from the Swiss Alps that are made with raw milk.
In short, is dairy healthy? It depends on how each individual tolerates them and what kind of dairy products they are consuming. Our recommendation is that you try and listen to what your body tells you, both with dairy and with any food.