Well, this is a loaded question! And the short answer is, it depends. What I can say is that most clients I see in my clinical practice have benefited greatly by at least REDUCING dairy intake.
But it all really depends on your health status, symptoms and the quality of the dairy.
Dairy refers to foods made from or containing the milk of mammals, such as cows, sheep, goats, or buffaloes. It includes regular and lactose-free milk, yogurt, cheese, as well as milk-containing products, such as ice cream, butter, cream, sour cream, cream cheese, whey products, etc.
Top Reasons for Avoiding Dairy
Did you know that 60%+ of the world’s population is lactose intolerant?! If you eat dairy daily and also suffer from digestive issues (gas, diarrhea, constipation), then you actually may be intolerant to lactose. Unfortunately, after infancy we have a reduced ability to digest lactose. Our intestines make less of the enzyme (lactase) that processes lactose, a type of sugar present in milk and dairy products.
SENSITIVITY TO CASEIN OR WHEY
Even if you are not lactose intolerant, you may be allergic to casein or whey- the two major proteins in all dairy. This sensitivity causes upset stomach, acne, eczema, and worsen sinus congestion and allergies and asthma
IgG testing is a way to see if you are sensitive – read more here on IgG Food Sensitivity Testing.
HORMONES & ANTIOBIOTIC EXPOSURE
Many dairy products contain hormones and antibiotics that are given to cows to increase milk production and prevent disease. These can have negative effects on our health and contribute to antibiotic resistance.
most dairy we consume is pasteurized to kill germs, also killing off many of dairy’s benefits. They also contain many fillers, preservatives and TONS of added sugars (and example is yogurt) diets high in ultra-processed food are linked to a higher risk of chronic disease.
cow’s milk is the top allergen in children under 5 years old. when a person has a milk allergy, their body produces an immune response that could potentially cause anaphylaxis. This must be tested through a Medical Doctor.
What do I do if I think I am sensitive to dairy?
There are a few options to explore:
- IgG Food Sensitivities test – using a dried blood spot sample it measures your sensitivity to cheese, milk, casein, goat milk, and many more dairy products. This can be ordered through a Nutritionist or Naturopathic Doctor. Order yours with me HERE
- IgE test – an allergy test you can do through your MD using a blood sample
- Skin prick test – where they test the food item on your skin to see if you react
- Elimination Diet – eliminate c food(s) with dairy one at a time for at least 2-4 weeks to see how you feel. Document & log your symptoms. Check my Video HERE for some alternatives you can try while you are in the elimination phase
Dairy-Free Calcium-Rich Foods
If you are worried about not getting enough calcium, here are some dairy free foods that are high in calcium:
- Winter squash
- Salmon with bones
- Leafy greens (collard, mustard, turnip, kale, bok choy, spinach)
- Chia seeds
*ensure you are getting enough Vit D for optimal absorption
Here are some delicious recipes that are completely dairy-free:
- ALMOND FLOUR CHOCOLATE CAKE
- SPRING PESTO PASTA
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH GINGER SOUP
- RASPBERRY SHORTCAKES
- TIGERNUT MILK
If you need further help navigating this topic and need a personalized nutritional program to help you address your major health concerns and health goals click here for your FREE 20 minute discovery session.