To Eat Dairy or Not to Eat Dairy, that is the Question
We live in a world with varying schools on beliefs on many a topic, heck, find me a topic and I'm sure there will be a different opinion, school of thought, study, peer review or piece of research.
I think it is great to research but I also am a big believer in listening to your own body.
While some folks can eat, enjoy and digest dairy with no issues, others cannot. It's most important to look at the source of your dairy if choosing to consume it because there is undoubtedly a big difference between dairy from conventional cows and organic cows.
And if you're lactose intolerant we haven't forgotten about you, keep reading...
Organic Vs Conventional
Organic dairy is undoubtedly more nutritious and better for health than non-organic for a few reasons...
It's more nutritious because organic dairy cows consume grass rather than a grain-based diet naturally they are healthier and eating grass helps them to produce a higher concentration of CLA (conjugated linoleic acids - an anti-carcinogenic compound), omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E compared to cows who are fed grains.
When a cow is healthy it produces healthier milk and healthier milk = a healthier you!
Therefore, it would make sense that a sick cow (milk that comes from unhealthy, conventional dairy cows) could lead to an unhealthier you right? Because conventional cows are given growth hormones (rBGH) to increase milk production (which is unnatural and harmful to the cow’s health). They are also given antibiotics.
Conventional dairy cows are given antibiotics frequently because they often get mastitis and while there is no evidence (yet) that antibiotics are directly harming people through consuming conventional milk/dairy, I personally feel it’s best to choose organic where possible for peace of mind and best nutritional value.
If Lactose Intolerant
If you're lactose-intolerant and many people are, it may be best to avoid milk that contains lactose or choose the lactose-free one (not sure if this is available in organic or not?). You may still eat other forms of dairy such as butter, hard cheese (soft cheeses are high in lactose), probiotic yoghurt, kefir and heavy cream.
Why can I eat all of the above if I can't drink milk or eat soft cheese etc.? See below.
The way that butter is produced removes most of the lactose (by churning cream or full-fat milk until the fat separates from the liquid which leaves you with butter in all of its glory). Again, be sure to choose the best quality and organic where possible butter.
Life is better with butter! 🙌🏻
Butter can still contain some lactose, so if you're really worried you can choose a clarified butter such as ghee.
Hard cheese is mostly fat, whereas soft cheeses like feta, ricotta, cottage, brie and camembert contain less fat and more lactose.
The older the cheese, the less likely you are to find lactose in there so these types of mature cheeses would be the safest options. Some low lactose cheese includes Swiss, cheddar and parmesan.
If you're a sufferer of lactose-intolerance, you may not be aware (or you may?) that probiotic yoghurts can be easier to digest, this is due to most yoghurt contain bacteria that break down (pre-digest) the lactose. Just be careful of your source and as always, choose plain, organic with no sugars, syrups, fake sugars or additives!
Kefir drinks are all the rage these days and for good reason... they are fermented food and these kinds of foods can be very beneficial to gut and overall health.
Kefir drinks are created when one adds kefir 'grains' to a dairy or coconut base and then fermentation begins. These 'grains' are not actually a grain so if you're gluten-free, don't worry but still always check labels.
If lactose-intolerant, moderation of all of the above (and below) is the key and not to overdo it.
Heavy cream is different from regular cream as it is mostly just the fat from the milk. This type of cream has a high fat content (about 37%) and is popular on ketogenic diets (as is butter).
Also, did you know that if you add a little cream to your morning coffee, you will slow down the caffeine-uptake and lessen the negative effects coffee can have (I tried this recently and it worked well.)
Goat Yoghurt & Goat Dairy
Goat dairy products are much easier to digest full stop compared to cow's milk dairy and they are brimming with nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A. It is known that goat milk contains the more digestible A2 casein as opposed to cow milk containing A1 casein.
Goat dairy products contain fewer allergens and it's been said that this type of dairy causes less inflammation.
If you prefer to steer clear of cow milk dairy products but feel you cannot live without dairy full stop, perhaps consider goat milk dairy products?
Summing Things Up
As mentioned earlier, no matter what any article or even expert says, you know how your body feels when you ingest foods and beverages but if you're ever unsure, seek out professional advice and get the necessary tests done if required and feasible.
Remember... Your Health is Your Wealth™
This is Not Health Advice! (Disclaimer)
The information in this and every article or piece of content I put out there is not intended as health advice, it is only for informational purposes and one should always consult their trusted health practitioner if seeking any health or dietary advice.