Dairy: pros and cons

These days we get conflicting advice about whether dairy is good or bad for you.

Let’s weigh up the pros and cons of consuming dairy.

The good parts:

Dairy is a great source of calcium, a nutrient needed to develop strong and healthy bones. If you want your teeth and bones to be sturdy and minimise your risk of osteoporosis, you need a steady supply of calcium over a long time. Dairy is also a very good source of protein (needed for muscle growth and repair) and vitamins A, B12 and D. These vitamins are responsible for eye health, healthy red blood cells and bone and tooth formation respectively.

Research has also suggested that consuming the right amount of calcium reduces your chances of developing certain types of cancer. Men who drink one and a half glasses of milk each day will have a 33% lower chance of getting colon cancer than those who only drink two glasses of milk per week.

The bad parts:

There is plenty of evidence to suggest we should get our calcium and other nutrient supplies from non-dairy sources, because the drawbacks may outweigh the benefits. Regular milk and cheese are high in saturated fat, and many dairy products are also high in salt. It is also believed that milk can lead to outbreaks of eczema, and dairy also increases the body’s production of mucus and phlegm.

There is also a disturbing connection between dairy and cancer. Lactose may be a key player in ovarian cancer. It is also known that pregnant cows have oestrogen, and an excess of this in your diet can possibly lead to breast cancer.

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