According to numbers from the USDA, Americans are very, very fond of dairy.
Their numbers say that over the course of a year, the average American consumes 36 pounds of cheese, 24 pounds of ice cream and 200 pounds of milk and cream!
The interesting part, those numbers are actually in decline. Over the last 10 years, 22% of Americans have reported a decrease in their intake. There are many reasons why someone might give up dairy but what exactly happens when you do? Here are 7 things
that happen to your body when you take a pass on dairy:
1. You'll put cracks in your foundation.
Until age 30, your body builds bone faster than it breaks it down. After 30, your body eats up bone faster than it is producing it. And calcium is still the best way to fortify yourself. Dairy is one of the best sources of calcium because your body absorbs calcium from dairy better than it does from any other food, says Rebecca Blake, RD, director of clinical nutrition at New York's Mount Sinai Beth Israel Health. If you are going to take a pass on milk, make sure you're getting other sources of calcium like leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), tofu, and sardines. Also, take a calcium plus Vitamin D supplement.
2. You'll want to wear less makeup.
Your concealer will be a thing of the past. Milk can be an acne trigger. Milk contains a testosterone like hormone that can stimulate oil glands in the skin.
3. You'll slash your risk of cancer . . .
A Swedish study found that women who consume more than one glass of milk a day double their risk of ovarian cancer while another study out of Harvard found that men who had more than two servings of dairy a day had a 34% increased risk of prostate cancer. Once again, hormones are likely to blame here. Dairy increases the amount of insulin like growth factor in the blood, a hormone shown to cause cancer.
4. You'll need to down more Metamucil.
When you remove dairy, you're also removing probiotics. This healthy bacteria found in yogurt and soft cheeses, have a whack of health benefits including helping to keep you regular. Probiotics can help improve gut transit time, increase weekly bowel movements and soften the stool so it is easier to pass. But you can find probiotics in other foods including sauerkraut, pickles, and tempeh.
5. You're going to need bigger pants.
You would think cutting dairy would mean automatic weight loss but this isn't necessarily the case. A long term Swedish study found that those who consumed lots of dairy fat were less likely to develop obesity over a 12 year period than those who consumed less dairy fat. "Dairy is a rich source of fat and protein in people's diets, and they keep you full because your body digests them more slowly," Blake says. "You could end up replacing protein and fat with other foods like simple carbs, which can lead to weight gain." So if you're skipping dairy, don't forget to stock up on healthy proteins and fats!
6. You'll feel bloated.
"When people cut out a food group, like dairy, they tend to seek out substitutes that provide a similar taste or texture," Blake says. "Dairy products are often replaced with soy-based alternatives." The problem is, soy can be hard to digest. Soy contains sugars called oligosaccharides which your body has a hard time processing. These sugars set up camp in your GI tract and can lead to gas and bloating.
7. You'll have to renew your life insurance policy.
A study in The BMJ
found that each glass of milk you drink increases your risk of death by 15%. The researchers found that women who drank three or more glasses of milk a day were more likely to die over the next 20 years than those who drank less than one glass a day. Researchers think galactose is to blame. Galactose is a simple sugar that has been shown to induce oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation which makes a perfect environment for disease. On the flip side, fermented milk products like yogurt and cheese have very little or no galactose. Women who consumed high amounts of these foods were found to have a decreased risk of death according to the same study.
Do you believe milk (and dairy products) to be nature's gift for a healthy body or do you think it is something that is best avoided? Weigh in with your thoughts!
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