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Dairy: Healthy or Not?

2019-02-21 09:36 Thursday

Dairy products have become controversial in recent years.

While health groups say that dairy products are important for bones, some people have contended that they are harmful and should be avoided. Of course, not all dairy products are created equal. Quality and health effects vary widely depending on how the animals are raised and how the products are processed.

 Dairy: Healthy or Not?

A common argument against dairy products is that their consumption is unnatural. Humans are the only species to drink milk as adults, and the only species to drink milk from other animals. Biologically, milk is used to feed fast - growing calves. Humans are not calves, and adults usually don't continue to grow and develop.

Before the agricultural revolution, humans only drank breast milk as babies. This is one reason why strict paleo diets do not include dairy products. In fact, many studies have shown that in areas where dairy consumption is chronic, local people's genes have been altered to accommodate dairy products in their diets. Some people are now genetically programmed to eat dairy products, which means they do so naturally.

The advantages of dairy products are ample; most importantly, they are extremely nutritious. Milk is rich in calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin B1 and B6, selenium, zinc and magnesium. A 240-milliliter glass of milk contains 146 calories, 8 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbohydrates. It provides almost everything your body needs. Numerous studies have shown that dairy products have significant benefits for bone health, reducing the risk of fracture in the elderly and increasing bone density.

While some studies have suggested that full-fat dairy products may raise the risk of obesity, heart disease, prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes, there is no consistent evidence to support these views. Nonetheless, health authorities in most countries recommend that people limit their consumption of dairy products.

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