The Benefits Of A Dairy-Free Diet For Weight Loss & Overall Good Health


Although the dairy industry would have you believe that adding milk to your diet will help you lose weight, there is actually not any clinical evidence to support this assertion. The Journal of clinical nutrition reports that a recent study of 12,000 children showed that those who consumed more milk gained more weight. Additionally, research on the vegan lifestyle indicates that this dairy free lifestyle is the very best for attaining and maintaining healthy weight.

Milk Can Be Nutritious But Also Fattening

While milk is quite nutritious and a good source of protein, vitamin D and calcium, it can also be very fattening. Many people have found that eliminating milk from their diet helps them lose weight more quickly. Additionally, leaving milk out of your diet can have a very slimming effect because one common side effect of drinking milk is bloating. The reason for this is that milk is quite difficult to digest because the protein found in dairy products (casein) which is quite difficult to digest.

Additionally, many people are mildly lactose intolerant without realizing it, and even people who are not may have trouble digesting milk and other dairy products. The reason for this is that the human body generally stops producing the enzymes necessary for digesting dairy (lactase) in adulthood.

Lactose Intolerance

Approximately 65% of all people experience some symptoms of lactose intolerance, but they simply adjust to their ongoing stomach and digestive upset and believe it to be normal. This is quite undesirable because poor intestinal health and poor digestion can slow weight loss progress and an even cause weight gain.

Poor intestinal health can also cause a reduction of the body’s production of lactase. Less lactase means more trouble digesting lactose, so it’s easy to see that mild lactose intolerance could easily spiral out of control over time. This is why it’s so important to note and attend to symptoms of lactose intolerance. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

  •   Upset Stomach
  •   Constipation
  •   Gassiness
  •   Bloating
  •   Diarrhea

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be lactose intolerant. It would be a good idea to eliminate dairy from your diet for a period of several weeks to see if this does not resolve your problems. You may also find that going dairy free enhances and improves your health in a number of ways.

Milk May Not Do Your Body Good!

Dairy products are known to exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema and acne because they are quite acid forming. This is why dermatologists very frequently recommend that their patients go dairy free. For overall good health and healthy skin, it is important to eat a diet that has a good balance between alkalinity and acidity.

A more alkaline diet improves your digestion and decreases inflammation throughout your body. An excessively acidic diet increases inflammation (including inflammation of the skin). Inflammation causes pain, and consuming foods that contribute to acidity will worsen symptoms of arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and other painful conditions.

Inflammation is also a culprit in the development of cancer. Interestingly, a study conducted by the British Journal of Cancer in 2014 found that people who have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant are at lower risk for developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer. It is speculated that the reason for this is that they do not consume dairy products.

The Nutrition Present In Milk Is Not Easily Absorbed

You may also be surprised to know that milk is not generally as nourishing as we have been led to believe. While it does contain a significant amount of nutrients, there are other foods that provide the same nutrients in better balance and greater amounts. For example when you compare whole milk with a very inexpensive and readily available foods such as canned salmon you will find that the salmon provides vastly greater amounts of protein, calcium and iron, while delivering a generous dose of healthy fats.

Contrary to popular belief, the calcium in milk does not necessarily help you build strong bones. A study conducted in 2014 by the British Medical Journal found that a high percentage of people who suffered from hip fractures also drank a great deal of milk. Interestingly, it seems that the calcium in yogurt is better absorbed by the body than the calcium in milk and therefore does provide some protection against bone fractures.

Yoghurt, Cottage Cheese And Other Alternatives

In fact, if you don't want to go entirely dairy free you can gain a great deal of benefit by using full-fat yogurt instead of milk whenever possible. You can use plain, full-fat yogurt in smoothies, on your cereal and very often in recipes. It also makes an excellent substitute for sour cream.

The probiotics found in yogurt or cottage cheese will help you lose weight, ease your digestion and help make the calcium in milk more bioavailable to your bones. There are also a number of sources of nondairy, bioavailable calcium. Among them are:

  •   Green Veggies
  •   Nut Milks
  •   Oranges
  •   Beans
  •   Nuts
  •   Figs

Generally speaking, calcium from food is easier for your body to absorb than calcium from supplements. To be sure that your body is able to make the most use of the calcium you consume, you should practice good gut health habits. Avoid processed foods and sugar and eat a healthy, whole foods diet that includes a variety of high calcium foods. Including yogurt and fermented foods in your diet contributes greatly to gut health by increasing the friendly fauna in your intestinal tract.

How Do Dairy Products Hamper Weight Loss?

There are a number of reasons why consuming dairy products can sabotage your weight loss efforts. You must remember that lactose (milk sugar) is present in all dairy products. This form of sugar can elevate insulin levels and cause weight gain. You may be very surprised to know that using low-fat dairy products is not actually helpful in any way.

Although low-fat, reduced fat and skim milk dairy products are touted as being more healthy than whole milk, the fact is if you use these products you have a greater risk of diabetes according to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2015. This is because the fat that has been removed from these products is often replaced with sugar.

Sugar Found In Milk Rises As The Amount Of Fat Is Removed

The amount of sugar found in milk products rises concurrently with the amount of fat that is removed. Whole milk sugar content is approximately 4.7%. Reduced fat milk has approximately 5.3% sugar, while low-fat milk weighs in at a whopping 6.5% sugar. For this reason, if you're going to consume milk products, it is better to consume whole milk products.

Good Gut Health Is The Key To Overall Good Health

It is common knowledge that dairy products can have a very negative effect on your digestive processes. Good gut health is essential for proper absorption and utilization of the foods you eat, and this is absolutely necessary for effective weight loss and overall good health. For all of these reasons, if you have been having trouble losing weight and keeping it off, going dairy free may be the answer for you.

For more information about the negatives associated with dairy product consumption see: The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition

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