8 Reasons to Enjoy Dairy

8 Reasons

Anyone who has ever consulted with me about their diet knows that I am a dairy fan! So when I received an invitation for a continuing education event from Rediscover Dairy, the Consumer Education Project of Milk SA, I jumped at the opportunity. I wanted to know if there is any scientifically proven reason for people to avoid dairy products.

As with almost any topic in the field of nutrition, dairy comes with its own controversies and misbeliefs. The reasons for people to not consume dairy products are many! Some are concerned for weight reasons, some are truly intolerant to lactose or allergic to one of the protein constituents and some are concerned for the welfare of the cows (I have to admit that this is something I would rather not think about too much. I am much happier with my romantic notions of cows sleeping on comfy mattresses and being pampered with massages once a week.)

But for what it’s worth, I am still a fan of dairy products. And from a nutrition point of view, there is good reason for me to be a fan. There are some very good recent studies that illustrate that dairy products have either a neutral effect on human health (in other words, they do not cause harm), or they have a beneficial effect on human health. Very encouraging evidence if you too are a diary fan!

Here are 8 health reasons for you to carry on enjoying your milk, yoghurt and cheese.
  1. Reduced risk of childhood obesity
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  2. Improved body composition in adults (less body fat and more lean muscle)
  3. Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially if you eat fermented products like cheese and yoghurt
  4. Improved weight loss if you follow a calorie restricted diet
  5. Reduced risk of hypertension when you eat low fat diary products
  6. Reduced risk of having a stroke when you eat low fat diary products
  7. Positive effect on bone health in children and adolescents (the evidence for adults is unclear)
  8. Consuming dairy products may protect against various cancers (colorectal, bladder, gastric, and breast cancer)

I left the Irene Diary Farm after a great lunch (made with… you guessed it - milk, yoghurt, maas and cheese!) more than satisfied that unless you are allergic or severely intolerant to dairy, then there is no reason to avoid it. The evidence for these benefits is strong.

Fermented dairy products also received a lot of attention with their own set of benefits apart from the general ones listed here. So, next week I will outline the benefits of yoghurt, cheese and maas.

Say cheese!

Wendy Signature
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