Inspired by Mind Body Green(1)
Dairy is a food group that many of us a lot in our diet. However, did you know that American dairy causes harmful inflammation to the body, preventing proper nutrition absorption or fat loss from occurring, and for some people causing energy crashes? These are only a few side effects that affects so much of the American population.
Why are so many people sensitive? Two reasons. Number 1: It’s because of the sugars in milk, better known as lactose! The sugar in general is inflammatory but many people do not have enough of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose into an absorbable form. After the age of 4 our bodies naturally get rid of lactase as it is an age where the majority of kids have stopped breastfeeding for a while.
Number 2: the processing and pasteurization process creates a safer, yet refined (processed) version, that of which the body can not accept well.
So is dairy something that you should continue to eat on a consistent basis? Or something you should start decreasing? If you struggle with any health issues such as low energy, chronic inflammation or acne I would suggest swapping out some of the dairy options for others.
But wait... what about the calcium intake?
One of the biggest concerns I hear when cutting dairy is: where will the calcium intake come from? First - know that dairy is not absorbed well in many of us. If it was we still would not have such an issue with osteoporosis with the elder population. Second - there are so many foods that naturally contain calcium and other vitamins and minerals that aid in the absorption as well!
Below I have listed the foods with the highest calcium content! They provide the body with amazing energy and very little inflammation. The calcium in these foods are also highly bioavailable – meaning they absorb well in the body:
So, how can we decrease the dairy without missing out? Here are a few suggestions on how you can start swapping dairy for more nutrient dense foods in your diet:
The easiest first step: Changing your milk
Swapping a plant-based spread for a dairy-based spread is easier than you might think.
Slice avocado onto your burger instead of cheese.
You don’t need dairy to top off your meal. Try these dairy-free yet creamy-full swaps instead:
Yes, you can still treat your sweet tooth without dairy. It’s actually really easy:
This doesn’t have to be a bummer without dairy. Here are some simple dairy-free snacks:
When eating out, be careful of these sneaky places where dairy often hides:
And finally, a lot of success with phasing out dairy begins in your head. Try these:
So there you have it! All about dairy and inflammation: how it's affecting your energy. Can you cut back on the dairy and see a difference?
Connect with me, Kelly Carter CNP Nutritionist for a free consultation! Email me at [email protected] to book a session.