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Dairy- Good or Bad?

There’s a battle royale going on in the trenches of fitness and health- Dairy: Good or bad? The whole argument can be confusing, with each side throwing studies at one another like kids in a lunch room food fight. Tony Horton, it should be noted, is TOTALLY not a fan of dairy. Still, my motto stands: DON’T OVER-THINK IT.

Here’s how it’s shaking out: The anti-dairy argument boils down to individual reaction issues like lactose tolerance, bloating and mucus production. In general, the anti-dairy argument also refers to the fact a lot of the main stream animal production in this country use antibiotics and hormones to speed animal growth and production speed. The FDA says it’s OK, but these “additives” are then passed to us as we consume them. Most mass market stuff is also super-processed/filtered and isn’t as nutritionally sound as say, the milk you’d get straight from a cow in your own back yard.

With so many folks’ having a big question mark about dairy, the Soy and Almond contingent have risen up with milk alternatives. They’re all called “milk” but with a quick scan on the side of the carton, you can see there’s a big nutritional difference. Non-fat milk (skim) usually is moderate on lower calories, but you can see there’s more nutrition– more protein, less nutritional additives (calcium, etc.), etc. Soy comes in second and Almond is last, with pretty much an emphasis on taste and consistency over nutritional value.

There’s no end to how confusing and wrapped up you could get with all the information out there. Personally, I take it all with a grain and a little bit of investigation. If your body can process dairy and you have no other reaction issues, low/non-fat dairy in moderation is a great source of protein– but I do make it a point to purchase “clean”, low/no fat forms of dairy from smaller “green” focused producers (no growth hormone, etc.). Come to think of it, the only dairy in my diet is Fage yogurt (a no-fat, unflavored Greek yogurt)– which isn’t better than this or that– I’ve just found I like it, it’s “clean” and nutritionally dense. Overall, dairy has just kind of fallen away from my diet since I use water for my shakes.

But again and as summary– the diary “good or bad” feud is huge and ongoing. I’d boil it down to this: If you’re having setbacks and you’re worried dairy isn’t working for you, don’t use it and see what happens. If it’s working, do what you feel is best. As I’ve mentioned, I use dairy by way of nonfat Greek yogurt and have completely lost my gut and carry a six-pack. In general, if you use dairy and aren’t having allergic reactions, digestive issues and excess mucous from your milk and as long as you’re in your calorie ranges and working hard, you’ll continue to trim up.

For more info on how the “milks” stack up– check out this article

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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Aaron says:

    I figure I’m OK if the nutrition guide for P90x calls for skim milk every once and a while. I use skim milk in my protein shakes. Other than that, I don’t really drink any milk straight.

  2. Danv says:

    Ding! If you’re not feeling adverse effects or seeing dairy inhibit you in your goals, I say go for it.

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