Historically, diets that nixed dairy were a result of allergy and/or lactose intolerance. More recently, non-dairy trends seem to be by-products of consumer demands for more plant-based items (e.g., soy and almond milks) for various reasons (e.g., following a Paleo diet). In general, when I ask someone why they're cutting dairy from their diets, they answer one of two ways: (1) I heard it's good to cut dairy or (2) I want to decrease inflammation.
It's true that dairy can cause inflammation, but typically this is in someone who actually has an allergy or intolerance. Dairy has many nutrients (e.g., Calcium, protein, Vitamin D, probiotics) and has been shown to lessen the factors of metabolic syndrome. That's not to say that I would recommend people consume nothing but dairy. The recommended amount is 2-3 low-fat servings each day (e.g., 1 Cup of Milk or 1oz cheese). I typically leverage dairy for its protein content. I add feta to a salad or have a slice of provolone with an apple for a snack. However, in the spirit of understanding, I went 10 days without dairy.
Here were the highlights:
My dad also participated throughout the 10 day period. Being very different, anatomically, we still shared many of the same findings. Bottom line, he and I will both continue to consume dairy. We'll simply be more mindful and consider even healthier replacements when it's convenient. Overdoing dairy has its own outcomes (e.g., constipation, weight gain, etc.) that neither one of us wants.
Basic rules of dairy:
Cheyenne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in the Charleston, SC area.