Let’s Talk Health: Benefits Of Not Eating Dairy

Abby Vanderwall, Editor In Chief

For several years I have experienced unexplainable stomach pain that persisted especially after my meals. Naturally, I assumed that something in my diet was affecting my body systems in a negative way. I tried gluten free and many other diet fads but only recently have I discovered what was really messing with me: dairy. Whether you are completely lactose intolerant, a dairy allergen or simply want to cut out dairy to improve your quality of life, eliminating dairy from your diet has many benefits.

People stop consuming dairy for multiple reasons including less bloating, relief from digestive issues, skin irritation like acne and problematic respiratory conditions. According to an article by Dr. Axe, about 30 million to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant.

Reducing dairy consumption means steering clear of products such as milk, cheese, butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese and yogurts. While this may seem like a large portion of the foods we enjoy, there are many specialty foods that serve as alternatives to dairy products. For example, switching to almond or coconut milk will eliminate the food allergen. Also, instead of using butter on bread or to cook, substitute for olive oil. If you are a pasta lover like me, you can make mushroom ravioli rather than cheese ravioli. It is really quite simple to incorporate these alternatives into your everyday lifestyle.

As I mentioned before, there are various health benefits of eliminating dairy from your diet. Decreased bloating is one result of this change as your overall digestive patterns are improved as dairy leads to excess amounts of gas in the intestines. Dairy also contributes to respiratory complications in those that suffer from conditions such as asthma, since dairy increases the amount of mucus in the respiratory tract. Dairy is also a catalyst for skin problems. According to an article by Dr. Axe, “A 2010 study published in Clinics in Dermatology indicates that milk contains anabolic steroids as well as growth hormones that add to the potency of milk as a stimulant of acne”. Finally, being dairy-free may reduce your risk of cancer as dairy products contain contaminants and pesticides that have been proven to promote breast cancer cell growth.

While dairy is an active component in most people’s everyday diets, there are many benefits to eliminating it from consumption. A simple substitution can drastically improve your well-being and quality of life.