Do you love dairy and don’t think you could ever give up dairy? If so, you’re not alone. Dairy products – such as milk, cheese, and ice cream – are some of the most popular items in the grocery store. But what if you learned that there are reasons to give up dairy for good? In this blog post, learn 7 reasons why eliminating dairy from your diet might be a good idea.
What happens when you give up dairy? 7 Reasons to Ditch Dairy For Good!
What happens when you give up dairy? Whether you want to lose weight, clear up your skin, live a longer (and healthier) life, or even help to save the planet(!!!), giving up dairy has more benefits than you probably know. Find out what happens when you give up dairy with 7 reasons to give it up for good.
1) You will have less inflammation in your body
One big reason to give up dairy is inflammation. The slightly acidic nature of dairy – thought to be caused by saturated fat – creates an inflammatory response in the body. And inflammation is the root cause of many health issues.
Research has shown that chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Yet, because chronic inflammation can continue for a long time, it’s not easy to know its exact impact. – Harvard Medical School
Dairy is also the number one source for most people of saturated fats. Saturated fats constrict blood flow in the body which also promotes inflammation. When you give up dairy, you give up a cause of inflammation as well.
Inflammation can show up in different ways for different people. For me, it was chronic sinus headaches, as well as knee pain and swelling. Within a week of eliminating dairy, my headaches and joint pain were gone.
For others, studies have shown that dairy products can trigger asthma. This is likely because inflammation from dairy causes airways to swell and mucus production, which can trigger an asthma attack.
Controlling inflammation is vital to health and longevity, and eliminating dairy is an important part of this.
2) Your skin will likely improve when you give up dairy
Did you know that dairy can be one of the biggest culprits behind skin breakouts and acne? This is because dairy contains hormones that can trigger oil production in the skin. And according to several studies, dairy consumption is associated with increased acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one study has shown that women who drank two or more glasses of skim milk per day were 44% more likely to have acne than other women in this study.
If you’re struggling with acne, giving up dairy could help. You might see a difference in your skin within just a few weeks of eliminating dairy from your diet.
3) Dairy contains hormones that our bodies do not need
All milk – whether it comes from cows, goats, humans, or any other mammal – contains hormones. So when you consume milk or milk products (like cheese), you are also consuming these hormones, including estrogen and progesterone.
In addition to naturally occurring hormones, dairy cows are also treated with synthetic hormones to promote their growth and encourage increased milk production. And ingesting these hormones – by eating foods such as milk and other dairy products – doesn’t come without health risks.
According to Dr Neal Barnard, M.D., a nutrition researcher and professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC:
“When you introduce even small amounts of estrogen into your body, it increases the risk of hormone-related cancers, such as breast, uterine, and prostate cancer, Milk also contains estrogen, but cheese is more condensed. The worst offender? Goat cheese has even more of it. All animal cheese is laden with fat and hormones, which add up.”
4) When you give up dairy you’ll be helping to save the planet
There are also environmental reasons to give up dairy. Dairy farming is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Meat and dairy specifically account for around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.
The dairy industry is also a leading cause of water pollution and deforestation, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive reports on the damage factory farming does to our planet.
If you’re concerned about the environment, eliminating dairy from your diet is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.
5) Your digestion and gut health will improve when you give up dairy
Dairy is one of the top culprits behind digestive issues. That’s because it’s difficult for the body to break down and digest lactose – the naturally occurring sugar found in dairy products.
And it is estimated that approximately 68 percent(!) of the world’s population has a limited ability to digest lactose. And when your body can’t digest milk products and you continue to consume them, you will likely experience bloating, stomach cramps, gas, or diarrhea.
And when you continue to eat dairy – even though your body cannot thoroughly process it – you are slowly wreaking havoc on your gut microbiome – which are the beneficial bacteria that live in our intestinal system. A healthy gut microbiome is vital to the proper breakdown and digestion of food – and it is important to maintaining a strong immune system. Your gut microbiome can also affect your heart and brain health, your mood, and how well you sleep, as well as prevent some autoimmune diseased and cancers.
Giving up dairy can be a very important part of improving your digestion and maintaining your gut health.
6) Give up dairy for the cows
Did you know that like humans, the pregnancy of a cow lasts for 9 months? But after birth, the calf is taken from the mother. The milk that is meant for her calf goes to humans instead.
One of the visuals that turned me vegan, was the video of a mother cow distressed and crying for the calf that had been taken from her. The calf also cried for its mother.
Female calves are raised to live the same life their mother is suffering through.
Male calves are sent to live alone in crates. They are then slaughtered before they are 20 weeks old, to be sold as “veal”.
It is heartbreaking. It is cruel. It is unnecessary.
And while cows normally would live to age 20 or more, the dairy industry sends them to slaughter at the age of 6. These poor cows are so physically damaged from constant pregnancy, birth, and milk production they are of no more use to the dairy industry.
So while the dairy industry markets to us with advertisements showing “happy cows” – roaming freely in pastures – this is far from the truth.
And “grass-fed” or “humane” dairy production is no better. There is no such thing as a “humane slaughter”. (Think about it.).
So why support an industry that treats beings this way? Cows feel pain, fear….and love….just like we do.
Giving up dairy not only benefits YOU and our planet…but also the cows.
7) Giving up dairy has never been easier!
When I first went vegan in 2012 there were only one (maybe two?) types of plant-based milk at the grocery story – rice milk….and more rice milk. Now there are MORE plant-based milks in most grocery aisles than there is dairy milk.
Milk replacements include:
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Oat milk
- Hemp milk
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
These alternatives are healthy AND delicious. Each one is a little different in taste and consistency, so you might have to try a few until you find the perfect one for you.
And like dairy milk, most contain the calcium AND vitamin D you need. But unlike dairy milk, plant-based milk does not have the unhealthy saturated fats, cholesterol, lactose, or hormones that dairy milk has.
In addition to plant-based milk, the assortment of delicious dairy-free cheeses, butter, and ice creams keeps growing. You will find something you love!! I recommend researcher reviews of brands you’d like to try, and see if they resonate with you…then give them a try!
I have never missed dairy….there are just TOO many delicious, non-dairy options available. And I feel SO much better because of them.
If you found this post helpful, you might also like…