Got Milk?: The Dairy Debate

Dairy first entered the human diet during the shift to agriculture in the Middle East about 9,000 years ago. Since then it has spread across the globe and is consumed in the form of milk, butter, cheese and yogurt. As humans continued to consume dairy, a genetic mutation emerged and spread throughout Europe that allowed humans to produce lactase and consume milk into adulthood.

The USDA is one of the biggest advocates of dairy. Their reasoning is primarily for calcium and the promotion of bone health. While some studies have found favorable evidence, others question the claims. Dairy products can also be a good source of protein and various vitamins such as Vitamin D.

Nutrition Facts of Dairy Products

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Butter Nutrition Facts

Butter

Fage Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt Nutrition Facts

Fage Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Dairy Free Eating

The benefits of dairy products are especially questionable to the 75% of adults worldwide and 25% in the U.S. who are lactose intolerant. If you are not lactose intolerant, then dairy consumption shouldn’t be a huge concern. When in doubt, listen to your body.

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Calcium & Other Nutrients: Chia seeds, tofu and dark leafy greens are among the richest dairy free sources of calcium. The other nutrients can easily be covered by eating a wide variety of plant based products.

Dairy Free Milk: Almond milk, soy milk, rice milk and coconut milk.

Cheese: I often substitute cheese with avocado. There are many other options such as nutritional yeast and soy-based products that try to be like cheese.

Read More:

18 Dairy Free Sources of Calcium

Dairy: Food of the Gods or Neolithic Agent of Disease?

Got Propaganda? Why All of the Milk Industry’s Health Claims Have Been Proven Wrong

Guide to Dairy Free Eating

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