- 1 What is lactose?
- 2 Casein and whey
- 3 How is dairy processed?
- 4 Dairy products You can Eat
- 5 Dairy products to eat in moderation
- 6 Dairy products to avoid
Many people face the dilemma whether to completely ditch dairy products, or eat them in moderation.
It is not a simple dilemma. The task of deciding is challenging. Are dairy products good for you?
Some of them certainly carry a huge set of health benefits. But no matter what you choose, the most important part is that you make an educated decision.
That means understanding what dairy is, and how it is bad for you.
The problem with dairy is that certain components are considered allergens.
That means that they cause problems, depending on one’s sensitivity and allergy. The allergens found in dairy products include whey, casein, and of course, lactose.
Let’s break them down.
What is lactose?
Lactose is the main protein found in milk. According to some studies and statistics, 75% of the world’s population is intolerant to lactose.
They all lack lactase, an enzyme that can break down lactose into glucose and galactose. Without breaking down lactose, the ingredient passes through your gut.
When lactose is broken down to sugars, your small intestine absorbs them.
But when you cannot break down lactose, the protein binds to water which carries to the large intestine. Extra water causes diarrhea, as well as gas, bloating, and other digestive problems due indigestion.
Casein and whey
These two are also proteins found in milk.
While whey and casein allergy is not as common as lactose, some people are still affected. You might have an allergy to one of the proteins, or to both.
Due to allergic reaction, your body produces histamine, and you will feel swelling, skin reactions, itching, rashes, or even nasal congestion.
How is dairy processed?
There are different ways dairy is processed. The way companies process dairy, makes it more or less beneficial. In most cases, dairy is pasteurized or homogenized.
Pasteurization is a process when milk is heated, and all pathogens are destroyed.
However, the problem with pasteurization is that heating kills pathogens, but also beneficial bacteria. That deprives milk of good bacteria such as probiotics.
In addition, pasteurization changes the structure of the milk proteins.
Homogenization, on the other hand, is a high-pressure process which breaks down fat particles. This gives the milk creamy consistency.
However, studies show that homogenized products are linked to rising rates of heart disease. That being said, what are some of the dairy products you should eat, and the ones to avoid?
Dairy products You can Eat
A product made from butter, ghee is perfect for people who are intolerant to lactose, whey, and casein. The difference is unlike butter, the milk solids and impurities are removed to make ghee.
This dairy product is rich in fatty acids, similar to the ones found in coconut oil. Ghee is perfect immune system booster, so consume it as much as possible.
Not all butter is good. Same as we have grass-fed meat, we also have grass-fed butter. Grass fed cows produce more vitamin K2. This vitamin helps lower the risk of heart disease, and improves the way your body metabolizes calcium. But most importantly, grass-fed butter is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
There are two ways buttermilk is produced. One way is by-product of butter making. The other way of producing buttermilk is by inoculating low-fat milk with bacterial cultures.
Rich in probiotics and calcium, buttermilk has made its name as a baking goods staple. However, sometimes, you are just out of buttermilk, and you need to bake something.
There are other healthy ingredients. Or you just do not want the thick consistency of buttermilk.
In any case, buttermilk is good for lactose-intolerant people, as the fermentation process will break down the lactose.
One of the best probiotic foods, kefir is also rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, folate, enzymes, vitamin B2, and much more.
There is no better way to improve your gut health than consuming kefir. This product also supports your immune system, and help you flush out toxins.
Dairy products to eat in moderation
Lactose intolerant people consume aged cheese like cheddar. The aging process breaks down lactose, leaving the cheese with very low amount of the indigestible protein.
Thanks to the production process, aged cheese do not contain bad bacteria, but only good bacteria.
The production of sour cream makes it higher in probiotics than other cream products. The reason why it is on the moderate eating list is because it contains additives like gelatin.
When you are lactose intolerant, consuming probiotic yogurt is the best option. Yogurt does not contain high amounts of sugar, making it perfect beverage. And in the same time, it contains high amounts of protein and probiotics.
Dairy products to avoid
If you cannot digest lactose, it is as simple as that. You cannot drink milk, no matter what you do. Your body cannot digest and process milk, so stay away from it.
Processed cheeses are rich in saturated vegetable oils, salt, and food coloring. All of them make it hard to ignore the harmful effects. Stay away from them.
As you’ve noticed by now, lactose-intolerant people cannot consume many cheese products. Soft cheeses are also on that list. This especially applies for low-fat versions, as they contain even more additives.
Rich in saturated fat and sugar, ice cream is basically a by-product of milk. In addition, ice cream contains high fructose corn syrup, another harmful ingredient.
Plain yogurt is great, as it is low in sugar, and high in protein. Flavored yogurt, on the other hand, contains fructose, glucose, sucrose, and other types and forms of sugar. You do not get the real fruit, but a pureed fruit instead.