Recently, it has been accused of being the a porter of all evils but dairy products should still be an integral part of our diet. A bowl of milk of the morning, a baby Petit-Suisse, cheese as an aperitif on Saturday … should we really give it up? Today, we’ll tell you everything!
What are dairy products for?
You’ve probably all heard “Yogurt yogurt, it’s full of calcium, it’s good for bones”. Well … it’s true! And it is essentially for that reason we eat it, in addition to being a good source of Vitamin D and protein.
Calcium is necessary for the construction of bone matter (in combination with vitamin D), but it is also an important component in many other vital functions, particularly in the contraction of muscle cells and therefore of our heart!
Now you’re going to say, “Yes, but you don’t only find calcium in dairy products, so I do not have to eat them “. And you are right … but not totally! While it is true many plants such as figs, broccoli, spinach, green cabbage, chickpeas, soybean and so on contain calcium, the amounts are negligible and its bioavailability (ability to be assimilated) is significantly less. It therefore becomes harder to achieve sufficient intakes of calcium via these plants.
But then again, if it’s so good for you, what are the accusations?
It is commonly believed that dairy products are painful on the stomach: this is called lactose intolerance. Indeed, milk and its derivatives contain lactose, a molecule digested by an enzyme, lactase. As we grow older we produce less lactase so some of us have difficulties digesting milk and therefore are susceptible to intestinal disorders. Be careful though to not worry too fast! You may have a stomach ache because you eat too fast, or you do not chew your food properly (yes, we saw you eating your yoghurt quickly before going to work!). Try to remove dairy products from your diet for a while and see what effects (if any) it has on your body.
But dairy products have also been attacked for potentially more harmful consequences. Their richness in saturated fatty acids suggests that they could contribute to cardiovascular disease, and their acidity could, in the long run, lead to bone loss, but should we believe it? Since science is the king of doubt, for now, it’s hard to be 100% sure.
Ok, but then what should we do?
I would say that everything is about BALANCE. There is no need to give up all dairy products tomorrow, scanning labels for the slightest trace of milk in the supermarket. Otherwise, you are doomed to spend hours shopping! If you don’t have any apparent symptoms of intolerance, don’t panic, you can still indulge in a little piece of cheese with the Sunday baguette. Just remember to also consume animal and plant calcium to ensure your daily intake. Now is a good time to visit our website to find our delicious yogurt and milk recipes!