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Should you cut down on dairy?

Should you cut down on dairy?

Many bulked-up bodybuilders swear by a gallon of milk a day. But vegans and paleo-lovers believe dairy causes harm to health and harm to the planet.

Does the idea of giving up milk, cheese and butter have you in a panic? 

CONS

A major downside of dairy is that it's high in saturated fat. While some people might see this as a benefit (it's great for building muscle and healthy brains!), too much saturated fat can increase our cholesterol and encourage weight gain.

Lots of people are allergic to or intolerant of dairy. This can cause bloating, diarrhoea and poor digestion. For these people, cutting down on dairy can completely banish their symptoms. Quitting dairy is a no-brainer for them.

Ask a vegan, they'll probably be quick to point out the downsides of dairy. The Netflix hit documentary 'Forks Over Knives' suggested dairy is making us sick. It claims cow's milk contains hormones and contaminants which can increase our risk of cancers and other serious diseases.

Then there's the environmental impact that dairy farming has on the Earth. Yes, we went there.

Other people find eating dairy too often makes them feel sluggish and bloated, and dulls their complexion. Victoria Beckham claims ditching dairy helped get rid of her bad skin.  If this sounds familiar, it might be worth cutting back to see if you have more energy or better skin.

PROS

Dairy is a nutrient-dense food. It contains phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, B12 and of course, calcium. Dairy is chock-full of the stuff. Calcium is essential for growing children and for healthy bones throughout our lives. Can we really get enough if we don't eat milk or cheese?

Dairy is also a great protein source. A 250ml glass of milk contains 8-10g of protein. Ok, not as much as meat or fish. But a few portions of dairy is an easy way of upping your daily protein.

Cheese and milk are convenient on-the-go snacks for busy people. They fill you up and stop you munching on less nutritious crisps and biscuits.  Dairy is also good if you're on a budget - who can't afford a pint of milk?

So, to dairy or not to dairy? Our verdict, cutting down is worth a try if you have niggling health issues. There are plenty of calcium-rich alternatives such as greens, pulses and sardines. Keep up your Hussle too, and you may be on your way to feeling amazing!

Photo by Ryan Song on Unsplash

the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.

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