Dairy: Is it good or bad for you?

Exploring the pros and cons of this controversial food group

Image result for holstein cow

We’re often asked whether dairy is good or bad. Short answer: It depends. In this article we’ll help you make sense of the research — and the wildly different opinions — sharing everything you need to decide if dairy is for you.

Is dairy “good” or “bad”?

For most of us, milk was our first food.

As a species, we’ve consumed dairy (in some form or another) for millennia.

For centuries, milk has been seen as “good for us”. “Milk: It Does A Body Good” was even the tagline for a series of ads in the 1980s. Google “vintage milk ads” and you’ll see that promoting milk’s health benefits has a long history.

Nowadays, people aren’t so sure. Some say milk is full of “bad” fat, unhealthy chemicals, hormones, and impossible-to-digest proteins. That it’ll harm your GI tract, cause acne, make you a mucus-y mess, and increase your cancer risk.

How can you decide what’s right for you?

Good news: There’s lots of research on milk and dairy.

Bad news: It’s complicated.

That’s why, in this article, we’ll look at what research says about dairy, what it doesn’t say, and where it’s undecided. Then, based on that scientific evidence, YOU can make a choice that aligns with YOUR goals and needs.

Here’s what we’ll cover.

  • What’s actually in milk?
  • Are some forms of dairy healthier than others?
  • What does the research really say about how dairy affects your health?
  • How do farming and processing practices influence milk’s nutritional value?
  • Is dairy a necessary part of a healthy diet?
  • Is dairy right for you as an individual?

How to read this article.

This article is comprehensive. Like, really comprehensive; nearly 10,000 words. If you’re not that interested in a deep dive into dairy, but still want the important take-home messages, you can easily navigate as follows.

Want to know how dairy will affect your health and fitness?

Want to explore which types of dairy are healthiest?

If you’re a health and fitness professional:

Want to know the bottom line and make a decision about dairy for yourself?

Let’s get to it. (complete article)

By Ryan Andrews & Brian St. Pierre for Precision Nutrition