Exploring the pros and cons of this controversial food group
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?
- Skip to “How do dairy types differ?”
If you’re a health and fitness professional:
Want to know the bottom line and make a decision about dairy for yourself?
- Skip to “What does this mean for you?”