How to Get the Benefits of Dairy Without Having to Consume It?
The debate on whether or not we should consume dairy rages on. There are pros and cons to both sides, but what if you could get some of the benefits of dairy and not have to worry about any of the detriments? With the rise in popularity of products like coconut water and kefir, now you can. Here’s a look at exactly what you are getting from consuming these products, and what you can avoid.
The Drawbacks of Dairy
Dairy has been touted as a healthy food source for decades, but it isn’t without significant downsides. Even if you ignore the severe environmental impact of the dairy industry, consuming dairy still puts you at risk. Dairy is calorie dense and has lactose and denatured proteins caused by homogenization. These things can lead to indigestion and an unhealthy gut. Consuming dairy also exposes you to the hormones dairy cows are fed as well as the pesticides used on their feed.
On top of all this, many people also have allergic reactions to dairy products. Lactose intolerance is common, and can even develop later in life. Allergic reactions to dairy can range from skin rashes to respiratory complications to severe indigestion.
The Benefits of Dairy that You Can Find Elsewhere
Despite the downsides of dairy, it can still have many advantages for your health. But now with new foods like kefir and coconut water you can get these benefits and avoid the risks described above. A few of the advantages include:
- Probiotics: Some dairy products like yogurt increase the levels of good bacteria in your gut, but kefir does the same for you and more. Kefir has over double the number of healthy strains of bacteria and is not plagued by indigestion risks like dairy can be.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Dairy provides a lot of nutrients, but you can find many of these in coconut water kefir. The drink is low in calories and still contains folic acid, B vitamins, potassium, healthy fats and more.
- Sugars: Despite what the media may tell you, your body needs sugars, and they can be healthy in the right amounts. Kefir coconut water is high in fructose as opposed to the lactose found in dairy. Fructose is healthier and safer for people with diabetes.
The Future of Health
Long ago, we didn't have access to healthy superfoods from around the world and had to rely on staples like dairy, which has a lot of benefits but is balanced with drawbacks. Fortunately, in the new millennium, we have alternatives available to increase our nutrition, eliminate risks and make us into our healthiest selves.
By Jenny Holt, Freelance Nutrition and Health Writer