Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Dairy Debate

I think about dairy a lot. That might make me a little weird, but whatever. I've read articles that make me consider going dairy-free, but then I think of no cheese or ice cream, and I cry. I don't appear to have those negative symptoms related to dairy consumption - of course, if I scaled back my consumption, maybe I would realize that I was experiencing negative side effects.

And then there are the assumed risks of dairy consumption: Saturated fat = heart disease. Prostate cancer. Hormones (especially in non-organic dairy).

And there are health benefits to moderate dairy consumption, although those can be obtained from other sources (sources that are often BETTER than dairy).

But it IS weird that humans are the only species that consumes milk after the baby-ness. And it IS weird that we consume the milk of other species (cow, goat, sheep, buffalo).

Such yumminess!
photo courtesy of http://nutritionknowhow.org
How much dairy do I consume? Today I will have yogurt, creamer, cheese and maybe chocolate milk. I almost always have cheese. A day without cheese has to be incredibly rare.

And then there's the debate about raw milk (good luck finding that, though). I do skip the nonfat stuff usually, and I buy 1% when I buy milk because I feel like you need the fat to absorb the nutrients. I guess you could argue that 1% isn't enough fat, but I am not buying whole milk, especially to primarily make chocolate milk! Aaron and I would gain SO MUCH weight.

I've thought about trying a non-dairy experiment, but honestly, cheese makes me happy. C'mon - pizza and Mexican are my favorite foods! And fake cheese is gross, I don't care what anyone says. The texture is weird, it doesn't melt. I'd rather have no cheese than fake cheese.

But going dairy-free might be worth the effort... but not today. I've already had yogurt and creamer, and I just bought a half-gallon of organic 1% milk. Dairy binge! Then dairy-free?

Really, all of this is just something to think about.

Other resources:
Study: Dairy consumption does not elevate heart attack risk
Milk Consumption and Prostate Cancer
Dangers of Milk and Dairy Products (I wouldn't consider this super-reliable, but it brings up interesting things to research further.)
Dairy Consumption Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

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