Are dairy products good for you? It really depends on you and your diet. If you are trying to achieve optimal health, you always want to eat low-fat dairy products in moderation. High-fat dairy products are not really good for you on a daily basis because of the fat content – extra calories – and depending on the dairy product – too much saturated fat.
Pros & Cons of Dairy
- Excellent nutrition – fats, carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals – riboflavin, vitamin B12, magnesium, potassium, and when fortified, Vitamins A and D
- Calcium-rich – strengthens bones, reduces osteoporosis, may help with weight loss or reduce body fat; calcium plays a critical part in blood clotting, muscle contraction, heartbeat maintenance and proper nerve function
- Low in sugar
- May contribute to health problems
- Lacks iron
- Many people are lactose intolerant
- Animals are fed hormones, which may be transferred to people through consumption
- Calcium is available in many plant-based foods. There is no evidence linking calcium in dairy products to healthy bone development
- No sufficient evidence that dairy products contribute to weight loss or reduced body fat
- May contain pesticides through animal feeds or grazing
You really need to do what’s best for you. There is no way of knowing whether you should have dairy or not. If you are overweight, sensitive to allergies, or lactose intolerant, I’d probably avoid dairy or – at the very least – only eat low-fat dairy products.
Ice cream and frozen desserts
- Dairy-free ice cream - popular brands include Purely Decadent, So Delicious Dairy Free, Tofutti (Tofutti Cuties frozen dessert sandwiches, Premium pints, stick bars and pops), Wheeler's Black Label, Soy Dream, Rice Dream and Temptation
- Ice pops - frozen fruit juice bars, vegan popsicles
- Vegan sherbet - made with fruit juice and a non-dairy milk such as vanilla almond milk, rice milk or soy milk
- Banana pie - mash soft bananas with any chopped dried fruit, seeds and nuts; whip together into a mixture and freeze until pie-like.
- Soy yogurt - check label; some have milk-derived ingredients – you don’t want any animal casein
- Nut yogurts