Monday, November 09, 2009

Good Health Guidelines: Dairy

I have to admit that I am still a skeptic on this one. There has been some research that suggests that "consuming dairy products helps with weight loss when coupled with calorie restriction," (emphasis mine) but the researcher who found that link was funded by the dairy industry. Here are some more links suggesting that any weight loss benefit has been overstated.

Because 70% of the world's population, like me, is lactose intolerant, I really wonder if human beings were meant to have all of this dairy. Tolerance for milk among northern Europeans (and people descended from them) is the gift of a mutation common in the milk-drinking world. Besides the lactose issue, I am concerned about artificial hormones administered to cows to increase their milk production. Even if it is safe for humans, it does not seem to be very good for the cows. It's easy to find milk that is organic and free of artificial hormones, but my favorite yogurt, Fage, doesn't make any claims to be free of the stuff. The only organic Greek yogurt I've found so far, Oikos, is very sour and not at all to my taste. Left to my own devices, I'd have one serving of dairy products every day or two.

So I'm ambivalent about the whole dairy products thing. Last week's weight-loss success convinced me to keep up the GHG compliance for a while, but I'm still not totally convinced. I often wonder if Weight Watchers gets lobbied by various industries and companies to promote certain food products on the program, the way the USDA was when it redesigned the food pyramid to its current useless graphic.

I'm enjoying my cheese (mostly fresh mozzarella) and yogurt for now, but I'm still thinking that I may up on the other side of this one.


  1. Well, I have dwarf dairy goats so their milk is horomone free, and delicious. Those who are lactose-intolerant can often digest goat's milk, which contains smaller fat gobules and more digestible protein than cow's milk.

    But in general, I know what you are saying. Although, I knew a buff aerobics trainer that was always telling us to drink milk.

  2. I stopped most dairy a couple months ago...and really did not notice any difference one way or the other. Since I am low carbing right now...I have added some cheese back in (just a little....1/4 cup of shredded cheddar or an ounce of string cheese...) and really...again, have not noticed any big difference with digestion, weight loss, energy, whatever. So...I'm with you, it IS a bit confusing.

  3. Humans stop producing lactase, the enzyme that digests milk, when they are very young. That is why most everyone has a hard time processing it - we're not supposed to anymore ;)

    When I still ate dairy, I would use it to help me go to the bathroom! It goes right through me! TMI! TMI!

  4. Hi- I saw this blog post and thought of yours- right along the same lines...

    Thanks for posting.

  5. Interesting thoughts... I have similar reservations. I was always taught to eat dairy for the calcium content, but have since found out other foods are great sources of calcium. I don't get much aside from milk in my tea and yogurt once a day. I found an organic greek yogurt here but it doesn't have the same Stand Your Spoon In It quality as Fage :)

  6. I don't get much DAIRY, that should have said!


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07