Episode 51 – Is Dairy Food Really For Humans?
Episode 51 – Is Dairy Food Really For Humans?
Dairy has had its fair share of time in the headlines.
Some interesting topics have arisen such as,
- “Cow’s milk is not for human consumption”
- “Dairy leaches calcium off bones”
- “There are other food products that have more calcium”
Woah, talk about the controversy in foods! Who would have thought? In this article today, let’s discuss the topic, is dairy food really for humans?
Don’t be scared, let’s have a look.
What exactly is dairy?
Dairy or milk products are a type of food produced from or contain the milk of mammals such as, cows and goats. You may have heard of some common diary food products such as, full cream milk, low fat milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, cream to name a few. Dairy food is generally high in protein, calcium and phosphorus in particular and depending on what product you buy (regular or low fat) it may or may not be high in carbs or high in fat. They may also come fortified with extra nutrients as well (eg. Vitamin D).
From a nutrition perspective these nutrients are useful in the body. Protein is useful for cell repair and recovery across the whole body such as muscles, bones and organ tissue while calcium and phosphorus is used in the make up and maintenance of bones. Calcium is also used in muscle contraction for movement. Moreover, vitamin D plays a role in every cell of the body acting like a hormone. It also regulates calcium in the bones and blood circulation.
So, is diary food really for humans?
Well, let’s get it straight.
First off, it’s from a cow for calves to drink.
Second, it helps to turn a baby cow (calf) into a cow. If you can imagine this transformation in your mind, you can quickly realize two things,
- it’s full of nutrients
- it’s potent.
So, it’s a double edge sword.
So should we eat it? Is dairy food really for humans? Read on below.
What’s this mean?
- On one side, it’s energy and nutrient dense.
- On the other side, it’s also FULL of calories.
For someone who needs to put on weight this may be a better food choice to consider. The types of people who may need this include:
- “Hard gainers” or skinny individuals
- Those with higher metabolic demands or medical conditions such as, cancer or post surgery
- Overactive or athletic type individuals
- Growing individuals
- Older individuals who need foods that “count”
Those who are overweight, want to lose weight or aren’t active, you may not need to focus so much on this food group in the interim. So, ask yourself,
“what do I want / need to achieve with my health and fitness?”
Dairy is a source of nutrition in our food supply. When used in the right way it is effective as an instrument of success. It’s also a food group to watch when you’re watching your weight and overall health. The question isn’t necessarily, is dairy food really for humans? Instead, start by asking yourself the suggested question above (“what do I want / need to achieve with my health and fitness?”) and then go from there.
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- Germov, J., Williams, L. (2004) A Sociology of Food & Nutrition: The Social Appetite (2nd Ed.) Oxford.
- Gropper, S., Smith, J., Groff, J. (2005) Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4th Ed.), Thomson Wadsworth
- Kausman, R. (2004). If not dieting, then what? Allen & Unwin
- Mahan, L. Escott-Stump, S. (2004) Krause’s Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy (11th Ed.) Saunders
- McWilliams, M. (2001) Foods: Experimental Perspectives (4th Ed.) Prentice-Hall
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