(WellnessPursuits.com) – There was a time when we were kids, that milk was a staple to most meals in our day. Here we are as adults and we simply don’t drink as much milk as we used to, and the real kicker is — evidence shows that we most likely shouldn’t.
Research indicates that high milk intake may increase your odds of developing diabetes, acne outbreaks and ovarian and prostate cancer. The National Dairy Council recommends adults consume three servings of dairy per day, so how do we resolve this?
You can reap the benefits of cow’s milk with fewer risks by snacking on cheese and fermented dairy products.
Why Should You Choose Cheese?
Milk can wreak havoc on your body, but cheese generally isn’t as rough on your digestive system or other organs. When you consume cheese, you still get the bone-boosting benefits of milk, including essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, but you don’t ingest as much D-galactose. D-galactose is an inflammation-causing breakdown product of lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products.
Many people struggle to digest lactose, which makes up approximately 4% to 6% of a serving of cow’s milk. Cheese generally contains less lactose than milk, and some cheeses are even lactose-free. Aged gouda, aged cheddar and aged parmesan are a few examples of low-lactose cheeses. Watch out for fresh cheese curds if lactose is a concern.
What Is Fermented Milk?
Fermented milk, also known as cultured milk, refers to cow’s milk fermented with gut-friendly strains of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Lactococcus. These are the same strains you can find in some probiotics and other digestive health supplements, and they make dairy products easier to digest. People who ingest these strains regularly may experience relief from common issues, such as gas, bloating and diarrhea. For some people, fermented milk also helps ease the symptoms of hay fever and stomach ulcers.
Fermentation occurs when lactic acid bacteria strains break down the proteins and lactose in milk. This makes cow’s milk more gentle on your stomach, but it also changes the flavor. Fermented milk and yogurt often have a tart, tangy flavor. That’s also why buttermilk tastes different than regular cow’s milk.
Consider incorporating kefir into your diet if you’re looking for a fermented milk product. Kefir is made by adding tiny, cauliflower-like grains to dairy products. These grains of bacteria are packed with nutrients like phosphorus and vitamin B12, and they also boost bone health. Ingesting kefir regularly may also help improve allergies, enhance digestive health and decrease your risk of developing cancer.
If cow’s milk makes you sick, don’t give up on dairy just yet. Incorporate more aged cheeses and fermented milk products into your diet, but let your doctor know if digestion issues persist.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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