A reader is wondering about the nutrition advice she's getting from all the trainers at her gym. They recommend not consuming any milk or dairy, because in nature, milk is meant for babies, not after you are weaned. The trainers also say if you do drink milk, stay with raw milk. She wanted my opinion because she really loves her Dannon yogurt!
- Milk, yogurt and cheese are nutritional powerhouses. They are top on the list of food sources of calcium, and are great sources of complete protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and zinc. Dairy products are incredibly nutrient dense--a real bargain (see earlier post.) To avoid these, is to lose out on an incredible source of greatness.
- Milk and milk products offer easily absorbable sources of calcium. You can find other food sources of calcium such as spinach, almonds and collard greens. However, most studies have shown that these vegetables have some things (e.g. fiber, oxylates) in them that can mess up the absorption a bit, making less of the calcium available for use in your body. Milk products have don't have this problem. But keep eating your spinach---it's also a nutrient dense super food!
- Lactose intolerance may be a problem, as it is for many people around the globe. This happens when your body lacks the enough lactase which is an enzyme that digests the sugar found in dairy, lactose. Find the lactose-free foods: these have the enzyme added to it so the lactose is all broken down and shouldn't cause any more gas, bloating, etc. Look for lactose-free milk, ice cream, and cheese. Lactaid and Dairy Ez are two good ones. Another alternative is to take the enzyme in supplement form while you eat the pizza with cheese. These products come in tablet form or chewables, such as Lactaid Ultra. Two of my kids are lactose intolerant and have used these successfully for years.