Oh, dairy. What has it come to? We used to love you, but now our relationship is a little more complicated.
Recently, the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) conducted a survey which revealed that out of the 239 participants under 25 years old surveyed, a fifth of them had been cutting out or reducing dairy from their diet.
According to the BBC, the survey suggested these young people are taking dairy out of their diets because of advice they’ve read from bloggers, which also leads NOS to believe that more people are becoming too restricted in what they eat.
This is not surprising considering that as of late, many researchers and health specialists have been adamant that going dairy-free is actually a lot better for you.
The Harvard School of Public Health revealed that drinking milk can lead to an increased risk of ovarian cancer and an increased risk of prostate cancer. The British Medical Journal has even gone on to reveal that consuming milk can increase the risk of death to 15, especially for women.
While dairy is indeed a main source of calcium, removing it from your diet isn’t the end of the world as long as you’re substituting it with other nutrients that contain calcium, such as almond milk, oranges and tofu.
But for those whose bodies aren’t equipped to digest dairy products, this can prove difficult.
In a recent survey conducted by the Food Standards Agency, it was found that half of the participants from ages 16 to 24 said they had an intolerance to milk and dairy products, although only 24 per cent of them admitted they had been diagnosed by a doctor.
An intolerance to milk and dairy products, commonly known as lactose intolerance, is surprisingly common across the world. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, about 65 per cent of the world is lactose intolerant.
While dairy is indeed a main source of calcium, removing it from your diet isn’t the end of the world.
For people who experience digestive problems and bloating from dairy, eliminating it from their diet can be beneficial, but it’s also important to remember that other calcium substitutes must be put in their place, according to NOS. It’s also important to remember a medical professional should be consulted before any drastic changes to your diet.
Susan Lanham-New, an adviser to the NOS, spoke with BBC Radio 4 and warned that “social media is rife with people who are talking, quite frankly, about subjects where they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
A lack of calcium can lead to an increased risk of having osteoporosis, a disease that occurs when there is a lack of bone mass or a deterioration in bone tissue.
So if you or someone you know is planning to go dairy-free, make sure they’re consuming the proper substitutes that can be used to meet their daily calcium intake like cooked kale, broccoli, sardines, almonds and bok choy.