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From sugar to fats, fruits to gluten, simple carbs to everything ‘white’… people trying to lose weight will give up just about anything to reach their target! One of the foods many people give up in their battle against body weight is dairy. Let’s take a look at how quitting dairy affects your body.
Why People Quit Dairy
People who quit dairy are advised to do so for a lot of different reasons.
Dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt, clarified butter, etc.) and foods that contain them (milk chocolates, ice-creams, frozen desserts, thick shakes, etc.) – are all high in carbs, fats and proteins. They also contain a lot of other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, etc.
While all these nutrients are required by the human body, if the amount of dairy products you are consuming in a day is in excess of the recommended amount, it could lead to a lot of body changes: gaining weight, bloating, acne, and more.
So there are indeed a lot of benefits of quitting dairy. But could there also be undesirable side-effects? Let’s find out!
Benefits of Quitting Dairy
To begin with, let’s take a look at the benefits of quitting dairy.
1. No More Bloated Tummy!
This alone might be reason enough for women to want to quit dairy. Bloating is generally observed as a result of lactose intolerance when it comes to consumption of dairy. However, proof exists of the opposite being true too – some people react to quitting dairy by feeling more bloated than they normally do! You’ve got to try this one out to know which group you belong to.
2. Spring in Your Step!
Quitting dairy makes you lose weight. You basically cut down the amount of sugar, fat and protein you are consuming on a daily level. This leads to weight-loss since intake of all primary food-groups is reduced. Feeling lighter? We bet you are!
3. Bye-Bye Foundation and Compact Powder!
This aspect of dairy consumption might surprise a lot of people. Dairy products contain a lot of enzymes and hormones that are of animal origin, and it has been observed that these enzymes often affect the skin adversely. From blemishes to spots, they make your skin age faster. Quitting dairy thus helps your skin restore itself. Finally, no more long hours in front of the mirror applying layers and layers of make-up!
4. Bye-Bye Pimples Too!
The hormones that are present in dairy products not only destroy your skin with patches and blotches but also can cause acne breakouts. If you are someone who always gets acne irrespective of what stage of your menstrual cycle you are at, there is enough reason for you to consider quitting dairy. Why not give it a try?
5. Reduced Risk of Ovarian Cancer!
This is perhaps one of the most surprising effects of giving up dairy products! The culprits, again, are the hormones that dairy products contain. It has been speculated by a study that drinking more than one glass of milk can actually increase your risk of ovarian cancer. So steering clear of that extra serving is definitely going to cut down your risk.
Did You Know? Dairy increases men’s chances of getting prostate cancer too! A group of scientists at Harvard found out recently that 34% of men who consume double dairy servings on a daily basis increase their chances getting prostate cancer.
WATCH: Quitting Dairy Helped Jillian Cure Her Asthma
Key Takeaway: Jillian went vegan to try and better manage her asthma. But in the process, she ended up getting rid of it completely! This is how it happened:
- Being a vegan means giving up all food that comes from animals – milk, honey, meat, etc. Jillian became a vegan and so, obviously, had to give up Dairy products.
- In only 2 months, her asthma was completely gone. One of the reasons behind this is the inflammation that dairy products can cause was now all gone.
- When Jillian gave up her vegan style and reintroduced animal products to her lifestyle, she realised that it was dairy products that brought her asthma back – she faced allergies, stomach issues, and malaise.
NOTE: This is an account of a personal experience. Results may vary for different individuals.
Side-Effects of Quitting Dairy
Because dairy products also have a lot of beneficial nutrients, quitting dairy can potentially result in undesirable side-effects too.
1. Digestion Problems Can Aggravate
Dairy products – especially yoghurt – contain lactobacilli. These bacteria keep our gut in good health and aid proper digestion of food. The fats in dairy also keep constipation away. Quitting dairy robs you of all these benefits, making your digestion suffer.
2. Bone Strength Gets Compromised
This may not happen as an immediately perceivable effect, but long-term deprivation of dairy products depletes the body’s calcium and vitamin D levels, both of which have a direct effect on our bone health. In fact, women are advised to drink a glass of milk every day after the age of 40 because they rapidly lose calcium thereafter and become more prone to osteoporosis.
3. Your Immunity Takes a Hit
Dairy products help keep our immune system on track because they contain vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps in fighting off bacteria, and it has been observed that a lowered level of the vitamin can lead to people picking up unusual infections, caused by bacteria that would normally not give rise to an infection (for e.g.: Helicobacter pylori).
4. Energy and Endurance Go Down
All said and done, milk is a wholesome food, and that daily glass of milk serves to provide the body good amount of energy. So withdrawal of dairy consumption can make you feel tired through the day, till your body gets used to it. Giving up dairy can also bring down your protein intake, affecting your muscle strength, and thereby your endurance.
5. Mood Swings and Disturbed Sleep
Dairy products, because of their high satiety content, can help keep our mood stable. Dairy is also recommended as a food to eat before going to bed, as it helps people sleep better. So quitting dairy might adversely affect your mood and sleep both. However, a lot of people say this effect may be just a withdrawal symptom and might go away once your body gets used to it.
So, as is the case with everything in life, giving up dairy has both positive and negative effects. However, one point to be noticed is, quitting dairy has different effects on different people. So it is best to give this a shot for a week or two, before accepting it as a lifestyle change.